You know the great thing about conferences these days?
If you can’t afford to make it, there, these days you can soak up most of the talks for free afterward. Lately, I’ve been catching up on SxSW podcasts and Webstock presentations.
At one of the events I was at recently, David Lawee, a VP at Google, talked a bit about the early days of the internet industry. That took me right back to my early days of running a website, submitting it to Lycos, Altavista, and all the others for indexing – meta tagging, and other primitive SEO.
Yep, back when Google just had a funny name and it seemed the search game was overcrowded. So when exactly did it all consolidate and how did Google overtake all the others? I don’t personally recall – I just know that at some point, Google became the default for me and everyone else I knew. (Anybody remember this period more clearly?) Those guys really had a clear dream – that information is everything, and that organising it could do great things for humanity. Another speaker, Dev Paitnaik, recounted a great anecdote in which Sergey Brin told the story of a person who managed to save his father’s life (the dude had a heart attack) by quickly Googling CPR and clicking I’m Feeling Lucky. What a powerful, persuasive argument.
But as corporations do, it seems Google is losing its way, and Gizmodo had a great piece on why this is.
You know what else occurred to me?
At these kinds of seminars, you hear about the power of storytelling – that we forget how to tell stories and have to relearn it as adults. I’m fortunate that I get to do that every day. And you hear all about how to be a better leader, inspire a workforce, etc. Conscious capitalism. Social responsibility. Ethical business. All the buzzwords, and more.
But really. Is it so hard to act decently? So hard to be human? Do we so quickly forget? Corporate douchebaggery, as I alluded to the other day, is pervasive. Surely it seems obvious to any sane person that we treat others how we want to be treated. Business shouldn’t be any different.
That said, I’m optimistic. Companies as old as IBM are getting into social innovation. Gen Y is entrepreneurial and effecting change from the ground up. Eventually, the old guard will fade out – and, hopefully, responsible, ethical, sustainable business will be the norm, not the exception.
To the links!
How many financial ‘ladders’ do you have? Via Bucksome Boomer.
Aloysa at My Broken Coin reckons Pinterest could help you save money.
Miss T offers up some down to earth advice on networking.
How freelancers can keep in touch with professional contacts, from Dollars and Deadlines.
At Ms Career Girl, three tips for figuring out when it’s time to quit the ‘dream’ job.
And Zen Habits has a ‘do what you love’ guide.
Thinking of entering a helping profession? A guest post at So Over Debt explains what you need to know.
Brazen Careerist has four mistakes we often make in changing jobs.
Ever feel overwhelmed by all the good things happening to you? Jess at Makeunder My Life does.
Suba at Wealth Informatics explains how to use a Not-To-Do list to get more done.