Friday, August 04, 2006

Vision of the Future...or...How Google Changed the World

The amount of information that is available to most people is astonishing. Through the power of Google and the Internet, we can find an absurd amount of information on any subject, and often, with a lot more detail than what we're looking for.

This has had a lot of impact on specialists in today's society. Doctors are faced with patients who tell them that their diagnosis differs from what they read on WebMD, lawyers are being quoted case law by those who they represent, and all of a sudden, everyone knows how to hotwire a car or defuse a bomb.

Knowledge used to be defined as "what you know". However, anyone skilled at the use of Internet search engines will tell you that knowledge is defined as "what you can find". I don't know how to change a tire on a car, but I know where to find out how to do it.

So what does that mean for today's business world? For starters, everyone is on an even playing field, because everyone has access to the same information. The Internet is a mine of information ripe for the picking. Since everyone, in theory, can find out the same things, what will set the best and brightest apart from the rest, is how successfully they will be able to pick out trends and patterns out of that information, and intelligently push the boundaries of critical thinking and innovation. These people, the natural problem solvers, will no longer be limited by their own knowledge and experience, but will be able to tap into the collective knowledge and experience of society through the Internet. I can't wait to see what kind of innovations we'll see in the future as a result.


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