I was listening to my own budda-karma-productivity-nerd-guy Merlin Mann on his new show Back to Work . It while there are so many things that you get from a podcast there are these little themes that tweak at your brain until you can express it.

Here is my best attempt from my walk at lunch today.

There are so many ways to get at the real ‘source’ of good information that there really isn’t any point in dealing with the ‘smart’ middle men. If I want to know what its like to develop for the iPad – I’ll go listen to Marco Arment , if I want to understand how to get productive, I’ll read David Allen. These are situations that only used to to be achieved by traveling to expensive conferences or, if that isn’t and option, accepting a less capable, cheaper substitute. Usually in the form of one of the many local training and workshop businesses or perhaps an online equivalent.

You can always talk to colleagues or friends and get good ideas that way, and if you are lucky enough to have a true expert in your circle – then why go any further.

So there is an polarization of ‘smart’.You accept local, quick, and un-expert or you reach over all the middle ground and go to the true ‘gurus’. That can happen through a podcast, online forum, chat room, whatever communication mode works…..

So there are people that have made a living re-selling ‘smart’ to a particular audience and I think those days are numbered. The value of their ‘smarts’ will rapidly approach zero. Those training organizations that would sell you an Excel training course, when all you need is someone to tell you how to organize a pivot table from 3 columns of data.

There have been an increasing number of online ‘solutions’ to this problem with things like Yahoo Answers and Quora. But all those really do is make you pool of colleagues with ideas a little bigger, they really don’t connect you to the real ‘smart’ people. Online training has also attempted to do this with sites like Lynda.com. They also really just replace the local strip mall version of “XYZ technical institute”. But soon, someone is going to get this right. Podcasts are the closest I’ve seen with real thought leaders sharing their ideas.

Can’t help thinking someone out there is really close to aggregating supply and demand to be the Amazon of ‘smart’ and make really cool, useful, and thought provoking ideas available at achievable cost. I think it will become critical for a direct cost model so that the audience not some advertiser drive

Here is hoping that is really soon.


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