I am learning to respect the salesman who tells you the drawbacks of his products. There are always drawbacks, whether you are told about them or not.
I am learning that maybe it is okay to be told by a salesman that there are things that can’t be done. It means they are focusing on the things that can be done.
I am learning also however, to respect the salesman who focuses on the positives.
In the projects I am working on there is always a focus on how the product will “prevent harm”. How it will reduce disease, save time, save money. Like these failed strategies to sell condoms in the Congo.
What I am learning is that in any type of business (and, perhaps, in life), it is better to focus on how the product will give people the life that they want.
I am learning that things often end up costing more than you’d planned. I am learning things often end up taking longer than you’d hope. But I am also learning that people are more used to this than you’d think.
I am learning it takes a lot of effort to care. I am learning to take note when someone does. I am learning that it is rare to find.
I am learning that many people who are working on small projects call them “demonstration” projects. “We want to show other people how things could be done at scale.”
I am learning that it is actually really hard to take an idea to scale.
I am learning is to ask people working on small projects: Why not show people how it is really done and take it to scale yourself?