Thursday, March 22, 2012

Other People's Maps

We live in a world where we like to be given the best route to get somewhere we haven't been to before. We type in our starting and ending points to Mapquest, Google Maps or those electronic GPS devices that cars newer than mine come equipped with. We assume they know what's best.


But they don't always. Too often they take us the more complicated and more crowded route.

I live in Manhattan. I consult Mapquest and Google Maps when I am driving somewhere new. When you live in this town no one needs to tell you the best route to the Lincoln Tunnel or the Triboro (oops..RFK) Bridge. But that's how those directions start. And they are consistently ridiculous. If I was so brave as to experiment with them, I would be late for wherever I was headed.

So what makes me think the rest of the directions will be any better? There has been no human interaction, no discussion as to new detours or delays that are unique to the day. No one asking me if perhaps I do want to take a more scenic route.

There is no one best route to ANYTHING. Yet too many of us don't want to create our own road maps. We want someone else's prescribed path for getting somewhere,  hopefully in the shortest amount of time possible. We want some automated voice to tell us how to do it. We assume they know better. We don't want to think for ourselves.

Directions are good. Technology affords easy access. But the map is only to get us started.  Whether it is driving from the Upper West Side to Vermont or looking for a new job. We can't follow  blindly and without question. We need to use our instincts and not be afraid to try it our own way, even risk a detour or getting lost.

Other people's money is great for starting a business but not enough to grow it. Other people's maps are great for getting out of the gate but won't get you where you need to go without you steering the wheel.


Do you take the prescribed route or are you adventurous?
Which do you think is better?
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