Note: Once a month a select group of clients and friends on 6 continents receive Market Intelligence, a longer edition of my thoughts and advice. Since many of them are now blogging, I've decided to offer it each month here in the Fool's Box, as well.
Market Intelligence - October 2005
Knowledge is Over-rated
The basic ingredients to nearly everything are a collection of commodities. You can distill it all down to sand & gravel, ones & zeros, time & space. Knowledge itself is ubiquitous. We are living in a post-information age when everyone has access to everything.
Philip Evans and Thomas S. Wurster in Blown to Bits: How the New Economics of Information Transforms Strategy (1999-Harvard Business Press) call this the "deconstruction of [traditional] information" channels. They make the point that having information is not nearly as critical as knowing what to do with it.
I'm one of those people who thrive on knowing new stuff. If I don't learn a new thing every day, I feel as though I've been cheated out of a pleasure.
And I don't mind sneezing what I've learned to anyone who'll listen because the knowledge itself isn't worth much more than a pocketful of pebbles. When I pass along knowledge, I haven't given up anything because the real value - the worthwhile intellectual property - exists in my ability to fashion IDEAS from the knowledge I've obtained.
- Knowledge, facts, data, ingredients, time, space, experience - are ALL over-rated as something to horde or keep to one's self. Holding on to what you KNOW only gains you an advantage among those who lack the ability to execute new ideas based on the pebbles in their pocket.
Until next month,
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