When I was in elementary school we used to have “library class” once a week.  At first it was when the librarian would read us a story and as we grew older it was when we would be taught mundane skills that we only realized were important later on:  how to use an index, find a book in the catalogue, read an atlas…..etc. Now I wonder with online searches, digital catalogues, and GPS’s if the newer generation still learns this in library class.  Is there even a library class anymore?   (I’m already sounding like that older generation I promised I would never be who preaches “in our day, we were taught to…)”

The point is, stealing two terms I thought were right on from the TEB Fuel Industries event with Warren Tomlin and Mike Burns, there are the digital immigrants and the digital natives.

My father was worked in computers since the 70’s . I remember the first time I accompanied him to an IBM store when I was five. Think cartoon animation when hearts would pop out of the characters eyes – the focus of my father’s adoration being the new line of BM PCs of 1988. So long story short, I’ve had a computer in my household since I was five. But I still know how to use a phone book (great example at TEB was a tween who doesn’t know how to use the yellow pages.  Why would she, she’s been using the online yellow pages all her life).  I’m used to paying for knowledge, and books and movies and music (well the music not really – work with me here). I am a digital immigrant.

I think those born with the internet in their house at the age of five are the digital natives.  Different set of skills, different set of needs, different learning curves, and different attention spans. And a new sense of how much things should cost.

There is a really interesting presentation, Disruptive by Design (note that transistor example – a great story of entrepreneurship and risk and taking a leap of faith) given by Chris Anderson, editor -in-chief of Wired Magazine about the changing economy.  Historical business models show inflation increasing the price products. The current disruptions and sense of entitlement that the internet has brought us has turned that model on its head. Now we want things to be free. If you don’t offer it for free, another business will. It’s not just social media like facebook and twitter that are facing this problem: financial services, games, real estate listings, music, movies, tv shows, newspapers, expert advice whether it be from doctors or beauticians.

Freeconomics. Now the trick is to it satisfy the masses and still make a profit. That will be interesting to watch out for.

 


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