Wednesday, October 9, 2013

BIG’s Blog: I Have Been Challenged – Mail Bag

My blog readers are smarter than the average bear (reference to the famous Yogi Bear for my Millennial readers). While I haven’t heard from all of my readers, it constantly amazes me when I get an email out of the blue with a thoughtful comment from somebody I have never met, but knows me through my blog. So keep those cards and letters (speaking metaphorically) coming.

Apparently some time back I must have touched a nerve with some of my readers. The statement of mine was, “it doesn’t just feel that things are moving faster, they actually are.”

I got several comments about that statement that is best summarized by Mr. GM. “Mike, I think you just need to take a break from reading tech publications (how did he know I read tech publications??). The world isn’t spinning any faster, it just seems that way as you age.”

Ouch . . . thanks for reminding me of my last birthday, GM. I’ve run GM’s comment past some of my baby boomer friends and colleagues and they pretty much agree with GM.

So I guess I am still the odd man out since I really believe that we are experiencing something here that the world has never experienced before. Something is new. And I believe what many are missing is that the invention of the Internet is changing and at the same time speeding up society in many ways we have never seen before.

First and foremost, the Internet is about connecting people in as close to real time as possible. But in connecting people, ideas spread and iterate at a faster pace than we have ever seen. If an article gets published in your print newspaper and you want to share it, you used to have to copy it and mail it. Today, articles published in print publications are also published in digital form online . . . and the ability to share is enhanced by multiples we have never seen before.

An often forgotten, but very important point is that each of us who reads something brings our own perspectives (background, wisdom, and insights) to the idea or perspective that the writer has shared. And one of the people who read that article might have a slightly different insight or connects a dot that the reader was missing. This allows the reader to iterate the original idea, thus creating a leap of thought or insight. The original idea has now grown.

There is an old saying: “Two heads are better than one.” Well, then, what are 325 million (the current population of the U.S.) heads worth? With the democratization of technology and computing power that now can be literally in everyone’s hands, ideas (or art) that used to take years to iterate, now take days or hours.

How fast is this technology moving into our hands?

In 2011. . . 96 million smartphones in the U.S. and 13% of all Internet traffic was mobile.

Today . . . 230 million smartphones in the U.S. and 39% of all Internet traffic is mobile and is expected to hit 50%+ by the end of this year.

We’ve never experienced anything like this and its impact is changing things.

Are we moving faster?

Join us.

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