Those who don't learn from history are destined to repeat it.
I watched the movie Downloaded this morning which chronicles the rise and fall of Napster and couldn't help but notice how similar the issues highlighted in the film are to the debates I find myself having lately. We can all agree the internet has ushered in an unprecedented era of change, innovation and inevitable disruption. But often times I find the discussion centering around the pros and cons of one social platform vs. another. I would argue it isn't about technology, it's about people and our collective desire to connect with each other. It's also about one generation not understanding the shared ideology of another, how we use these platforms to share ideas, collaborate and archive our experiences. This is most evident when I find myself having philosophical discussions about the way platforms will evolve and shape society and by extension business as we know it.
To be clear I don't think any one generation is right and as a result the other is wrong, I just think the shared experiences that defined one generation shape their collective values. Malcolm Gladwell actually talked about this very issue in a keynote speech he gave at SapientNitro iEX 2012.
The bottom line is the web is fundamentally being restructured around people. And the industries and institutions that refuse to adapt to this new way of doing things will be left behind.
I'd highly recommend the film which is available for rent on iTunes.