You know, the same things that are scarce in the “real world” are just as scarce on the Internet.
Which is odd to a lot of people, particularly those whose exuberance about the Internet and Web 2.0 resembles a kind of creepy utopianism. Don’t get me wrong — the digital age has given us a lot of potentially great tools and resources, but it’s still no cure for the human condition. As someone I deeply admire is fond of saying, “we’re in the twenty-first century technologically, but we’re still in the first century behaviorially.”
The Internet (and the digital “revolution”) has made us more connected, but still searching for intimacy:
- given us more “community,” but no greater civility
- given us more information, but no greater wisdom
- given us more opinions, but no greater enlightenment
- given us more choices, but no greater focus
And so the rules of success on the Internet will be the same as in the real world — the people who will continue to make the greatest contributions to society are the ones who can give us (or lead the way to) the things — online or off — that are most scarce in life and in work.