Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Everyone's at the Center of Their Map of the World

Alan Webber, founder of Fast Company magazine and author of the recently released book entitled “Rules of Thumb”, made an observation 20 years ago on a Japan Air Lines flight: the center of the world on the map you are reading depends on its maker. In his worldview, the U.S. was the center of the world; on JAL, Japan was. His newly discovered rule of thumb? We’re all simultaneously living at the center of the world.

And it’s getting smaller every minute.

Talent, technology, and power are reshaping the “maps” of the world. Talented people no longer have to go to the center of their industry to get noticed. Technology connects people wherever they choose to work and live. Power, in terms of business, has been diluted so much that “indie” describes where the most creative work is being done and where the most dynamic people are working.

It’s a big world getting smaller all the time. Yes, the world is “flat” – but more than that, it’s that we’re all connected. That makes you right in the middle of your map; but so is everyone else.

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