CW – Conventional Wisdom – a term used to describe ideas or explanations that are generally accepted as true by the public or by experts in a field. The term implies that the ideas or explanations, though widely held, are unexamined and, hence, may need to be reevaluated upon further examination or as events unfold.

More importantly, Conventional Wisdom is additionally often seen as an obstacle to the introduction of new theories and explanations – and so as an obstacle that must be overcome.


CW – books and movies are dead – it’s impossible to get younger people away from video games and Facebook.  Anyone hear of the Un-Dead? Twilight…books, movies, fashion, events – once again pure content triumphs and transcends CW.

CW – once swore that no one needed a computer at home (DEC was the company and now they are gone).  Then the CW became we all needed a PC at home (but even Gates was wrong as to its power).  And the new CW has gone full circle because with “The Cloud” who needs the power of a PC?

My point is that all that CW proves is that there is no reason – in fact, never any reason – to get locked into an idea, a movement, a concept, a theory – you get the point.  Maybe to the contrary…

What is funny – is that CW swings between old and new rather quickly and then swings on again to something else, so CW can be misconstrued as leading-edge thinking or its opposite – old-fashioned paradigm – depending upon who the antagonist is.  And both are wrong…

Worse – CW can lead to group think as we look for validation and acceptance – so again rather quickly, what seems new can get old…very old…and very tired.


Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?

James Thurber

So next time you think you are leading edge, paradigm breaking, new model – think again – look at the CW index…and make sure that you haven’t just joined the bandwagon.

What’s your best CW?

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