Speaking of Isaac Newton. The Cambridge Digital Library:
“Cambridge University Library holds the largest and most important collection of the scientific works of Isaac Newton (1642-1727). We present here an initial selection of Newton’s manuscripts, concentrating on his mathematical work in the 1660s. Over the next few months we will be adding further works until the majority of our Newton Papers are available on this site.”
Well, there goes the weekend.
I have a few friends that are very different from me. While they do use the Internet to look up information from time-to-time and they use their phones to pull up maps, check sports scores, and check email – they don’t use the Internet to communicate. They don’t use Twitter or Facebook – though they’ve heard of both – and they don’t read or write blogs.
Some of these friends think that if they don’t do these things no one else does. Or, they think that those that do are just young kids and not their customers. They are dead wrong.
This sentiment goes both ways, however. People that do these things sometimes believe that everyone does them. They are dead wrong too. “Everyone is on Facebook”. No, everyone is not on Facebook. This little blue planet we live on has over 7,000,000,000 people on it. Facebook’s active user base is in the hundreds of millions. Astounding? Yes. Everyone? No.
When you’re evaluating a new marketing strategy, or trying to decide if a business model will work, or you’re looking at a new product — always try to look at yourself to see if you’d be someone that would respond to it. But, just as importantly, know that if you wouldn’t that doesn’t mean others wouldn’t. Try to find someone that does connect to it and try to see how many of those types of people are out there.
I’m using the example of communicating over the Internet for this post but really you can fill just about anything in here such as; people that like rap music, people that enjoy going on vacation, people that drink coffee.
It is true that there are many people just like you. But it is just as true that there are many people that are not like you at all.
On the next rainy day do yourself a favor and dive deep into the world of Isaac Newton.
If you’re in a hiring phase you’ll want to peruse Aaron Swartz’s thoughts on hiring programmers. The process that he walks through could, and should, be used for hiring just about anyone (not just programmers).
However, I would add one step to the beginning of the process. Watching that person online. I know it seems kind of stalker-ish but on today’s Web many people Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace what they’re doing and by that you can usually tell if you even want to begin this ‘casual non-interview-like interview process’.
For instance, some people are overwhelmingly negative Twitterers. I’d never hire an overly negative person. Some people Twitter that they love the latest version of Windows – I’d probably never hire them either (kidding, sorta). Others may constantly share the stuff they are working on, or they blog a lot, or they share some of their interests like music, food, or their favorite books. These are the people I’d “interview”.
You get the idea. Become a stalker and you might save some time.
Richard Leroy Walters was a homeless man that lived in Phoenix, Arizona until his recent death. A retired, well educated, and apparently very wealthy man, Walters left NPR and several other organizations $400,000 each. He wanted more people to hear NPR. Thanks Richard, I’m listening.