Learning by analogy

Some people are way better at this than others.

The other day, I was talking to someone about a complex and specialized issue. It's quite possible that this was the first and only time in the history of the world that this precise set of circumstances had ever occurred. He said, "do you have an example of how this has worked before for you?"

I was puzzled. I mean, not only hadn't I ever had this precise problem, but no one in the world had.

It's like the left-handed chiropractor in Berkeley wondering how he can use new technologies and marketing techniques wondering why there aren't more case studies about left-handed chiropractors in Berkeley.

Sure, the industries change, the goods/service ratio changes, regulation changes, names change. Doesn't matter. It's all the same. People are people, and basic needs and wants don't vary so much.

Put aside your need for a step-by-step manual and instead realize that analogies are your best friend. By the time there is a case study in your specific industry, it's going to be way too late for you to catch up.