Friday, October 17, 2008

Why web 2.0 innovation is becomes more difficult the older you get....

I've been thinking lately that the hardest thing about innovation with web 2.0 tools these days is not related to age specifically. It is a function of the last finite resource in a world of ambient findability: attention.

College students are often early adopters of innovative technology because they have an excess of time and attention. The older a person gets the more their time is "value added" with job and family commitments. Time does not equal money. Time = value. To the extent that a person values their job, their family, their hobbies, their health, they will spend time on it. Once those habits of time investment are established, investing in a technology that was invented a few days or months ago seems foolish. Often it is foolish. But the power of Web 2.0 technology exceeds the printing press. This is why investing the time to explore and discover new technologies is ultimately worthwhile.

Web 2.0 is really just a new kind of city. It is millions of people who are opening themselves up for real human connection. Investing time in connecting with these people is very important, even if the means of that connection changes so often that it requires a seemingly excessive amount of time to do it.

This will mean a divestment of time in other things for those who have good and healthy habits of investment in other things. I have divested time spent watching TV. I watch very little TV anymore. It is boring, static and feels like a waste of time when compared with finding my friends and new ideas and technologies in a Web 2.0 world. I believe most people have a slice of time that could be reinvested in Web 2.0 that would improve their life far more than what they used to spend that time on.

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