ATE

Adapt to Experience


It's the role of pioneers to explore places other people have little experience of.  When you do that, you find that the small knowledge you have is more often wrong than helpful.  You can spend years doing things that never work, because the principles you are using are wrong.  What you "know" stops you seeing what's really there.  

 The school of hard knocks is an excellent teacher at $100,000 a lesson. 

Some Hard Lessons Learned

In the beginning of the commercial Internet I developed what I imagined was a sound business idea, and I devoted 5 years of my life to it.  There were many successes, but turning a dollar wasn't one of them.

I've been a student of innovation for 30 years.  I understood the risk.  I also understood that in taking such a risk on, one learns lessons that can be learned in no school, and which no experts can advise you about.  

Wrong ideas I once believed.

That "official information" was generally reliable
Everyone would quickly benefit by getting online
Advertising would pay for the Internet.
Selling things on the Internet would be easy.
People would pay for group membership.
Businesses I helped would later on buy my services.
Blogging was the ideal way to attract readers and to build status.
Helping others is a productive way to build a client base.
Being active on the Internet would improve cash income.

Truth I've been reluctant to see.

Free "knowledge" on the internet destroys established power bases
Oversupply of "content" destroys the cash value of publishing.
People are slow to understand how the Internet might best be used.
Business is very slow to understand the use of the Internet.
Governments are even less connected to Internet reality.
That everybody was a "truth seeker".

Most of the things people "know" about the Internet are not valid. Internet propaganda is eagerly spread
People prefer their imagined reality to "truth"
My own role is small but important.

I have had the advantage of being a user of the Internet since the beginning in New Zealand.  I studies a lot, and believed that I fully understood what the Internet was and how it would help everyone.  I was incredibly wrong about almost all of that.   (A distinction I share with a few million others.) I worked for 5 year on a site called NZDances.  I did build the most successful regional dance site in the world.  I did involve over 700 people in the development of the site.  With web 1.0 tools, this was quite an achievement.

Since the closure of NZDances, I've worked hard to understand what I didn't understand.  Jonas Salt, the American film maker also had this experience.  He said. "To search for truth you must first have lost it".  So for the past eight years, that's what I've been doing. The question is, perhaps, have I found anything.  I leave you to judge.

Adapt to Experience
The problem is to understand the lesson.  The propaganda field surrounding the Internet makes that a difficult task.  

Make the effort anyway

Internet research is very difficult.  People believe what they do online should be private.  

© 2009 John Stephen Veitch. All rights reserved.         Privacy Policy