Daily Lab: See technology for yourself

You can’t wait for the news to tell you what’s new

Daily Lab: See technology for yourself

Here’s a fact I can’t stop thinking about:

In 1903, Wilbur Wright “flew a little over half a mile through the air and a distance of 852 feet over the ground in 59 seconds,” as David McCullough noted in his biography of the Wright Brothers.

And the local paper chose not to run a story about it.

McCullough wrote, “It was not the Dayton papers that finally broke the story—or the Chicago Tribune or the New York Times or Scientific American.”

No, it was “Amos Roots’ own Gleanings in Bee Culture.”

That’s right, the first accurate, eyewitness account of people flying appeared in a beekeepers’ trade journal.

It wasn’t until 1908 that the world media truly started taking it seriously.

But then, only a year later, there were dozens of pilots and dozens of types of airplanes being flown and tested.

See, by the time the news picked it up, there was very little new about it.

The race had already begun and the technology had already advanced well beyond its starting point.

The same is true today. If you want to know about new technologies while they’re actually new, you can’t outsource your attention.

You have to look at it yourself.

That’s what Amos Root did. And that’s why he was the first to chronicle it.

You know I always advocate caution and patience. There’s no need to be the first person to get in the plane or start an airline.

But if you care about how the world is and will be changing—and how it will affect your business—you need to take a look at it yourself.

Seeing is believing, and believing is motivating. When we hear about new technologies from others we also hear their fears and their hopes.

Which can crowd out our own and cloud our ability to see opportunities and threats.

Waiting for someone else to tell you that a new technology is real and viable is waiting too long to do anything worthwhile about it.

No, new technology has to be seen for yourself.

So you can decide what you want to do about it.

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