Horseless Carriage Thinking had me at hello: as soon as I was introduced to it, many years ago, I was captivated by the ease it offered to introduce new concepts. How so?
Horseless Carriage is the way cars were originally introduced: not as something brand new, but instead as something more familiar. Since people then were familiar with a carriage, a car was introduced as a horseless carriage. Not something alien and scary, but something one’s mind could more easily come to terms with. And that’s essentially the idea behind horseless carriage thinking, or the way it was introduced to me. We can think of it as a better, improved mousetrap, and hope they will, indeed, come!
There are many examples of it.
Moving Pictures: instead of a “movie”, which may be a shocking concept, how about just pictures, that people were familiar with then… Just moving? And the idea behind that gave us many more examples of how to introduce new movies, for example. Edge of Tomorrow? It’s Groundhog Day in the future!
A self-propelling vacuum: it may be easier to embrace a Roomba like that instead of as an autonomous cleaning device.
So what’s not to like about horseless carriage thinking?
Well, as the quote to the right indicates, one wonders if it may hold us back. Perhaps it’s stopping us from a radical innovation.
Perhaps if we weren’t bound by thinking about a horseless carriage, we would have thought of a flying one, a self-navigating one, one with 500 horsepower (fast!)
Perhaps thinking of “moving pictures” stopped that industry from introducing “talkies” for way too long?
Perhaps thinking of “let’s do more of the same” is why we have so many movies that are prequels and sequels or the same with more superheroes, instead of fresh and exciting new plots?
Perhaps if we weren’t stuck with a “better mousetrap” as in a horseless carriage, we’d have self-cleaning floors instead of ones that have a self-propelling cleaner?
What do you think? Do you have examples of this way of introducing concepts that has worked well in the past, or might work well for future concepts? Do you think this horseless carriage thinking is helpful or a potential hurdle to future advances?