Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Information Age

The prevailing question nowadays seems to be how you can circumvent the Business School process, save $100,000 dollars, and still come out on top with all the knowledge for free.

I got news for you.

You can't.

But there are activities you can do and materials you can procure that will sharpen your business acumen and critical reasoning skills.

Here's what I mean.

Recently, I was at a seminar in which deans from top MBA programs in NYC were convened to talk about the admissions process.

There were 5 up on stage - 3 of them agreed that if it weren't for the networking opportunities at B school, everything you get at B school can be attained by suscribing to The Economist.

I was shocked.

In private, I spoke to's CEO, who has a MBA/JD, and he also concurred.

I then remembered that the world we live in is more Information Rich than that of our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents.


They had no choice - it was either academia or ignorance.

Books were expensive and harder to attain.

Jeff Bezos wasn't even born yet and a Mac was still a hamburger.

Today, things are obviously quite different.

I'm reading Thomas Friedman's new book "The World is Flat" right now and the premise of his book is that because of certain key events (he calls them "flatteners") like outsourcing, insourcing, offshoring, the Fall of Communism, and Netscape's IPO, the world has transformed itself into a boundary-less playing field in which data, information, media, and opinion flow like water.

The internet is especially key because it, simply put, democratizes everything.

I really recommend everyone read this book.

My grandparents never had luxuries like Google, Investopedia, or Wikipedia.

Today, I can read everthing related to business, finance, economics, marketing, technology, media, Wall street, the stock markets, venture capitalism, & the internet without leaving my apartment.

All while in my underwear, with pizza crumbs all over me and food in the oven.

The rise of blogs has also created a vast new network of information dissemination.

Never before have so many people across so many disparate cultures been this linked.

The Internet has transformed every social and business practice imaginable.

For example, today more and more people are getting their news from blogs than they are from mainstream media (MSM).

Makes sense, considering the MSM allegedly obfuscated the Bush/Kerry wartime records situation and bloggers were the first ones to shine a Wood Lamp on the truth.

MSM is filled with bias; the blogosphere is not.

This is why Weblogs, Inc CEO Jason Calacanis calls blogging another version of Citizen's Media.

In the meantime, the voices on CNNfn, CNBC, and Bloomberg News are becoming the soundtrack of our lives.

The Information Age is truly incredible.

Information simply doesn't stop.

Ubiquity is its defining characteristic.

When you have a minute, head on down to Times Square and look up at the Dow Jones Zipper.

You'll know what I mean.

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