I got a haircut for the summer!
One thing I know for sure, the internet has interconnected the world more than anything that came before it.
I guess that means I’m also pretty sure that there’s always the next big thing that’s going to be more efficient for communicating, and that it will arrive in good time. We’ll probably fail to recognize it at first (don’t forget, I come from the days when email was considered a passing fad) and we might even fight it tooth and nail, but it will happen.
It gives us access to information — immediate access — that only a generation ago would have taken days of searching through microfiche or scanning books, periodicals or other materials manually.
My unofficial stepmother was a librarian. And I loved the library as a child, as a young adult, and I still love to go there today, even if I don’t visit very often. The overwhelming amount of information in the building, the ways to find out new things, heck I even loved the card catalog – and I would LOVE to have one of those in my house today, as part of the furnishings. Not really sure what I would do with it, but wouldn’t it be so, so, so cool to have one?
I also love my Kindle. I still have the first version and it works just fine for reading books. No shiny colors, no backlights, no video. Just words on a page – or the closest, most ecologically sound version of words on a page. I’m not claiming any ecological superiority to anyone here, we’ve probably got a thousand books in our house, along with the Kindle, two iPads and our computers and phones.
Nope, not winning any awards for restraint in that department.
And while the world moves on at full tilt – every so slightly leaning to one side or the other and picking up steam with each rotation it appears, the ability to access information so quickly and so easily is what creates most of the angst and the uncertainty. If we didn’t know, we couldn’t be outraged. If we hadn’t seen it with our own two eyes, even the internet can’t make it true.
Access to information is what causes disruption.
At the core of all disruption is the means to disrupt in an established marketplace. Without steady and rapid access to information that is acquired faster than the competition, no one would ever disrupt anything. It just couldn’t happen.
If Paul Revere hadn’t warned the rebels that the British were coming – one if by land, two if by sea, in case you forgot the particulars – then the British would have very likely won that battle and we’d all have been voting on #Brexit last week. Or something like that. Had the British known the rebels knew, then they could have changed up their plans (as much as circumstances allowed for that kind of thing back then) and the rebels would have found the tables turned and their feet to the fire.
It’s hard to embrace disruption.
If you’re the guy with the established business (oh, I dunno, let’s call you MySpace for the sake of argument), then of course you don’t want anyone else coming along and upturning your apple cart. It’s unprofitable, it can be embarrassing, and you’re left shaking your head wondering how the wheels came off (leading to the massive rise of Facebook, of course) as badly as they did.
So don’t be that guy. When you see the next bit of new tech zooming along at the speed of light, rather than dismissing it out of hand, maybe you should at least check it out. We all know that 90% of it is bunk, and won’t be a big deal in the long run, but if you miss the 10% that is a threat to your business and it gets a good head of steam built up, then you’ll be on the back foot and that’s not where you want to be. Nope, not at all.
You can’t stop progress but you don’t have to be steamrolled by it.
For sure, new stuff comes and takes the old stuff out when it does. My mother loved 8 track tapes. She had a slew of them. I think she probably had every album Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons ever put out, all on 8 track; they used to make a lot of orange tapes if I remember right. Lot of good that does us now. Vinyl survived, made a resurgence, came back strong. I haven’t seen anyone arguing that we should bring back the 8 track. Or the cassette tape either, and no one is whining about the loss of optical drives in their new MacBooks.
Make a resolution. Don’t wait for the new year. We’ve just passed the halfway point in the year, summer solstice was last week, Britain’s lost its collective mind, and who knows what in the world is going to happen here in the States… and Canada, what’s up with Trudeau spending his time worrying about the national anthem instead of the national debt and the national economy? Seriously?
Don’t be a MySpace.
Back to the resolution (see, if you announce ahead of time that you’re intent on rambling, it’s very hard to be called on it, nothing to disrupt there lol!), and what you should resolve.
Take a look at new technology with both eyes open. Use one eye to evaluate the ability of the technology to help you in your business – will this make you better, faster, stronger? I mean, we’ve been able to build a man for 6 million bucks since I was a child but it’s no more a reality than flying cars at the moment, now is it?
What we do have is mobile phones. For today. And tiny little silicon wafers with millions of bits and bytes on them that power these mobile phones. All the kids love ’em. Look at a picture of people riding the subway that’s been taken in the past 5 years. EVERYONE is doing it. Heck, I bet you do it too. And it’s what we’ll be doing until the next big thing comes along.