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Ideas are the Only Currency in the New Economy

How Web Videos Power Global Innovation – Another Great TED Video

September 19th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Ideas

Big Ideas: Web video is driving innovation around the world as we all copy and improve on each other.
Quality and skills levels are constantly increasing as we all innovate.

TED videos have been watched hundreds of millions of times and get translated into dozens of languages to reach a massively global audience.  TED’s Chris Anderson has had a front row seat as the Technology, Entertainment and Design conference becomes a household name. Anderson presented on How Web Videos Power Global Innovation.

Here are some highlights from the video.

TED speakers often prepare for months to make an 18 minute presentation, raising the bar cruelly for the next generation of speakers.

Cycles of improvement are driven by web video.

Web video drives emulation and innovation in what Anderson labels Crowd Accelerated Innovation (CAI). Here are the three components of CAI

1. Crowd – The bigger the crowd the more potential innovators there are and they also occupy other roles like commenters, trend-spotters, cheerleaders, skeptics, mavericks and superspreaders.

2. Light – Clear open visibility as to what people in that crowd are capable of.

3. Desire – innovation is hard work, It requires hundreds of hours of research and practice.

Innovation emerges from groups. The idea of a lone genius with a eureka moment is misleading.

Online video will allow the world’s talents to be shared digitally.

Our brains are uniquely wired to decode video. So many things can’t be communicated through words effectively.

JOVE is a site where scientists publish their findings on video. Scientific experiments and procedures can be clearly and easily demonstrated on video. Showing is much better then just describing.

Reading and writing are relatively recent inventions. Face to face communication has been fine-tuned by millions of years of evolution.

What Gutenberg did for writing, online video can now do for face-to-face communication.

One person speaking can now be seen by millions.

My Insights
Video conveys much more information than text.

While many people, myself included, prefer text, video is the future. Video is a far richer medium to convey information. In the video, Anderson shows how dancers can share new moves with a global audience. Trying to explain dance moves with text just doesn’t have anywhere near the same effect. The same can be true for almost every field: guitar lessons, computer tutorials, travel videos, cooking or yoga classes, sports, etc.

Global Skill Levels are Rapidly Increasing
Average quality levels in every field are rapidly improving. You truly have to be a world class talent if you want to excel. Anderson’s video shows a six year old who has mastered break dancing moves, wait until that child is a teenager.

The problem with most homemade video now is that it is often very low quality. A blogger talking to his or her computer doesn’t convey much extra information compared to just text. That will change as video software continues to get easier to use, we improve our video skills and we start adding animated graphics.

The Future is FREE
Video has the potential to reach a global audience if it is unique, interesting or good enough. This desire to attract attention will keep fueling increasingly higher quality free content. As much as we want to make a living for our online efforts, the future is free. Trying to charge for online content just ads friction that limits the audience exposure. We are already starting to see that real world contact is where opportunities lie. (Musicians like Trent Reznor give away music to sell concert tickets. Consultants blog or give away ebooks to sell one-to-one consulting. Authors lose money on books to do seminars and consulting.) TED would remain a small elitist conference if the videos were not available for free to a global audience.

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