The Problem with Experience, Intellect and Self-Assurance

September 3rd, 2010 by Nick Jacobs Leave a reply »

I received this quote from a friend today:

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little.
His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.

But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side,

if he does not so much as know what they are,
he has no ground for preferring either opinion.”

–John Stuart Mill, British philosopher from his classic On Liberty, 1859

Man Looking in Mirror - Recursive - Nick Jacobs, FACHEMy new friend, Dan, has been helping me by holding up a rather small mirror, and suggesting that I explore me in that looking glass.  For the past two years, my patterns have not changed appreciably.  My work day starts very early and typically ends very late.  During those working hours, it has been my custom to continue to pursue those imaginative, creative inventions, ideas, and interventions that can help to change lives, businesses, and futures in a very positive way.  My enthusiasm for these discoveries, however, seems to get me into trouble, because I’m always trying to provide answers before anyone asks me questions.

Everywhere we go people are selling us something.  We are being inundated with opportunities to try something new, something different, something wonderful that will change our lives. We not only become callous to these approaches, we become cynical and sometimes very negative toward them.  Hence, when I try to explain that there really is plenty of money available to us to add those services and to create the type of environment that we know the Baby Boomers and their kids would love, the push back begins.

In fact, Dan held up his hand and said, “Put your hand against mine.”  Within seconds we were pushing on each other’s hands.  It’s a natural thing.  We see the hand and begin to push back on it.  Our experiences, our intellectual capacity, and our self-assurance all work against us as we assume that “we have the answers,” and that no matter what is on the table, you have experience and knowledge that allows you to counter its winning characteristics.

Dan suggested that I begin to approach things differently. He suggested that I stop telling people all of the details of my incredible discoveries and allow them to tell me where their pain resides. Allow them to tell me what hurts. Then, suggest some of the marvelous potential cures that have been so much a part of my research over the past few years.  Maybe we should all listen to Dan?

As CEO’s (and former CEO’s), we all know a lot. We’ve experienced a lot, and if we weren’t fairly self-assured, we wouldn’t have gotten the job in the first place. So, maybe, just maybe, instead of always trying to fix everything before we really understand the details, maybe it would be good –really good to just listen for awhile.

Early aircraft listening device, Bolling AFB 1921

Early aircraft listening device, Bolling AFB, 1921



  1. Thanks to gave wonderful article…..The demo explanation is really good…..The animation in menus is really nice..I am going to try these type of menus.

  2. this is a really great idea, but i think you could do this much more efficiently, also making the page more searchable and accessible.

  3. Hopefully to answer Birens question. I have not used this script as of posting this comment, but to speed up or slow down the fade transitions.

  4. tennisia says:

    remove the words slow from the script and replace them with a number like 300 which would be pretty fast or 2000 which would be pretty slow or slimply replace the words slow with the words fast.

  5. exitec says:

    Alos if you are using a number instead of a word like slow or fast, you can remove the “” or ” surrounding numbers in regards to duration of speed

  6. iphonevideo says:

    Probably the best way of creating a FLASH type menu using XHTML and CSS with JQuery. Thanks for the tutorial.

  7. commaxcenter says:

    How can i animate the button to have a faster opacity? Basically I’d like to animate the button faster than the current pace. Can anyone help me with this?

  8. cctv says:

    Very nice tutorial I must say,In my point of view it is a really helpful for the users.Thanks for sharing.

  9. scale says:

    How would I make the links centered? I can’t find any simple way to have the links moved to the center rather than have a 20% margin.Great tutorial! Thanks!

  10. taraziran says:

    I wondered, how DragonInteractive guys did it. Thank you for the cool and useful tutorial.

  11. scale-co says:

    A great tutorial I must say, also very descriptive. I started working with it, hope I’d be able to do some modifications into it.

  12. involves producing animation effects by changing the position of the background image. 81. Animated Menu using jQuery – This technique

  13. poolshomar says:

    This is a good start, but without a .active state this is somewhat pointless in it’s current form. It’s hard to sacrifice utility for pretty on something as basic as an active or current state to tell a visitor where they are in the site.

  14. slicer says:

    I tried both these techniques to kill the flickering effect when the page loads in IE6 (yuck, I know, but the main audience of the site…) but none worked.

  15. I’m not sure about the second one, background-image is a tag for an image, unlike background-position. I tried with both and it broke the code.

  16. realphotos says:

    I notice in the code that there is no ‘Real Text’ reference to the name of the target page. What I mean by that is that if you remove the CSS from the page

  17. saniaz says:

    Excellent tutorial!!
    This cured the problem I was having with IE and fading in and out. I had to add wrap it in the document ready function.

  18. sportigam says:

    very cool tutorial. I made my own version of the menu, but I have a huge problem: I need the menu items to stay highlighted when they’ve been clicked (like on Dragon Interactive’s site).

  19. WEB DESIGN says:


  20. ?????? ?? says:

    Thanks for taking the time to discuss this

  21. DiceView says:

    Nice tips! I have been seeking for things like that for a while currently. Thanks!

  22. ??? ???? says:

    thanks for this post! helpful!

  23. web design says:

    good time
    this is a really great idea, but i think you could do this much more efficiently

  24. ???????? says:

    if you are using a number instead of a word like slow or fast, you can remove the “” or ” surrounding numbers in regards to duration of speed

  25. ??? ??????? says:

    good site

  26. very good . thanks


  28. webone-sms says:

    good post. thanks

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    “Write a Comment” Website

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  31. This is a great share. A very informative post. Thank you for posting this on your blog.

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