Blame Brian Eno.
Eno single-handedly sunk the aphorism business for smart people 35 years ago when he said (wrote, actually) “Honor thy error as a hidden intention.” Well, that was that – a guided language missile, from which would spring forth a thousand instruction books for business (or life, which in these books blends seamlessly with business) as entranced new age bureaucrats and entrepreneurs who believed they were doing something new found confidence that someone understood, that they were not just widget makers or sellers but subtle masters, tea ceremony tycoons.
And thus ruined the market, because going forward the bar was very high – can you say something that is useful and deeply contrarian and clever but not too?
Example: this note from Kevin Kelly, which builds off another note by a New York Times writer. The list is unsatisfying because it is unsurprising, and suspect. I’ll wager that high mileage cars are also among the most reliable – the values would seem to go together.
So the question the list poses is: can you say anything about technology that’s not obvious?