The design team at Facebook thought it had a winning strategy to defeat Twitter – offer users everything that Twitter has, and more. What they didn’t realize is that Twitter’s base were fans for one key reason – it was less. The resulting firestorm has Facebook scrambling to regroup. This may seem like an isolated situation, a simple business decision gone wrong, but it appears to be something more. Observed from the perspective of general trends in culture and the arts, minimalism appears to be the fashion and thought of the day. The implications extend far beyond one software product.
Like any good trust-building exercise, it started when a moment of tension took a sharp left turn into the unexpected. I was down to visit with Jonas, an Amish carpenter, about how my associates and I were going to sell his craftsmanship on the internet. More than a meeting of cultures, centuries were colliding. The moment of truth came when he went to ask his apprentice sons about a few details. Rather than turn away for privacy, Jonas simply slipped into his native language, Plattdietsch. I caught it immediately.
People are willing to give up 40 or more hours a week to have it. The lust for it drives some people to betray their friends’ trust, and the lack of it has driven some to suicide. In our culture, there is nothing quite like money as a motivator. So what is it?
The times we live in are like no other in history. We have the internet, which allows us to connect with people all over the world. We have jets that can take us anywhere with a dull routine involving a few hours out of our lives. Life expectancy constantly climbs as we learn more and more about the most stunning details of our once fragile flesh. Our world is like no other before it.
For most people, the definition of the Good Life™ is easy – you play by the Rules and get ahead. Some people prefer to break the Rules and get ahead on their own terms. Some of us, however, stand off to the side a little bit and wonder just what these “Rules” are and who was involved in creating them. Barataria, true to its name as the home to Gentleman Pirate, Jean Lafitte, has been attracting a lot of the third group lately.