Thoughts on 2009

2009 has been a very turbulent year. Financial institutions disappeared, the economy suffered and trust evaporated. This resulted in a big shift in the way we think and act as human beings. It brought to life our deepest fears, but also helped us realign with our purpose in life.

Globalization is everything

We are no longer isolated from each other—we depend on each other now. Globalization means higher connectivity in many areas of life. This interconnectedness helps us become more of who we are, through the scale of the effort we could attract.

Communication is everything

Traditional media isn't interactive—we can listen radio or watch TV, but not determine their program; we can read magazines and newspapers, but not decide what articles they publish. Through watching TV, we allow someone else to gain control over the information we receive. It would have been more useful and time-efficient to search actively for it instead of allowing unnecessary things to occupy our mind.

Social media boomed. Facebook reached 350 million users and Twitter became more popular than the American president. There are also many more social media tools gaining traction. The idea of being present on ten different social networks doesn't seem appealing. Tim Burners-Lee, the father of Internet, said indirectly in a presentation that the future belongs to tools that combine all networks in one. Such integration is one of the ideas behind the service ping.fm. Social media will remain popular, because communication is one of the essential human needs. This is also indicated in the Maslow's hierarchy, where every level can be seen as a potential business model.

Speed is everything

The world is changing very fast. Things that were working today, need fixing tomorrow. Adapting to change is challenging, but the only way to survive. Projects must be completed on time and within budget. The marketplace is fiercely competitive and often the strongest players take everything, leaving smaller ones to wither. But instead of only competing, we can also collaborate to develop and refine the market needs.

Knowledge is everything

In the past knowledge was centralized in universities and similar institutions. Today, markets require fast decisions based on insufficient information. Data is gathered from multiple sources that are more timely and accurate. Degrees and titles no more guarantee a possibility for realization in the marketplace. People could learn faster by themselves, provided they have the resources and will. The last ingredient is lacking, because it requires an entrepreneurial mindset and the ability to go against the storm and not run away from it. Many people aren't ready to take such a risk.

Direction is everything

If we follow the wrong path, we'll reach the wrong destination. A complete clarity of what we love to do and a passion for it could give us direction. A direction without knowledge is still better than knowledge without direction. The latter only wastes our time. We must persist in the face of roadblocks, until we have accomplished our goals. But there isn't a clear formula how to find a direction—everyone needs time, experiments and the ability to learn from mistakes to figure this out.

Principles are everything

Remaining true to ourselves teaches us discipline and dedication. If we neglect our core principles, we neglect who we are. Some people around us will always try to change us or bring us down. They don't respect us, so we have to free us from their presence. Following our principles make us feel authentic and happy with who we are.

Thank you for reading my blog this year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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