Friday, January 18, 2013

18 of 95: A company of partners past

18. Companies that don't realize their markets are now networked person-to-person, getting smarter as a result and deeply joined in conversation are missing their best opportunity.

[Part 17]

Back in the olden days, it was hard to find someone who shared your interests. If you were odd in even the slightest of ways, chances were that you didn't find likeminded people. Especially if you happened to be interested in the sophisticated and educated parts of our cultural heritage - books were rare, and those who had read them rarer still.

1998 were the strangest of times.

It is easy to think that this is an exaggeration of how much things have changed. That it is a simple glorification of the present, and an underestimation of the communicative capabilities of the past. A digital native's mental construction of an inferior Other that makes the present look that much better in comparison.

That might be. But I want to remind you all that I was there, back in the days when it was a hassle to get together with people. Back in the days when such a simple thing as "meet me at this place at this time" was a complicated business of logistics, probability and intentionality. Especially if one of the parties were late, and thus not at the place at the time. Were they not there because they didn't want to be there? Were they not there due to traffic?

I remind you that there were no cell phones back then. For most of human history, texting someone to ask where they are - or to tell them that you will be five minutes late due because of reasons - wasn't an option.

Things have changed. Mostly for those who suddenly find others who share their interests.

The past was a lonely place. It is a good thing it's over - only having companies for company is a poor life indeed. -

I'll see you tomorrow for part nineteen.

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