I recently finished Blink by Malcolm Gladwell who is famous for his book The Tipping Point. For fun, I thought I would try to share what I learned from each part of the book in just one sentence.
- The Statue That Didn't Look Right
Our bodies act on conscious and unconscious levels, and it is to our detriment to ignore our gut instinct, our initial impression - like being able to detect that a statue is a fake at first glance.
- The Theory of Thin Slices
Thin slicing is our ability to find patterns based on very narrow slices of experience - like determining whether or not to hire job applicants by spending 15 minutes examining where they live.
- The Locked Door
People are subtly influenced by their subconscious but are unaware of this fact - as if the subconscious is behind a locked door.
- The Warren Harding Error
First impressions, a result of experience and environment, can be deceiving as Warren G. Harding, a tall and striking man (which got him elected), was one of America's worst Presidents.
- Paul Van Riper's Big Victory
Analytic and intuitive decision making is neither good nor bad - but what is bad is using one of them in an inappropriate circumstance - like a heavy process inappropriately used in war game exercises.
- Kenna's Dilemma
Experts are so familiar with a subject matter that they have trained their subconscious, and as a result, their experience and passion change the nature of their first impressions.
- Seven Seconds in the Bronx
Putting oneself in situations where snap decisions can be practiced is beneficial because, with experience, time slows down, and that provides our minds time to process - resulting in better decisions.
- Listening with Your Eyes
Eliminating subconscious biases yields better decisions - like using a white screen to blindly evaluate musicians results in more women being selected for traditionally male positions.
"The task of figuring out how to combine the best of conscious deliberation and instinctive judgment is one of the greatest challenges of our time." - Blink, page 269.
In reading this book, two things regarding the Autodesk Labs experience come to mind:
- Labs technologies appeal to experts. In one of the anecdotes from Blink, Gladwell recounts his dinner with food experts Gail Vance Civille and Judy Heylmun. "Expert food tasters are taught a very specific vocabulary, which allows them to describe precisely their reactions to specific foods." - Blink, page 182. Sometimes Labs is like that. For example, the iCopy for Inventor tool appeals to Autodesk Inventor users who are experts in mechanical design. There is a place for conscious deliberation.
- Labs technologies do not always have to appeal to experts. When you see a computer rendering from Project Showroom, we want you to experience it as if it is real. We don't want you to have the same reaction as Federico Zeri and Evelyn Harrison who took once glance at the Getty kouros statue and immediately recognized it as a fake. In Labs, there is a place for instinctive judgment too.
Unlike Uranium, this book should appeal to a larger audience.
Intuition is alive in the lab.