Thursday, April 24, 2003

Nobody believes in technology anymore. At least we don't believe in the same blind faith way that we had come to before March 10, 2001. Back in those days, it was enough to simply imagine that you could put a prefix e or i before any concept, and it would sell.

But the house of cards built by the investment banks and the brokers on the savings of cardiologists and dentists who wanted to get rich quickly has collapsed.

Since we didn't really understand what was happening with digitization, we've changed our tune. We shifted our stance -- no longer a tribe of the faithful, but now, a tribe of doubters. Not a healthy doubt or skepticism, but a blind one.

This blindness and unbelief has not been without its benefits. Through painful loss, we have once again learned that stock analysis from "industry experts" is just another point of view that must be squared against reality. We now know that real work needs to be done in order to be successful. Powerpoint slides cannot tell us about the future.

What does tell us about the future?

Experience, our own life experience.

We need actual experiences to believe -- to get what powerpoint cannot provide. Experiences are the way that we can access our entire being as an interface -- our arms, legs, eyes, ears, gut, and mind.

This is a Catch-22. You need to have components of the future in order to build compelling experiences. These need to come from researchers, as they always have. The research needs to be funded so that innovative researchers are paid and incented. In order to raise funds, you need to convince funders that what you have is valuable. Without powerpoint and faith, what kind of tool can be used to make the case for investment?

We need a new medium. We need to use technology like clay to sculpt new experiences so that we can gain and share a glimpse of the future. We need to learn how to use technology to create evocative knowledge objects. Not just once, but as a new medium.

We're taking a crack at this challenge.

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