The Diminishing Value Of Access

When a new business opens in your suburb, the first thing they do, with great fanfare, is plaster ‘now open’ signs around the neighbourhood. The ‘we’ve built it, now you’ll come’ mentality is alive and well in every industry.

My son, along with thousands of others is in his first year at university. Most of his lectures are posted online, so he needs a good reason to spend an hour taking two buses and a train to get to lectures. Like many of his friends he shows up on the days when his mates will have the same two hours free mid afternoon, so they can hang out together after lectures. Many university students agree, that their real education no longer has to happen in a lecture theatre. The information isn’t more valuable because it’s delivered in person, by a guy wearing a blazer in a sandstone building.

Access to both information and stuff was scarce ten years ago. It’s not what’s valuable now. Just showing up, unlocking the door, putting on the conference or giving the lecture is no longer good enough. Access is no longer the point.

In a world where everything is a tap or a click away, what matters is not what is taught or sold, but how it’s delivered, and how that made someone feel as she walked out the door.

Image by Matt Jones.

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