Written by: Rob Eddy

The theme of my recent post, The Backwards Brain Bicycle, was that sometimes we’re too close to a subject to view it objectively – fresh eyes almost always add value and can help to ensure that important details are not missed. This time, I’d like to address the flip side of that coin – the value of experience and expertise.

I’ve been using an expression lately, “having tools does NOT make you a carpenter – just like having a musical instrument does not make you a musician.”

We live in a time of accelerating change. Technological advances are happening exponentially and are having an impact in almost every part of our lives. One effect of this constant change is that tools that were once narrowly available to a very focused audience due to cost or a need for in-depth knowledge to use them – video editing tools, for example – are now in the hands of huge segments of the population. And as a result, there is an ever-increasing number of people trying to sell you services using those tools.

As this phenomenon progresses, what will come into sharp focus is the need for expertise. I like to quote Red Adair who said, “If you think it’s expensive to hire an expert, wait until you hire an amateur.”

Not too long ago, editing and compiling raw video footage into a finished short required a suite of equipment that cost well over six figures to acquire and years of training to operate. Today, video editing tools are highly accessible on almost any laptop or PC and almost ubiquitous. Recently, my daughter Grace had an assignment to produce a short video explaining one of the math theorems (logarithms) that she was learning about in class. With just a little bit of help and a couple of YouTube tutorials, she was able to pull together a simple, yet pretty nice animated short on her laptop in only a few hours. This was a great learning experience that not only reinforced the principles of math, but introduced Grace to new technology and creative tools.

This is just one example of how advances in technology are invading and enhancing our lives. The thing that is easy to miss, however, is that it takes real skill and a great deal of experience to know HOW to produce a compelling short-form video. Understanding how good storytelling works – as well as how to effectively edit, integrate graphics, music and sound to create a finished piece with a message that is going to resonate with an audience – is not easy and requires a great deal of experience. It doesn’t matter if the medium is video, animation, print, or interactive, there’s an immeasurable amount of value in both expertise and experience. Something to keep in mind in these times of constant change.