In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes
The trouble with experts these days is that as soon as they’ve said something, it’s been made irrelevant by something changing. We are living in times when things change so quickly the experts can’t keep up. What are the experts in Jacquard Looms, typewriting, Morse Code, the ARPANET, BBC Microcomputers, Ceefax, Friends Reunited and MySpace doing now?
And things aren’t going to slow down; each new piece of technology shortens the time that it takes to make the next new piece of technology. Literally – 3D printers are being used to print bigger, better 3D printers. It’s getting faster, and you’re getting slower. This applies to the way that social media has changed the music industry, to the physical bricks and mortar of our town centres, to the way we teach our children. Everything is changing, here comes everybody, and everybody is an expert.
We can still be experts, but it’s not a badge for life. Learn something, learn it well, but be willing to be overtaken by technology and another expert quite quickly. Being good at something doesn’t make you a master, not any more. We’re going to have to learn to take turns at being experts.
So here’s Thompson’s Tenet: In the future, everyone will be an expert for 15 minutes.