Are you a Commodore 64?

“We need to shift away from the notion of technology managing information and toward the idea of technology as a medium of relationships.”

This appears to be a quote from your favorite social media expert, right? It’s not; it’s from a book entitled No More Teams! by Michael Schrage and it rocks. What’s interesting to me about the book, aside from the content, is when it was published: back in 1990. I was just out of high school (and a life of reading GQ magazine, cutting class, and obsessing over girls). This is before Apple and Microsoft transformed the world. This is back when you had to program computers to make them do anything (Anyone remember Commodore 64s? Probably not.). So the idea of technology enabling people to build relationships must have seemed far-fetched, to say the least. Of course now computers can do almost anything with regards to the storage and processing of information. And we take for granted that platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, et al., are highly conducive mediums for building relationships. So for the author to make such a spot-on observation about the future of technology and workplace trends just blows my mind.

This and other statements in the book made me realize that while it’s impossible to truly predict the future, you can and should continue to embrace it. Not doing so means getting left behind and possibly not being able to regain what’s lost. As the saying goes “The wake doesn’t drive the boat.” While it’s important to reflect on past events, it’s through forward facing thoughts and actions that anything of note gets done. It also prevents you from being content with past success, which doesn’t guarantee future progress. Or, as Jeremy Gutsche says in Exploiting Chaos: “Be careful to look beyond your own hill of competency.”

So if there’s anything you should take away from this post, it’s this:

  • Work hard and take pride in your success
  • Don’t trust that what works today will work tomorrow
  • Keep an eye on the future

And most importantly…

Don’t be a Commodore 64.

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