An old man is holding a meeting in his office about new ideas to run his organization. His son has accompanied him to this meeting, the son is just learning, how to run the company. Various ideas are floated in the meeting, and the old man has not rejected any idea and asks the person floating the idea to work on it and brainstorm it with others. Seeing this son could not do anything but interrupt and point out that “it is good that we are not disappointing any of the employees, but some of these ideas are very unlikely to be feasible, would it be prudent to invest time and work on them.” The old man smiled and said “son, your generation always rushes to judge. Believe me, when I say you can’t guess the end result in the first hearing.”
Son scoffs, old man ignores it till the end of the meeting. Every employee leaves enthusiastically with the idea to prove its worth. Son is also leaving when his father asks him to stay. He asks “you don’t agree with me on judging at the first hearing. Do you?” The son replies, “no dad, I believe, I am intelligent enough to say whether the idea got any merit or not.” “I don’t blame you, the whole world thinks like you. They thought the same when they have given Nobel prize to Paul Hermann Muller, or when they called the deal Seward folly.” The old man says.
The son asks the old man to elaborate on what he wants to say. Old man explains Paul Hermann Muller was given Nobel prize in 1948 for his invention of DDT, which was considered as miracle insecticide for giving relief from malaria. But the miracle was short-lived when people realized DDT is not just killing insects but is moving up the food chain harming humans and is reason of few extinct species. But people thought they knew it all to judge it very quickly.
Another thing is in contrast, was failed deal in the opinion of the whole nation when the senator Seward bought Alaska from Russia in the 1860s for just $7 million. The deal was ridiculed as “Seward’s Folly,” “Seward’s icebox,” and President Andrew Johnson’s “polar bear garden.” But a few years later Gold mines were found in Alaska and the deal was considered highly in favor of America. And now even oil fields are present in Alaska, people were wrong in calling that deal wrong.
The old man says again “I don’t want you to make the same mistake son.” The son agrees with the father, but few thoughts haunts him, what could he now do to not judge the idea quickly, could he afford detailing every idea he gets. What would be the optimum level of efforts he would be putting in the ideas.