Letters to a Young Manager
The Webcam and Being There
Rather than ask the question of what are the leading indicators of technology, ask who.
I remember a chat with a CEO of a nonprofit where I worked a decade ago. Over the weekend, he saw his son talking to friends on his PC with a small video cam. He asked me if we could soon use this technology to have donors and sponsors in California, watching a presentation by kids in a school program in El Salvador as it happens, and be able to ask questions to the teachers and their class. Yes, was the short answer. He went on to connect the dots about what this would mean seeing the impact of their donation dollars in a very real and immediate way—by “being there.”
Notice that this conversation began by seeing he son using technology to see and speak with his friends. Who was the leading indicator for his business? Youth.
Watch the next generation
1) What are your leading indicators? More importantly, who do you look to for Your digital forecasting?
2) Are the pundits or children the better indicator? How do they differ?
3) Are emerging countries a leading indicator? (Note how they leapfrogged over land-line communications to mobile. Also look to kiosks and internet cafes. What do you see?)
For Further Reading:
[link to Charlie's white paper if still on line or in NetHope archive.]
© Copyright 2005,
, E. G. Happ, All Rights Reserved.
For the future, I believe our technology vision of “making us all part of one virtual village” is on target. It will mean that our role of “match-maker”—bringing children in need together with donors who can meet their needs—will fundamentally change. By creating a virtual village, we can bring together families in need with families who can help meet those needs with their support. Two years ago, I saw my son talking to friends on his PC with a small video cam. What this meant was that soon we could have donors and sponsors in California, watching a presentation by kids in a Save the Children program in a school in El Salvador as it happens, and be able to ask questions to the teachers and their class. This means seeing the impact of their donation dollars in a very real and immediate way—by “being there.”