I had the pleasure of spending some quality time over the weekend with good friends of ours. We talked about bunch of things, and at some point someone asked – “so what revolution really happened in the past 20 years? because before that we had VCR, Cable, Beatles,..”
I answered that I think “Access To Data”.
This then led into a conversation about what exactly happened in the past 20 years, and how it affected us. So to start, we agreed that access to data has evolved dramatically. Google being one big chunk of it (also their tag-line btw).
“Just do it !” – Access To Data
When you need to know how to get to a certain place, you Google Map it
You wonder how Apple was founded? Wikipedia it
Want to find out what’s “Facebook Market Cap” (oouch btw)?, Yahoo Finance it
You’re not sure what content you love to consume? Taboola it
Something happened and it’s the big conversation where you live? Twitter trends it.
Apartment, a car, used computer, someone to help with something? Craigslist-it
Where are you friends? Foursquare it.
Want to watch a video now? Netflix, Amazon On Demand, .. it.
And many other examples. Get the data you need. Just do it.
So what does it really mean?
It means that we no longer “need” to spend time to remember things, or to educate ourselves ways to get answers as we used to 50 years ago. That part is behind us now.
Ok so what do we do with our time then? Are we still curious creatures? Are we still creative? Who looses and who wins from this revolution? Is it overall good or bad? Will our children win from this access to data revolution? Should we create boundaries to force our children to “do things the old way” to make sure they don’t become zombies or potatoes?
And here I was thinking “Google is not doing evil”.
My personal thoughts
We’ll see two types of people emerge in the years to come. Potatoes and supermen. The potatoes will be leveraged (nicer word for “used”) by the supermen.
One type of person will earn the minimal amount of money, and minimal amount of social real-life participation — to then enjoy everything being accessible at the palm of their hand (Netflix, Amazon, Google, Facebook, ..)
The other type will stop wasting time on figuring out how Apple was founded, will read on it 5 minutes on Wikipedia, and will write a nice business plan to try their own thing and succeed in the available time they now freed up. They will skip the part of “getting the data” that was really not unique 50 years ago but rather just force of nature because there was no high-speed internet, and move up to — solving real difficult problems with their time.
Don’t be a potato. Look up – it’s superman.