I haven’t heard much of anything good in the news lately – the economy #FAIL, swine flu, Apple raising prices on itunes songs. And I won’t even start on the weather as of late. Last time I checked my zip code was in Washington DC, not Seattle.
BUT – being a die-hard half-glass full kind of person I’d thought I’d summarize some of the happy realities I am realizing to be increasingly more true despite all of the dismal doom and gloom we read about everyday in the paper (or maybe more realistically on Twitter).
I’ve always believed that “good luck” is actually more a matter of “good efforts.” Yes, it is true that there is an element of random “right place, right time” with good happenings – indeed, you can be sitting on an airplane at the age of 22 and meet the CEO of your dream job who then recruits you after he registers your value-adding insights and hears examples of your indefatigable work ethic – BUT, this can happen easier, faster, and more repeatedly when constant shock waves of effort are put out there (ie; show up more).
So here’s the good stuff in the news right now (at least for me). Indisputably, we live in a world that is becoming flatter, faster, and a place where it is easier to become famous (hello blog-o-maniacs). We are connected from morning till night where you can find out in less than 60 seconds the name of your second-grade teacher’s chocolate lab and the last article she read 20 minutes ago – even if you haven’t heard a peep from her in 20 years. A few years ago, if you met a cool person at an event and didnt get their number or business card, chances are you’d never be able to hunt them down ever again unless you ran in the same social circles. I remember about 7 years ago Boston.com (the online piece of the Boston Globe where I interned) had a service where you could put messages out on a public forum with hopes that the person you wanted to find would stumble upon your message, look you up, and you’d do great things together, like start dating, or entrepreneur a company, or return the hat they dropped on the train. To me, this sounds like stars colliding. Now, all you have to do to find this person is google them, peruse through their web footprint, and friend them on Facebook.
We now live in an age where opportunity is sent to us in a fruit basket every day, every hour – practically every minute if we’re willing to take up the offer. The technologies to connect with people, to express opinions, and to “engage” wait patiently at our fingertips – waiting for us to click return. For people who feel stuck – in anything – there are hardly any excuses. “You miss every shot you don’t take.” But now there are infinite possibilities with a new definition of “infinite.” Want to introduce yourself to a colleague you heard speaking at an event but didn’t get a chance to introduce yourself to? Find them on LinkedIn! Want to share ideas with a total stranger whose blog you’ve been reading but otherwise would never have the chance to meet? Hello GovLoop! Want to put an idea out into the twittersphere and get back ideas otherwise nearly impossible to garner? Tweet away!
Essentially, all that is required here is simply the act of doing so. The technologies are already built and are growing by the nanosecond. Caveat – I guess I am on the side that technology actually does “connect” people vs. leaving them holed up in their house, hunched over their computer, losing basic human interaction skills by the minute.
Social media is re-writing the channels for marketing. For the first time, really ever, customers are voluntarily offering up details about their life, passions, and favorite cereals. And likewise, the channels for opportunity are being re-written. We now have the opportunity to uncover more information than ever before, by simply clicking “Search.”
Technology is opening up infinite channels for conversation, creativity, and curiosity. The real question is – what will we do with all of it?
PS – of course there are some cons to all of this and obviously nothing is perfect – but I’d rather see good ideas spread than swine flu.