Friday, August 14, 2009

Seth Godin’s challenge: bandwidth and latency

Seth Godin’s has a thought-provoking post that looks at the different types of media based on the bandwidth it can support and the immediacy of the exchange.

The bandwidth-sync correlation that's worth thinking about

Check this out. Every once in a while a cool graph pops into my head.

Source: Seth's Blog: The bandwidth-sync correlation that's worth thinking about

Human civilisation started at the top right hand corner on this graph: one-on-one coaching, which is both immediate and high bandwidth.

Since then other forms of communication have been invented. They have been limited on one or both dimensions, although that has often been an advantage. Talented and creative individuals have created profitable enterprises in any quadrant and with any medium.

Hugh MacLeod of has discovered how to effectively use even the scrap heap, as Seth calls the bottom left corner.

Seth goes on to challenge:

If you had seen this chart three years ago, you obviously would have invented Twitter. Now that you see it today, what will you create?

Well, it does appear that successful businesses have generally exploited the top-left to bottom-right axis, the one that has been highlighted on the graph. Whereas, individuals are more successful on the axis perpendicular to it.

To answer Seth’s challenge, I think there’s opportunity for people on the axis that is less crowded. For instance, as bandwidth increases and latency drops, there could be money in offering piano lessons over the internet.