The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Data is Everywhere but Context is Rare

We were doing an exercise this week to look at problems differently. Part of it was to look at current trends and determine what is going to be abundant and what effect that has on our thinking. So for example going out a decade or so, there will be something like 16 times as much compute capacity as we have today (for a similar cost). There should be about 500 times as much storage capacity.


On the other hand, there are some things that will still be rare. I’ve written before about the fixed nature of human attention. Another constraint that is likely to be fixed is the context of the information. With tiny “smart” devices, processors and sensors being imbedded in everything we’ll be wading in information. Having enough context to consume it effectively will always be tough.


Context is made up of the metadata about the data and the result of weaving it together into an effective presentation. This process seems like an area that is under-addressed in the current mania around web 2.0 and enterprise 2.0. Looking at a situation from the implications of scarcity and abundance can shift your thinking and hopefully result in some innovative solutions.

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