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

Information revolution impact assessment in the balance


level.pngThere was a recent article in The Futurist discussing The Information Revolution's BROKEN PROMISES that was a bit disturbing – at least to me.


It described 8 grand promises that seemed to have fallen short:

  1. The Internet Will Create a "New Economy"

  2. The Internet Will Create a World Community

  3. The Digital Age Will Make Us All Get Smarter

  4. The Digital Generation Will Save Us

  5. Digital Technologies Will Narrow the Wealth Gap

  6. The Internet Will Spread Democracy

  7. The Internet Will Make Us Better Informed

  8. Everyone Gets to Be a Publisher

I found the article an example of how we can perceive things vs. what the masses actually wanted. In many cases, we did reach that these promise defined, it’s just that the article’s author didn’t like the results and viewed them as being off-center. Let’s just take the last two:

  • The Internet will make us better informed – There is no doubt there is more information out there from more perspectives than we could ever access back in the 80s. It is true that we can self-select down into some very narrow views of the world if we want but we can also broaden our view to encompass implications that were unimaginable from the isolated views available in the pre-internet age.

  • Everyone gets to be a publisher – It doesn’t take much investment to get your perspective out to others in a wide variety of formats: e-books, blogs, podcasts… Yes, the quality varies widely, but what did the author expect. Just because most people can go outside and walk/run doesn’t mean we’ll all be able to run a world-class marathon, the first time out (or ever).

We can all bemoan the gap between the ideal and reality for the masses, since there will always be a gap. What we control is our own contribution and effect – are we making the most of the internet revolution. It is better to take responsibility, invest and attempt to take control rather than sit on the sidelines and jeer at the performance of others.


Perspective business and technical leaders should take this view, since it is almost the definition of leadership. Don’t let perfection be the barrier to good enough. What changes can be made to improve our products and services using the abundance of capabilities available today? Who needs that little bit of help in getting the ball down the field? We can all help make it happen.


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