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TNW - David Weinberger - The Future is a Platform | The Next Web

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Published on Apr 25, 2014

The future by nature is always changing. But now something more important is happening: the nature of the future is changing. For the past 10,000 years or so, we faced the future by anticipating our needs and doing now what we will need then: lashing a sharp rock to a stick, gathering and drying seeds for next season's crop, designing a database application to manage payroll as our company grows. Once we've built a tool, we increase its total value by holding on to it as long as we need can. We of course still do that. But we are also seeing a new type of future emerge out of the global connectedness of the Net. The new approach says that anticipating needs and locking into solutions is sub-optimal in many important cases. For example, librarians recognize that the rise of digital content poses a fundamental challenge, and many think they therefore have to come up with tools and services that will re-invent libraries in the Age of the Net. But the problem/opportunity is too big for any one group ... even librarians. We instead need to enable any 14-year-old come up with an idea about what libraries can do and how they can be woven into the infrastructure of the Net. In fact, we need thousands of 14 year olds figuring this out. And then we need millions of people iterating on the solution. The Internet for the first time makes this possible because we can build open platforms available to everyone in the world. These platforms make the organization's data and tools available to any developer anywhere. Adopting open platforms as a strategy means not only giving up trying to control the organization's data "asset," but also giving up the idea that the future exists as a space we can control by making good decisions. Rather, it's a space we want to open up further than ever before. We want to make more possibilities, and fewer decisions because only then will we get a future big enough for the human spirit. Don't miss out on our TNW Conference USA 2014: http://thenextweb.com/conference/usa/

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