What’s a “correct” answer?

In his book series, Rich Dad/Poor Dad , Robert Kiyosaki is a little critical of our educational system. You can read the books and discover for yourself why he holds these opinions, but I just thought I’d share a couple of his viewpoints here. One of the issues he takes with the system is that it falls short when training students to think critically and creatively. He believes that the system isn’t necessarily teaching “wrong” answers, but is teaching “old” answers.

The following is an excerpt from Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing.

Here are some examples of right answers that are old answers:

  1. Can humans fly? The correct answer prior to 1900 was ‘No.’ Today, it is obvious that humans are flying everywhere, even in space.
  2. Is the earth flat? The correct answer in 1492 was ‘Yes.’ After Columbus sailed to the New World, the old right answer was obsolete.
  3. Is land the basis of all wealth? The answer before the Industrial Age was ‘Yes.’ Today, the answer is a resounding ‘No.’ It takes an idea and knowledge…Once you prove you know what to do, the world is full of rich investors looking to give their money to you.
  4. Doesn’t it take money to make money? I am most frequently asked this question. The answer is ‘No.’ In my opinion, it has always been ‘No.’ My answer has always been ‘It does not take money to make money. It takes information to make as well as to keep money.’ The difference is that it has become much more obvious that it does not take money or hard labor to make a lot of money.

It seems what a “right” or “correct” answer is has become a matter of perspective. I think we should bear that in mind when making strategic decisions.

Anyone who says businessmen deal only in facts, not fiction, has never read old five-year projections.” – Malcolm Forbes