Two of the most powerful words ever

What if?

What if I try this? What if I do it this way? What if I try it, even though I’ve been told it can't possibly work? What if they’re wrong? What if it does work? What if what I've been taught is wrong, or incomplete? Have any real advances ever been made without someone asking, what if?


I have been doing R&D most of my life. I understand the concept of "what if" I don't use it. Instead I ask "what are the factors" and develop a list. From the list a group of experiments are developed which will tell what the "Magnitude" of each factor is. Once you know the magnitude of the factors you can use them for design work.
This way of doing research and development was pioneered by Dupont after WWI at the request of the US government to develop and non-organic rope. However, it did not see much use until IBM started selling PC in 1982. The reality is, it is all in the math. 

This 'what if' discussion makes me feel good. It has been my way of life. There are often no instructions, or ones with a reason why, so it might lead to what if instead. Lots of sparks and smoke, and then an eureka event that follows. Not in order at first exists for the final piece to be assembled.

“What if” opens doors. “No way” keeps doors closed,and curtains drawn. How else do you pursue performance?