Experience matters only to the degree that the future’s going to be like the past. From day one, our hiring priorities were brains, talent and passion. Everything else you can teach.
—Chuck Porter, in Hoopla
I ran across this post in Google Reader and I was about to re-share it, but I think the link warrants its own post…
The basic premise revolves around ad/creative/media agencies adapting to the changing landscape of communication (most unsuccessfully). I’ve seen a lot of these types of posts recently (either due to New Year’s resolutions or the economy), but this particular post really stood out to me.
Basically, I think you can take two approaches to radical shifts in the way the world works: think/discuss/worry about it or jump right in—just try something, learn what does and doesn’t work and go from there.
Wait for it…
With the wait and see approach, you probably won’t fail (immediately); you continue doing what you’ve done so well, maybe jump in when the time is right and if your timing is good, you’ll continue doing well. On the flip-side, you could jump in too late (or not at all) and when the balance shifts, you’ll be left in the dust.
Just Do It
With the latter, jump right it approach, the odds are you’re more likely to fail than succeed, but you’re likely to learn a lot more in the process. Your assumptions will change. You’ll have a clearer picture of what your audience actually wants. You could make money offering consulting services to the Waiters : )
In the projects I’ve been involved in recently, I’ve been better served by diving in—I tend to procrastinate, so the time I normally spend thinking about what I need to do (aka putting it off) is better spent just working on the problem and iterating as needed.
Which camp are you in?
Pew / Internet just released their latest installment of “The Future of the Internet” where they ask various people what the Internet will be like 20 years from now. I think the fact that this is only Pew’s 3rd installment in the series speaks volumes.
Think about where the internet was 20 years ago — heck — 10 years ago and you can see it’s daunting to even attempt and imagine what anything will be like 20 years from now. I’d be tempted to guess jetpacks for everyone (solar-powerered, natch), food in pill form and (tastefully) metallic clothing. That, or a zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic dust bowl with ragged clothing.
With a quick scan through the responses to a question about the future mobile technology, I’d peg a lot of the predictions becoming reality in the next 2 – 5 years (if they’re not already here now. For example, “Voice recognition and touch user-interfaces with the internet will be more prevalent and accepted by 2020.” Somebody should get these folks an iPhone.
Another example; “The divisions between personal time and work time and between physical and virtual reality will be further erased for everyone who is connected, and the results will be mixed in their impact on basic social relations” — I think that’s in my job description.
On a semi-related note, Kevin Kelly has a great talk on the next 6,500 days of the web. His position—which I agree with—is the web of the future will be radically different that what we know and love today.
Hat tip to Advertising Lab