What assumptions make…
When you’re a technology evangelist working in a field that’s at best slow to change and at worst suspiciously resistant to it; it’s easy to accuse the late majority and laggards of basing their objections on assumptions. Kathy Sierra over at Creating Passionate Users says it well:
half my battles… were about questioning assumptions… many of which had been around long enough to be science fair projects… When you’re stuck with the inertia of outdated assumptions, you’re stuck with incremental (not revolutionary) improvements.
I hear it all the time, “we tried that before and it didn’t work” When? 20 years ago? Or “This is what the students want; I know because I help them.” I want to challenge this with, “well, they want it because you’ve just told them they want it. The goal here is to provide them with something they understand immediately and not have to ask for help.” But I don’t. It smacks to closely of asking someone to prove nonexistance… It quickly becomes a battle wills. My assumptions against their’s. And let’s face it, I’m the scrappy upstart with an attitude and we lose when it comes down to credibility and big guns. So, when advocating for change that will impact others, both sides have their assumptions and to be successful it’s up to me to demonstrate how it is worth it.