Friday, April 2, 2010

The Future's So Bright You Gotta Wear Shades

Daniel Pink predicted it in a A Whole New Mind. Chris Anderson named it in The Long Tail.

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the FuturePink predicted that demand for "left-brain dominant knowledge workers" - lawyers, accountants, software engineers, MBAs - would decline. Why? Abundance, outsourcing, automation. He argues that the future belongs to "a different kind of person with a different kind of mind - designers, inventors, storytellers, teachers." And he was right. Look no further than the Apple Store for proof. Apple is about design. People will camp overnight to get a piece of that.

Long Tail, The, Revised and Updated Edition: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More
Chris Anderson noticed the abundance too. Any song is available for free to anyone with a computer and an Internet connection. He observed that niche products were gaining popularity while blockbusters lost marketshare. Amazon, iTunes and Ebay proved that niche products were profitable. Anderson named it The Long Tail.

What do you get when you take right brain values and add long tail availability? A world where Pink's six senses - design, story, symphony, emphathy, play and meaning - rule. You get the kind of world I want to live in.

A world where the tools of production are available to everyone, not just the elite: Wordpress, Google Docs, Squidoo, Lulu. A world where spam is ineffective. A world where people are tolerant because diversity is good for business. A world where everything is Free...or at least moving in that direction.

Phineas and Ferb: The Fast and the PhineasPhineas and Ferb get it. Phineas begins every adventure with, "Ferb, I know what we're going to do today." With the emphasis on "we". It's like we're all suddenly getting it. It's more fun to cooperate than compete.

Daniel Pink called it. Chris Anderson named it. Google, Amazon, Ebay, iTunes and opensource enable it. Seth Godin evangelizes it. Twitter, Facebook and Sprouter spread it.

Is there a new phrase we aan coin for it? Maybe "cloud consciousness"? or "opensourcity"? or "The Power of Now".

Together we can solve any problem. Maybe that's the whole point of it.

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