Programming the Window of Opportunity
This is a really awesome talk by author and media theorist Douglas Rushkoff at Google HQ recently. He focuses on some extremely thought provoking concepts for everyone to consider about the digital world we live in. I wanted to share this because I think it’s especially important to think about right now if you’re in Internet marketing.
It’s 55 minutes long, but worth every minute of it in terms of thinking about the future of your business, your life, and your children in the digital age.
Two main points he talks about that I’d like to highlight are:
1. Programming = Literacy
Rushkoff discusses how programming vs. using is to the digital age what writing vs. reading is to text, and what speaking vs. listening is to language…and perhaps the most pertinent point about that is, programming is probably just as big and important today as writing or speaking were at the dawn of those ages.
He mentions that many people feel programming is like being an auto mechanic, and feel they don’t need to know what’s under the hood to use the car. However, Rushkoff rightly points out that instead, programming is more like the difference of being a driver vs. just a passenger.
I tend to agree with all of this…strongly. I don’t subscribe to the mindset many internet marketers have of “forget learning the techy stuff, just outsource it”. Outsourcing or hiring people for things like programming in production mode is one thing and certainly sensible, but not even learning or understanding it is another. As an Internet marketer, if you don’t even attempt to learn or understand programming, I believe your creativity will be stifled, you won’t understand what other marketers around you are doing, and as a result you’ll find yourself increasingly handicapped while other more literate marketers flourish.
2. Peer to Peer Exchange of Real Value
The other thing Rushkoff focuses on in this talk, and many other of his talks and writings, is working towards bringing out an exchange of real value directly between each other.
The more we can work toward developing technologies that bring humans directly together in meaningful ways to exchange value, without all the gunk (corporate machines) in the middle, the more we can get on with good solid business between each other without value being extracted from us in the process.
I think this is important for internet marketers in everything from the products you choose to promote, the products you create, and how you deliver or share those products with people, and what you develop. We can develop useful technology and applications that really break the mold and introduce people to things and creative ways of exchanging value they hadn’t thought of before.