I’m a start-up girl. I tweet about entrepreneurs. I live in the cloud. I run with the hipsters. Ok, maybe I don’t really run with the hipsters…but I’d like to. The start-ups of 1999 are different than those of today. People can truly work in a community that’s synched and available, social in nature…and as hip as you want to be.
In fact, the hipsters are running the show now; and I better get on board!
Why? Because the hipsters, as cliché as it now sounds, are mobile and they own multiple devices to access information and to connect. They’re used to an always-on world (good or bad though it may be); they are the promise of a mobile and social world. They find information, communicate with images and video, they build their circles of friends based on their interests or the things they can influence, and a lot of it is because of the Mac, mobile phones, new media and social communities.
I’m getting hip. I left a corporate job to go back to selling technology, in a 100+ person start-up who’s core value proposition is the fact that it’s open source; and open source video at that. I thought I knew what that meant. And, I mean, I do … from a technology perspective. What I’m learning, though, is that it also represents the way the company has been built and it’s approach to the market: it’s about the community that drives it and the media that powers it.
In the process, I switched from PC to Mac…claiming that my experience in 1997 in a Mac work environment was requisite enough to make such a change. I was wrong. I’m re-learning all the ways that I manage applications, my business shortcuts have changed…and I am relying on a whole different way of working … and a whole different gateway to train myself and understand the industry through our community (of developers, our founders, the organizations we represent).
Frankly, it scared me. That’s right: scared. I thought, holy cow, I’ve been surpassed by the 20-something’s who grew up in this ecosystem and who communicate and learn through their communities; not by a “teacher.” They’re in a “flow” with the way that they access information. Forget conforming to “windows”…it’s about finding the way I want to work, supporting it with apps, creating a desktop that mimics my style and accesses my thought process. It’s about easily finding the information I need, when I need it and how I can consume it, in a shared platform that syncs up to my phone, my desktop, my iPad and my work laptop. Heck I walked into the Apple store, talked to a genius and got myself situated all on my own. Ah, the promise of the Mac is so much deeper than I could have imagined: it helped me trust myself again.
Now, the promise of working the way that I work best has given me a sense of freedom that I think I only found in college (or maybe after a divorce ;-). And that was 20 years ago, my friends.
Anyway, as I go forth to represent the notion of open video, I’m actually sharing with corporations the fact that they better get on board with empowering their people to participate in this social world. They need to ask, as I asked myself:
- how do I work best?
- what information do I really need and how do I find it?
- who do I trust, what communities are important to me?
- what can I learn?
- what makes me want to share about my company, what influence do I have?
I’m motivated by technology – and by the people who want change things, make “it” better, whatever “it” is. And it doesn’t scare me. Rather, I’m excited about what lies ahead and I find that I have something to contribute. I feel powerful, plugged-in, independent yet part of something bigger. Dare I say it? I feel hip! Nice…now that’s the spirit of today. Maybe I can hang with the hipsters after all. :-)