Big Information and Innovation
Is there a way to break free of big tech and big information and unleash more innovation?
While it may seem like big information has a stranglehold over us, I am wondering if there are viable small tech alternatives that would lead to more innovation.
While big tech gains more control over just about everything, small tech has the opportunity to change the game to truly enable people to work effectively.
We are suffering from a massive communication problem. The problem is not lack of quantity or lack of channels. The problem is lack of quality. Quality communication is about clarity, sufficient detail and expressing more viewpoints in a considerate way.
Quality communication is the next killer app, but it won’t be on your phone or on Twitter or Google.
The era of asynchronous communication has enabled some remarkable collaboration, but it is also bit of a disaster with many unintended consequences. There is only so much information that any one individual can handle during a given time period. Receiving many short batches of information from many different people over a period of time leads to lots of undesirable outcomes.
The written record that email provides has advantages, but it does not have any bearing on the ability of the person on the receiving end of the email to do anything about it.
While phone calls and in-person communication are ultimately subject to the same capacity issues, they do provide a brief period of synchronous communication.
Every human processes information differently and this makes information systems problematic. The built-in flexibility to accommodate different approaches, comes at a cost.
After more than 30 years of widespread use, business email practices are still inconsistent and frankly weird. Many technologies have popped beside email to try to deal with its flaws, but now email coexists with these other tools.
Tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack don’t really solve the problem. It is not better, it is just more channels
Email is relatively easy to send, but harder to actively receive. Batching email monitoring is considered a best practice, but the value of this is limited.
The perceived cost of sending and receiving email is low, but the actual organizational cost is much higher. Hidden information queues and backlogs permeate all layers of the organization
The ability to process more information has not really given us the ability to pro process more information.
Adding layers of artificial intelligence on top of big information is not going to improve the quality of communication.