Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Things I can't do yet

What are you thinking about right now?

I mean right this very minutes. This isn't a complicated question and I don't want you to think too hard about your reply.

Let me help you by using myself as an example... ask me the question. What am I thinking about right now? Let me tell you.

1) Losing (more) weight
2) Picking kids up from school - and who will do it? Me or my wife?
3) My architectural scale model of the Taj Mahal and where to put it. Bought in a Belgian flea market for €5 without thinking about where it might go and it's been sitting on our dining table ever since.
4) Organising the under-stairs cupboard
5) Our dodgy septic tank. Don't ask.
6) Driving from our home in Belgium to a 60th Birthday party in the UK this weekend

This list took me 90 seconds to type out. There could be other things but these are more top of mind than most. I could have mentioned a burglary at my in-law's last week which netted the balaclava wearing gentlemen £25,000 in gold jewellery. Uninsured. I could also have mentioned the on-going challenge of building a team of offshore developers in India. But I'm happy to leave these out and share the 6 listed above.

I can categorise them by:

Trips - 2 and 6
Health - 1
Home/DIY - 3, 4 and 5

I can also organise them by due date:

ASAP - 1, 3 and 4
End of today - 2
End of the week - 6
Before Xmas - 5

Let me stress I am not making any of these up. They are all live things floating around my head right now.

And here is the point of this post: most research is carried out retrospectively. Questions are posed after the event in order to explore and understand. The one thing I haven't been able to do yet, and nor can you, is to get to people before something happens and join them for the ride.

Take my list of things that I'm think about. Let's take my drive to the UK from Belgium this coming Friday night with my family of five. If I was able to broadcast my list, and organisations were able to follow (and compensate) me at very short notice, what would you call this kind of research?

Car manufacturers, ferry companies, any travel organisation and more, should and will be interested in joining me and a few thousand other, for the ride. 

But as the moment, I can't do this. Soon I will.


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