I suppose that the name of this blog may not make sense to anyone, so I’ll take a moment and describe how I named it.
I like to think of myself as a designer of solutions. Solutions to any kinds of problems I encounter: business problems, family problems, problems with organizations I work with, so on and so on. So as a designer of solutions, I don’t necessarily see problems; I see solutions. People all around me bring me problems. I love to solve them.
The problem I have with most people who bring me problems is that they are smart people who don’t know how to tell me their problems: they tell me what they think the solution should be. In many cases however, the solution they propose doesn’t solve the root-cause of the original problem, it simply masks a symptom. Imagine if your doctor simply gave you an oral anesthetic like Cloraseptic because you asked for it without actually investigating what causes your sore throat.
So once upon a time, I happened across an article in the magazine “Fast Company,” titled “Be Cooler by Design.” This article was all about how to work with people who design solutions. One of the best quotes in the world is in there, number 1 on the list: ‘Don’t tell me you need a bridge, show me the canyon!’. Now, I’m quoting a guy who’s quoting a guy, so this is like the telephone game, but I am pretty sure that Giuseppe Delena actually said that. I have faith in the author of the article.
So – that’s where I got the name of the blog – “i need a bridge” being something that a person would say when faced with a canyon. Imagine what would happen if the person who said “i need a bridge” actually only needed a pipeline, or a wireless radio link, or even a smoke signal. Could you imagine if you took the requester at face value and built the bridge, only to find out later that the requester only intended to haul a tanker truck of petroleum over it? Wouldn’t a smarter solution be to find a better way to get the contents of that truck across the gap?