Extreme Hallucinatory Daydreaming

1 Oct 2004 (Fri)

An interesting definition of Visions from Wikimedia:

Dreaming - Microsoft Office clipart“VISIONS ARE EXTREME HALLUCINATORY daydreaming, too-good-to-be-true ideals with high impact but no measurable probability — because they can’t happen. They’re fantasy. No one believes in them. Not even you. They’re fiction…

“If you have ever heard a truly compelling vision of what the world could be “if only…” from anyone else in your life, this is the place to finally write it down. Anonymity is best since you may hold back if others know your name. A good vision would contain fantasy elements from all utopias you ever believed in, and several that you laughed at, and riduculed other people for.

“If you are describing something that you consider a reasonable goal, that you believe can ever actually happen to any substantial degree, or has a measurable probability, it is a best case and not a “vision”. Be very careful with this distinction — best cases are something we allocate real w:human capital and (indirectly) w:natural resources to get done… a single good vision, however, would break us, were we even to really attempt it.”

WAS A VICTIM OF “extreme hallucinatory daydreaming” while working on a be-all do-all elearning project at a MNC a few years ago.

Our target audience included teaching staff, students and business partners across all educational sectors (K-12, tertiary, adult and corporate) in Asia Pacific countries. The super-duper system was touted to have all the features available in existing competitor systems (which were each targetting only specific sectors) and much more. For example, courseware of many subjects across all levels; on-the-fly personalizable learning, assessment and tracking; on-the-fly booking of virtual classrooms with audio and video streaming; on-the-fly XML data exchange with all types of e-services that might be provided by industry partners such as e-libraries, e-printers, e-publishers, e-translation, online payment gateways…

Surely, with such fantastic features, marketing should be a breeze, sales would boom, customers would be happy and everyone would have cause to smile?

However, we had just half a year and a very lean team to achieve all these from scratch. Still, the business folks thought of themselves as great visionaries and assumed that so long as some programmers and analysts got onboard, anything technical or editorial (a “black box” to them) could be produced (almost like magic!). This was supposed to be the easy part.

The reality was: there were too many dreams, promises and requirements; yet too little time (left from the endless meetings), manpower and resources. Plus XML was a new technology and elearning standards were not quite there yet (not even today). The dreams soon turned into nightmares. Eventually, the super-duper project joined the ranks of hundreds (or was it thousands?) of other dot.coms (or dot.cons) and went bust.

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Posted by J.K. in Business, Problems, Strategy | View Comments |

  • http://extreme-fisting.us/?p=14 Clara G

    Very interesting article – either yours, or in wiki.
    I voted for 5 stars :)
    Hi from Prague!

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