Every year I come back from Gnomedex with a sense of perspective. A better understanding of where I am on the technology continuum (for lack of a better term).
Future: That space way out on the edge of what we already know about and what the smart kids at Google and Amazon and eBay et al. are dreaming up.
Present: This is what I think of as “state of the art.” People and companies in this Present have a good grasp of all the current technologies and tools and are using them every day. Everybody fully in the Present has a clue and is standing on tiptoe, peering into the mists of the Future.
Past: Where we’ve been. Valuable only in terms of how it helps us understand our place in the Present and the Future.
There were some very bright people at this year’s Gnomedex (and a few of us got in because we had $500) and as I listened to the discussions, I began seeing the image above in my head.
Learfield –the company I work for– is very successful. We are primarily a marketing and sales company with strong ties to what is frequently referrred to these days as “old media” (Radio and TV). Like all companies, we use the Internet extensively and we’re searching for ways to use it more effectively. But we’re not in the Present I described above. How far back up the road are we? I’m not sure. Perhaps we’re like those NASCAR drivers that get in behind the leaders and draft along until we see an opening.
And I’m only about five minutes ahead because this is all I think and read about. And even that small gap is narrowing.
Attending Gnomedex is like cresting a hill and –for just a few minutes– I can see some of the smart kids way off on the horizon, running toward the future. I won’t catch them, but it’s nice to get a glimpse every now and then.