It’s about time that I set a general outline for this blog, that I laid out what I really want to write about, what fascinates me, what can get me talking for hours (just ask my friends…). In a nutshell, it’s the impact that communication technology has on the way we work and live. I’m not an academic, but I have spent 14 years working in e-commerce in Spain, and while that gave me a privileged position from which to witness and experience the technological and cultural changes Spain is still… um, enjoying?, it also made me realise how little I know. And how much there is to learn.
(image via Unsplash)
I sold my business at the end of last year, and after a few months of clearing my head and my computer files and the cupboards in my house, I started reading… As all entrepreneurs know, we don’t get a lot of time to read, and I confess that a lot of the new ideas and trends had passed me by somewhat unnoticed… (Yes, I’ll happily go into how not to get too absorbed in your work at another time, not that I know much about that…). Now I spend my time looking at the forest, not the trees, and while I do still love the detail (I’m a statistician by training), it’s the big changes that fascinate me. And there’s so many of them.
Things have changed so much since I started working in the Internet 14 years ago. Back then, when I was setting up the business (an e-commerce portal), seasoned investors and financial advisers said, and I’m really not joking, “But nobody buys on the Internet…” We couldn’t find a logistics provider willing to work with an e-commerce company because they didn’t think it had much future. And strangely enough, I still hear similar statements today, obviously about different things. “I don’t understand Facebook”. “Snapchat is just a fad”. “The sharing economy will never work.” And who knows, maybe they’re right, but one thing we have to have learnt over the past 15 years is that our collective mindset has huge capacity for change.
(image via Death to the Stock Photo)
Back then, who would have thought that the largest encyclopaedia would be written by us, without being paid? Or that we would want to take photos of our lives and share them with the world, several times a day? Or that we would have access to top-level university courses, for free? Obviously these things no longer surprise us, and I love dwelling on what will cease to surprise us in the years to come. And how the increasing use of wireless technology will continue to bring down barriers, create efficiencies and generate cultural wealth, while forcing us to re-think jobs, copyright and what the definition of freedom is.
So this blog will document my journey of discovery, my arguments with myself and others, the debates, the surprises, the “you gotta be kiddings”, and the awe in which I hold human ingenuity, creativity and adaptability.