Posted On: Thursday, 16 July 2015 by Rajiv Popat

Your workplace has two kinds of people. People who provide inputs and people who produce outputs.

That extroverted manager who gives you opinions on the document you worked really hard to prepare; is giving you his inputs. Ask the same person to produce an output - an end to end project working prototype, a design document, working code --- anything and you'll see a blank face staring at a computer screen for hours.

For someone who has spent his or her whole life giving inputs, producing outputs is hard. These people aren't incompetent or idiots. Some of them are actually smart. But producing outputs require a completely different mindset compared to giving inputs. Smart isn't enough.

Inputs are unorganized; chaotic; random --- they are hit and miss. You can give us a hundred inputs and ninety-nine of those might be really lousy. When giving inputs you can get away with that because the guys producing the final output will edit out all your bad ideas and make your good ideas shine.

Outputs are coherent, edited and structured --- they are a reflection of a persistent mind and dedicated effort. To produce output you have to focus, work hard and edit ruthlessly. When you are producing output you will be judged by many (sometimes even millions) who will give you their random inputs.

Instant publishing is an input. A structured blog post - an output. Random ideas on design are inputs; a design implementation - an output. Audiences give inputs; Artists --- create output. The question is, what will you give to the world? Inputs or outputs?

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