Saturday, December 18, 2021


 While reading "Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future", i came across Musk's take (in an email to employees) on a seemingly trivial issue of how acronyms gets used in organizations.

"There is a creeping tendency to use made up acronyms at SpaceX. Excessive use of made up acronyms is a significant impediment to communication and keeping communication good as we grow is incredibly important. Individually, a few acronyms here and there may not seem so bad, but if a thousand people are making these up, over time the result will be a huge glossary that we have to issue to new employees."
He hit the nail on the head when he said-
“ No one can actually remember all these acronyms and people don’t want to seem dumb in a meeting, so they just sit there in ignorance. This is particularly tough on new employees”
In summary, he almost declared a war on acronyms (as some sections of media reported this) with his wise intention to keep the communication clean and easy to comprehend. 

Over jargonizing the communication is also an effect of bias known as ‘Curse of Knowledge’. What really is curse of knowledge’ ?
You are suffering from the curse of knowledge when you know things that the other person does not and you have forgotten what it’s like to not have this knowledge. This makes it harder for you to identify with the other person’s situation and explain things in a manner that is easily understandable to someone who is a novice.

Biases such as curse of knowledge unknowingly drive much of our behaviors at work and in life. An awareness of these is a first step to get better at avoiding them.

Shreyas Doshi in his insightful thread shares about various biases that every Product Manager and a professional should be aware of and try avoid. Would highly recommended to read it.
Catch the summary in my Sketchnote below.

Do these biases resonate with you ?

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