Access has More Value than Information

Who has the time to look through the 2,654 posts I have on this blog? Many of them are relevant to current needs and filled with valuable information, yet even a powerful search box is not going to solve for connecting your specific issue with a post here. Plus problems tend to be more complex to solve based on changes in circumstances.

But make a comment, engage in conversation and you access the key — the person who has been thinking about similar issues and knows what kind of information would be helpful. Likely a combination of ideas and resources — so you can go from knowledge to data.

We had rooms with FriendFeed — a shortly gone social network/tool that did connection best because of its simple features and interface. Before that and beyond that there are forums, bulletin boards, communities — open and behind firewalls.

The powerful value proposition of the current generation of collaboration tools is that they are both project- or topic-focused and rooms in which the conversation happens with others who are working on similar projects and/or same teams via multiple tools. They enable both what you can share and who you can share it with. Skewing the value balance toward access.

For example, I am using Slack (@Slackhq) for a project and noticed the shift from just sharing information to being on the same page on where we are and the value of who is in the conversation to progress. I was not surprised that Slack is replacing Internet Relay Chat (IRC) for many#:

You can find a Slack team for talking about design, startups, music, whiskey and basically anything else imaginable.

If, for example, I am a startup founder, I can access #startup, which facilitates discussions, Q&A’s, AMA’s, feedback and braintrusts within a community of 2,100 founders from across the globe.

Another example of access to people, thus knowledge and information is, a marketplace that connects entrepreneurs with top advisers & industry experts to conduct market research, get strategic business advice, or learn a specialized skill to help them grow their business. It was recently acquired by to become the world's largest startup launch platform under the umbrella.

They say that it is not what you know as much as who knows you that matters. It is in my experience. Smart mediation is even more valuable as we continue to be short on time and long on to-do lists. Influence comes from networks of socially connected and like-minded individuals. Access to people trumps information.