Junk mail is not named correctly. It should be called Research Mail, Zeitgeist Mail or something much more complementary.
Here’s a list of great things it does:
- It tells us what people think they can sell
- It tells us the price of things, probably our competitors
- It tells us who can afford to advertise
- It tells us the economic conditions of the day via the discounts made
- It display the advances in technology
- It tells us what’s hot
- It keeps us in touch with the business environment more than the Wall Street Journal does
It’s an entrepreneurs best friend. Startup blog says read your junk mail.
When our genes could not store all the information necessary for our survival, we slowly invented brains. But then the time came, maybe tens of thousands of years ago, that we needed to know more than could be conveniently stored in brains. So we learned to stockpile enormous amounts of information outside our bodies. We are the only species as far as we know to have developed a communal memory, and the warehouse of that memory is called the library.
Something extraordinary has been happening on the planet earth. Rich information from distant lands and peoples , has become routinely available. Computers can now store and process enormous amounts of information extremely rapidly. In our time a revolution has begun. A revolution perhaps as significant as the evolution of DNA and nervous systems and the invention of writing. Direct communication among billions of human beings is now made possible by computers and satellites. The potential for a global intelligence is emerging, linking all the brains on earth into a planetary consciousness.
The above words were spoken 29 years ago by Carl Sagan (in Cosmos 1980). Well before the personal computer revolution, the graphical user interface, before the internet had left military installations and Universities. Carl was a prophet, with great insight. He’s just described our world so poignantly, well before it arrived.
It makes me excited to be able to share my thoughts so easily, like Carl said we would all this time ago. It makes me want to ensure my digital contribution is positive and leaves a valuable legacy. It makes me want to make sure we all know how important this gift of omnipresent communication is, at a time when our species needs to collaborate so strongly for our survival.
Now that we can so quickly enter the minds of others, we should all make sure our contributions are positive, that we add something of value to this collective consciousness.
If we added up all the men, and all the women on our planet, we’d find that, on average, the typical adult human being had exactly one breast and one testicle. Yet how many people actually fit that description?
Statistics are used the create meaning. Yet, very often they create the opposite. In a world for of numbers, statistics and analytics (yes, even the Google kind) we are better off deciding what we want to find out, than we are looking at the available statistics and asking what they mean.
Startup Blog says: First decide what you want to find out, then devise a way to measure it.
There is nothing less valuable in startup world than people telling you what to do, while they are doing very little themselves.
Traffic Directors I call them.
These days information and ideas are cheap. The thing of great value is when people start and finish projects. It’s so valuable simply because it’s so rare. In fact that’s true leadership.
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We diversify our asset portfolios to reduce risk. To reduce the risk of a particular asset losing value, declining, getting stolen, lost, or broken. We store our assets in safes and banks and put locks on them. We even insure our assets.
If information is the new ‘asset’ – Why do we keep all our assets in only 1 or 2 devices? Just a laptop, a brain, maybe an iphone or external hard drive. Why don’t we diversify their location, or even afford them other types of protection?
Maybe they should be shared instead, and not hidden or locked up. Maybe the sharing of the asset will stimulate it’s growth. Maybe…. But there is little doubt they ought be protected.
image by Austin Kleon
words by Steve from rentoid.com