I found this Wired piece pretty interesting. Ev Williams is one of the Twitter founders (and more recently Medium), as well as the brains behind Blogger. That means he's been around the internet block for a bit and has been pondering all things digital for longer that most of us. At a recent XOXO conference in the US he revealed his key for internet success. And it's got nothing to do with The Next Big Idea and everything to do with convenience.
Ryan Tate for Wired writes:
Williams’ philosophy might seem pedestrian. But that’s the point. Twenty years after people began using the web en masse, it’s time, Williams said, to accept that the internet isn’t a magical universe with boundless potential. It’s just another engine for improving quality of life.
“The internet makes human desires more easily attainable. In other words, it offers convenience,” he said. “Convenience on the internet is basically achieved by two things: speed, and cognitive ease.” In other words, people don’t want to wait, and they don’t want to think — and the internet should respond to that.
Those who can tune that engine well — who solve basic human problems with greater speed and simplicity than those who came before — will profit immensely. Those who lose sight of basic human needs — who want to give people the next great idea — will have problems.
This dovetails neatly with an email exchange I had recently with the head of interactive at the Guardian. I emailed Seán Clarke asking him for a little career advice. What one skill would he suggest I hone to ensure I stand out from the rest of the digi-pack?
He said: "Don't accumulate skills which solve for problems you aren't sure exist ... Better to make the obvious beautiful than to make the beautiful obvious."
Yip. Great advice.