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Ask an Eight-Year-Old

by Doug Davidoff | Jun 29, 2006 12:02:20 PM

On a recent business trip to Boston, my eight-year-old son asked me to get him a David Ortiz jersey. (For those, not familiar with baseball, David Ortiz is the near-MVP designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox).

He states that he is a Baltimore Orioles fan, that his favorite player is Derek Jeter (shortstop for the New York Yankees); and on my trip to Boston, he wanted the jersey of a Red Sox player. What in the world?

As a kid, I would never root for, let alone wear the jersey of, a player on the arch-enemy of my favorite team. What is happening to the world, I thought. Then I realized, my son doesn’t view the world the way I do. I remember when free agency started and players began changing teams all the time. My son knows no other world. I remember when fantasy baseball (and football) could cause you to benefit when the enemy did well – my son knows no other world. My son plays Playstation baseball and built a team with (you guessed it) David Ortiz and Derek Jeter.

I’ve always thought of myself as someone who is comfortable with change. As one who embraced the world as it is – not as it was. My trip to Boston made me realize that this is not true. I am still hung up by how I remember the world working – not by how it actually does.

I realized this bias hurts businesses every day. That’s why I recommend that a business looking for growth hire an eight-year-old to consult (my son will tell you he is the vice president of Imagine). That way, you’ll be a little more in touch with how the world works these days.