Articles

Convenience, and Everything in Moderation

Twitter Founder Reveals Secret Formula to Getting Rich Online

From WIRED 9.30.2013

Wired’s interview with Ev Williams, one of Twitter’s cofounders, re-emphasizes classic business advice for success, with adaptations and caveats for the digital age: focus on our most fundamental human desires and make them increasingly more convenient. However, don’t take convenience too far, because want we’ll end up with is big agriculture in the garden of our social connections.

Here an excerpt:

“The internet is not what I thought it was 20 years ago,” Williams said. “It’s not a utopian world. It’s essentially like a lot of other major technological revolutions that have taken place in the history of the world.” He compares it to, well, agriculture. “[Agriculture] made life better. It not only got people fed, it freed them up to do many more things — to create art and invent things.”

The rub is that we often take convenience too far. “Look at the technology of agriculture taken to an extreme — where we have industrialized farms that are not good for the environment or animals or nourishment,” he says. “Look at a country full of people who have had such convenient access to calories that they’re addicted, obese, and sick.” He likens this agricultural nightmare to our unhealthy obsession with internet numbers like retweets and likes and followers and friends.

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