Why “just” learning things is never enough

Learning is a very popular theme today at both startups and large companies and it’s a very important part of improving products and businesses. But learnings can also sometimes be used in the wrong way and to create the impression that you are moving forward while nothing is really happening.

Learnings can never be the means to an end itself. They don’t matter if they can’t be applied in some way and move things forward.

You might say that it’s always good to learn things. What about teachers? They learn things and can teach what they learn. Yes, that’s a good example. They apply the learnings in a very practical way by transferring knowledge to their students who then can apply the learnings in their life.

So, is it not great to learn things about your customers, your business and products? Yes, it’s definitely very good and something you need to do. But make sure there is a way of actually applying the learnings. They mean nothing if they just end up in a Powerpoint.

What about learning things from books and broadening your perspective? Yes, that too is good and something you should do. But again, just reading books and never applying anything doesn’t change the world. It might change you, but make sure to apply some of that knowledge in the real world to make something of your learnings.

Who knows, you might learn new things from that. And on it goes…