Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Exhibit A: You Tube

Surprise! YouTube was named invention of the year by Time Magazine today and before you make any conclusions about how this might be a lame choice I urge you to read this post.

At first glance this may seem like a fairly obvious choice as it involved an astronomical billion-dollar transaction and everyone's favorite company Google. However, there is more to this selection than initially meets the eye. As I see it, this is a slap in the face to those who believe the Internet revolution is over. Within the currently rebounding yet still subdued economy, now extremely weary of the technology industry, it appears that there is still the possibility for innovation to continue to break the mold of the traditional career patterns.

The story of YouTube is an instant classic, the adventure of three twenty-year-olds who refused to accept the status quo and make a gamble of their own on the ever-evolving information superhighway through coming up with a new idea. In doing so, they not only harnessed both the web 2.0 movement and the recent highly accessible nature of video cameras, but changed the way people think about entertainment and are entertained. This has huge implications for the job market.

Most people believe that career patterns have changed because of the information revolution. Individuals are no longer able to be effective at what they do without continuously learning throughout their lifetime. This does not mean that everyone has to go to night school or even an online university, but it does mean that information disseminates quicker than ever before and if you are not up to date, you are slowly left behind. It is impossible to be a car mechanic and work on newer vehicles or even a good doctor these days without being current on the newest methods of repair and procedures. In many ways, not having knowledge of widely available information can be considered a form of negligence.

As a result, most people have either become complacent about eventually being obsolete or have harnessed new job models where they must remain dynamic to stay in the game. However, this group of young entrepreneurs took their ideas one step further than casual conversation and acceptance of their jobs at PayPal in upholding the idea that not only has the nature of our careers changed permanently, but that the entrepreneurship that has been associated with the rise of the Internet is alive, well, and here to stay.

This is a perfect example of how our lives have fundamentally changed for the better and how we must evolve to continue to harness the opportunities it provides. There are many more out there.

"Stay hungry, stay foolish." - Steve Jobs


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