I was going to write about law C-30 and how we should be worried about privacy rights in communications, etc. Then, I went to listen to Biz Stone, at the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. Now, rather than writing about what is being done wrong, I’d rather write about what can be done right.
Generous, relaxed and quite happily contagious, Biz Stone delivered inspiration in spades. I loved (as did my colleague Isabelle) this story: one of the first things said of Twitter was this: “it’s not useful”. What does one answer to that? “Neither is ice cream, does that mean we should ban ice cream?”
Not everything should be immediately practical or a chore. That’s nice to remember, in the day-to-day toil of projects: making things enjoyable as well as practical is important to ensure adherence. It’s true for products, services and pretty much everything else, come to think of it.
But (to get back to the little birdy), that was in the beginning, before the tweets about uprisings, before Twitter in all its glorious whimsy, became a way to get info out fast and furiously in the face of oppression (during the Arab Spring for example). People saw a way to communicate, made it their own and used it to the fullest. And it worked.
Not to sound sanctimonious, but this serves to show that simple things can become much bigger than the sum of their (virtual) parts. Create one thing, but create it really well, because who knows what it can become?
Coming out of the conference, people were buzzing with ideas, floating on the “good words” of the speaker and dreaming of applying said wisdom to their own projects.
Another of Biz Stone’s quotes I loved was “there is a creative answer to every problem”. I’m writing this one on the office wall.