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 3 Animals of the Evolving Internet
As we look ahead to 2023, we are thinking a lot about the evolving internet. For the last essay of the year, we explore how human behaviors and tendencies need to evolve in the context of an ever-changing place — the Internet.
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Hope you are taking some downtime to enjoy the end of the year.
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See you in 2023!
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The Internet is an amazing place.
It’s captivated our minds.
It’s changed our work habits.
It’s enabled a bunch of things (both good and bad), with a reach that very few technologies have ever achieved.
Yet, the Internet is a very different place than what most humans are accustomed to throughout history.
The Internet is first and foremost a digital place.
This means it’s an endless place filled with abundance.
And it’s still constantly evolving and changing – we have new technologies like Web3 and AI changing this digital place that we all gather in.
In an endless place like the Internet, we (humans) have to update our pre-Internet frameworks to adapt to the evolving Internet.
There are three areas where adapting to the evolving internet is critical: work habits, conformity and leadership.
Work like a Lion 🦁
In nature, lions balance long periods of rest followed by short periods of intensity (sprints). This is how they hunt. There is a time and place for pressure to perform and then a time and place to relax and recharge.
In the traditional model of the “9 to 5,” a mechanical cadence where you work “x hours to produce y units” was highly valued. Input was equal to output, so the more you worked, the greater quantity of something you produced. This worked in the Industrial Era.
But in the Internet Era with new technologies that automate away mechanical work, the quantity of work matters less than the quality of work. It doesn’t matter how many hours you worked… what matters is the quality of the output.
Working like a Lion is about focusing on short but intense periods of work (sprints) that enable you to create high quality output. Applying current “9 to 5” model to the evolving Internet is like fitting a square peg in a round hole.
To stay relevant on the Internet, one must produce quality by working like a lion and running a marathon of sprints.
The Fearless Lemming 🐭
In nature, lemmings are small rodents that tend to follow each other over cliffs and into bodies of water — plunging to their death. Because the Internet enables us to connect in an endless digital square (overcoming the limitations of physical space), there is a greater risk of groupthink and conformity.
The Fearless Lemming is the lemming that is non-conformist and unafraid to breakaway from the foolishness of the crowds.
In a world where most of our work takes place on the Internet, the Fearless Lemming is the person who will challenge the status quo and introduce new ideas, innovations and approaches to problems. By doing so, the fearless lemming might stand a chance in solving some of the emerging big problems of society.
The Fearless Lemming is the non-conformist that enables continued skepticism and ensures the status quo’s power doesn’t go unchecked – ultimately creating the space for the next generation of innovations.
Chameleon Leadership 🦎
In nature, Chameleons adapt to their environments. They blend in when they need to and stand out when they want to. With new emerging models of organizing, like Web3, adaptability is key to surviving and thriving.
As the Internet continues to make the world smaller and creates connections across the world, the average leader is going to be exposed to more cultures and subcultures that they otherwise wouldn’t have in a physical world. This means, the average leader is going to have to learn how to engage, work with and co-exist with a bunch of different types of people on the Internet.
Being a leader in this world will be more challenging because the people you lead are dispersed across the world and cultures.
Chameleon leaders who adapt and are empathetic to the people they lead will be more effective than the status quo of top-down, ivory-tower type leaders who put themselves at the center of their universe.
It’s all about connecting with people, making them feel heard, understanding their challenges, offering relevant solutions and appreciating their vibes.
Remember, it’s vibes all the way down!
The pace of technology will only increase with time.
Our world is changing faster than ever, but most of our world is still running on outdated frameworks of the previous era.
Snakes shed their skin, snails switch their shells — both do so, when they’ve outgrown their past and it doesn’t serve them anymore.
In nature, embracing change is critical to not only surviving but thriving.
After all, nobody wants to be a dinosaur.
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