The cost of avoiding important conversations

In 1953, Hugh DeHaven introduced the idea of a collapsible steering column. Since it has been used it is estimated to have saved over 80,000 lives.

The problem was that it took car companies 13 years to launch a collapsible steering column.


It turns out, car companies were afraid to talk about safety. In fact, many car companies had safety patents they were intentionally not using to avoid the appearance of cars not being safe to drive.

The lesson we need to understand is this: Not everyone believes what you believe and not everyone wants what you want. (Even when it comes to things as important as safety.)

If it’s important to you, make it important for others. The perfect product or the perfect idea isn’t good enough to change people’s minds—only stories will.

[How many lives were lost in those 13 years because of people avoiding conversation that seemed too difficult to have?]