It was during a phone call where someone was describing the different uses for their marketing copy that it struck me what kind of nuances we take for granted in the world. Some populations of people don’t access to the internet by choice, and that’s a personal decision that provides them with a level of enrichment they find very important to their way of life, but also alienating in many ways in our digital future.
The same population of people was known for riding bikes and this particular call was about how the latest and greatest in mechanical transportation had changed. Yet this great print source of information had been compromised by the growing competition for online retail. The cost of producing the print information was sidelined by the effort it would take to go through a manual process to create that catalog. The interests of these people were not lucrative enough alone to justify the continuation of this storied format. The catalog and the people were cast aside in our digital future.
It’s cases like this in my career that make me see the work that’s done in business as more than the effect the world can have on our bottom line when we put our efforts forward. It makes me think about how the world is kept afloat through the collective profiteering of everyone, and how we serve human interests in our own everyday lives.
The thought comes to most everyone I know all the time about what would happen if the internet were to come to a grinding halt, spiraling us quickly back to what we see today as the virtual stone age. In some way or another, many of us find it foreign to imagine coordinating a meeting in a square on the fly with someone for coffee when there’s a bajillion Starbucks and only texting to get us to the right one.
It is not simply about having resources, but being resourceful, that is the best way to put a foot forward. Being able to resort to the common language of need and satisfaction through innovation. Doing more with less has been the name of the game for as long as there’s been competition. In the end, we’ve been able to serve populations through technology, and we should see it as such. Not that technology has served us. The difference, though, is to be read between the lines.