The curse of knowledge

November 20, 2020

What if you knew everything but it came with a curse evil genie style?

What if knowing everything made your words incomprehensible?

That’s the curse of knowledge, baby, and if you’re a founder you just might have it.

The curse of knowledge is when you forget what it’s like to be a beginner—when you’re incapable of translating your knowledge into something useful for other people.⁠

You’re down there in the water but we’re up here in the boat.

Surprise, The Curse is NOT a good thing. It prevents you from being able to document your procedures, explain your value to others, and communicate needs clearly. Ya know, the things that grow a business.

It could be why you’re having trouble separating you from your business.

Here’s how to avoid the curse of knowledge.⁠

Be aware.

Don’t wear the curse of knowledge like a badge. It’s a cognitive bias. Once you’re aware of it, you can account for it.⁠

Ask for feedback.

You’d be surprised how often we go to work silently in the corner by ourselves. Ask people less knowledgeable than you in your arena to review your docs, notes, or other writing.⁠

Write every day.

Writing = thinking. Learn to write more clearly about your subject matter and by effect you’ll think and communicate more clearly.

Google it.

Get inside a beginner’s mind by Googling things you already know and see how others explain them.⁠

Tell stories.

We all remember fables we heard as children because they are stories about characters like grasshoppers and ants, not just dry lessons like “be prepared.” If words fail you, think of a story or metaphor to explain your point.⁠ “It’s like when…”

There are few jobs in the world that only one person can do. You just have to explain it in small enough steps.

About Amí Naeily

About Amí Naeily

Brand Designer & Marketer

I help entrepreneurs gain momentum in their marketing with online strategy.