Use Quora to your advantage. The art of asking stupid questions.
Although Quora is a true treasure chest with lots of information you can use to your advantage, it’s not that easy to find the right one here.
As any other database (well, you get the info here, don’t you?) it requires from you to have certain skills.
For example, the art of asking stupid questions.
Yes, I am serious. As always!
What drives people searching Quora for hours looking for the right and the best answer possible? Their problems. And their problems may not be formed in a smart way.
If you want to get an idea for your new product (and you want to know how to implement it), you may start thinking like a customer. It’s an old but gold rule many people prefer ignoring because “it’s too old-school”. But it’s not.
Okay, well, maybe it is. Still, it’s working!
People don’t like to feel they are not smart enough. And you should never mention this to them. However, you should use this knowledge to your advantage.
I’ll give you an example. Imagine the difference:
You, a not very smart (I did not say that) early college graduate who is looking for some information on the internet related to some scary “roadmaps” you haven’t ever seen in your life. Because it’s going to be an important part of the project you are going to present tomorrow.
They said it: “What about roadmaps, Billy? Will you show them to us tomorrow?”
And here’s you, the computer, the late evening and the internet. The only source you hope will give you some knowledge of what’s going on in this world.
What are you going to look for?
Obviously, you will type something like:
“Examples of roadmaps”
Or something, right?
And you will obviously find the info about roadmaps. And all the examples.
But now what?
Although you understand the definition and probably have an idea how this thing should look like, you have nothing you’ve done yourself. And tomorrow you have to show it.
The truth is people who are asking you to show your knowledge (confusing, I know) actually are looking for your experience. Even more confusing. But human being are complicated creatures, what to say!
What I ask you:
“Okay, Billy, show me your roadmap”
And you answer:
“I don’t have any…”
“But what are you going to do?”
I don’t ask what do you know about roadmaps and what definition you have found on the internet. Because I’m sure you would answer immediately something like: “Roadmap is a very specific type of strategic document. It’s a schedule of a lengthy or complex program.”
“Cool, Billy,” I’ll answer, “Now what?”
The art of asking stupid questions is actually the art of asking the ones which will give you some fuel to start doing what you are looking for. This is an example of real Quora question, which will really help you if you don’t know what a roadmap is. And what’s more important than anything, WHY you need to have this roadmap in the first place.
Unless you are a scientist looking for some information and tables that you can just store and collect for a while, you have to know what to do with the information you are about to get.
You have to know what kind of things to look for and what kind of questions to ask.
And sometimes the least smart ones, the dumbest questions will lead you to the true, real-world discovery you would never expect to find in academic books and smart definitions.
For being successful you have to know how this world works, and not it’s fancy definition you will just learn by heart.
Are you feeling lost and do not know what to do? Do you feel like you lack knowledge?
In most cases it’s true. But actually, you just lack experience. Experience in knowing what to do with the information you have or about to obtain. It sounds like something obvious. But this transition from your head to something really working is one of the most difficult ones.
As a kid you might face these disappointments: you had an amazing idea of a comic book (or something) and you would start doing it bumping into the simple problem… You do not know how. You see it, it’s right next to you.
You have a great idea what comics is about.
You see it.
Hold in hands.
But how to do this?
Do you know?
That’s the simple but obvious gap in humans’ life. This gap between “I know” and “I can” is bigger than you think sometimes.
But you can make it smaller. Just start asking stupid questions. Questions, that will make you look like a dumb, in a sense… But will help you obtain experience rather than knowledge.
Have you ever had a problem you knew everything about but did not know what to do? Feel free to share! There’s nothing embarrassing in it. We all feel it from time to time :)