The Post-centered Universe

A thousand years ago a commoner named Bi Sheng invented movable type casting the spell of a documented-centered mindset across the world—until now.

“The Post” © 2012 Nick. Shot in Valley Forge, Texas.

MIcrosoft Office. Google Docs. Open Office. Massively complex software designed for a document-centered world. But the world has changed.

Blogs add millions of posts and millions of comments every day and Twitter receives over 200 million new tweets. All streamed to smartphones in real time. The digital universe turns out to be post-centered while business frets about the next Office upgrade—a mindset that feeds document-centered-ness and perpetuates ossification of information assets. Sure, collaboration and mild social features are being added to these suites but like carrying coal to Newcastle it’s not a game-changer.

Today people need to work with information wired to them on demand. When information is locked away in documents it undermines the search, retrieve, and re-purposing activity that drives innovation. The tools for liquifying corporate information assets exist but the IT architecture for streaming information is radically different and it’ll take time for business to abandon its investment in the past. The past remains destiny for large enterprises but small business can make the switch now.

Nevertheless, we have to wonder—when business does begin to see information as streaming digital assets will corporate documents end up in the Trash bin?


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