Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

It is a blast being alive today, or isn’t technology cool?

I am chuckling and getting a kick out of being alive in 2011.

Just downloaded two books, one is 1,100 pages long and the other 1,400 pages.  I’m doing a technical review of a book and before lunch asked the editor for a copy of the prior year resource, which was in 2 volumes.  The editor spent a few seconds uploading files to yousendit.com and an automatic e-mail went out saying it was available.   After lunch I read the note, clicked a link, clicked the download button and waited a massive 15 or 30 seconds for the file to download.  A click on the zip file, a double-click on the two PDF files, and I am looking at two books totaling 2500 pages.  The books are stored on my computer and I can carry them with me wherever I go.

Isn’t that cool?

No one in the warehouse had to pull the book off the shelf.  Didn’t have to pack it up.  Didn’t have to spend $10 or $20 to ship across country.  I didn’t have to wait two or five days for it to arrive.  I didn’t have to drive to my mailbox to pick it up.  I don’t have to store 10 pounds of paper on my shelf.  I can easily look at it as I’m doing the technical review of the new editions.  I can easily carry the books with me when I’m done with the project.

All it took to deliver one more unit was a couple of minutes of effort by the editor and a dozen or so clicks by me so that I can look at 2,500 pages on my screen a few hours later.  Oh, most of the time delay is because I was at lunch.

Isn’t that cool?  Isn’t this a great time to be alive?

Expressed differently, there was zero incremental cost to print another copy of two volumes totaling 2500 pages, no incremental cost to ship cross-country, no incremental cost to store it in my office, and an inconsequential amount of time to go from the editor’s desk to my office. Yet I have access to an astounding amount of knowledge, just as if all that extra effort and time and money had been spent.

Please ponder the astounding change from merely 10 years ago.  As I pondered this today, I was laughing in amazement.  Can you smile with me?

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One thought on “It is a blast being alive today, or isn’t technology cool?

  1. I’m smiling with you, Jim. The ability to carry books on my iPod and Kindle has been very convenient when traveling. Book are much more affordable in digital format (thinking of ebooks from Amazon for the Kindle and the Kindle app for my iPod).

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