Sunday, March 07, 2010

#764: on being digital at RhinoGATOR

On oldie, but a goodie I would suggest that Nicholas Negroponte is one of the sharpest minds on planet earth. I get the sense that he has never, ever had a linear thought. Yet I am sure that if he did, he would admit it post haste. I have owned his book, being digital for years. Skimmed it a time or two. Mostly when he pops up on my radar screen. Like during the press coverage of One Laptop Per Child. But the truth is, I never "got it" — the message that is, until this morning. Sure, I might be a poster boy of sorts for "being digital" based on several of my adventures since launching a full-time consultancy back in the day (1998, to help clarify the time line) that was 100% virtual. And yes, my time at Lexis-Nexis moving a number of projects from "atoms to bits" as Negroponte might say were also big on digital as the internet came to the forefront of numerous otherwise analog business entities. But I digress... What was different today? I started at the beginning. Of the book; you know, with the Introduction. How novel. At least it is for me. My backlog of books that need read is simply too large to be manageable. Plus, they must compete with all the books that I re-read as I navigate through various projects, seeking answers to specific queries. Another interesting dynamic is in play this morning: the book is copyright 1995. Why does that matter fifteen years later? Exactly. Too subtle? Negroponte makes a number of predictions, some of which he suggests are 25 years away (like the competition of Cable with Telcos for your home digital requirements) that are just now, today, true. Only 15 years into his future. Turns out that I did myself a favor by waiting until today to start this landmark book. As I love to quote, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." One of my favorite and oft turned phrases during my mentoring sessions... but absolutely "spot on" this morning. So what led to my picking this book out of the pile? A digital conversation yesterday with a fellow entrepreneur about my beloved RhinoGATOR™. He was explaining (once again) why the ship has sailed on Job Boards or Job Search web sites. I am happy to give him his due in his field of study, but in our brief conversations, I am unwilling to explain the breakthrough that makes us different from every other site. So he somewhat believes that he is doing me a service by alerting me to the pitfalls ahead. And for that, I am grateful. One more reason to "measure twice, but cut only once" as the carpenter might suggest. But the principal that was reinforced in my reading today (among others) was the section on "The Economy of Sales." In my words, not all data is created equal. As Negroponte queries in this section, "Are some bits worth more than others?" Most definitely! He tells of his brokerage account that is "affordable" for him and other non-professional traders because the feed is delayed fifteen minutes. Professional stockbrokers pay a premium for the real time feed. In the world of marketing the value proposition is a leverage point worthy of much study. Which dovetails nicely into one of the concepts that Jack Welch learned from Peter Drucker. Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey (843) 564-4754 ©2010 Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey. All rights reserved.
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