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You Don’t Need to Know Everything
Author: Michael Osterman on October 14, 2014 - 7:20 PM
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Many years ago when I was early in my career, I worked for one of the leading market research companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Shortly after I joined the company it was acquired by DRI, a small subsidiary of McGraw-Hill. After the acquisition, a DRI employee was transferred into our offices to serve as a liaison between corporate and their new acquisition. He was a very bright guy with an exceptionally quirky sense of humor. Among the various things I learned from him, the most notable was a comment he once made: “You don’t have to know everything, but you do have to know how to find everything”.

The first iteration of what our liaison was describing, in a sense, became Google and other search engines. In theory, at least, there is a collection of all relevant information somewhere in the cloud and all you have to do is type in a few words to gain access to it. In short, you don’t have to know everything, but you at least have the opportunity to find everything. There continue to be shortcomings in modern search engines driven by incomplete information, intentional biases from prioritizing some information sources over others, the desire of search engine companies to generate revenue from search, and user limitations in not being to adequately describe exactly what they’re looking seeking.
 
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