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Ramblings on Certainty.
I remember using Google for the first time. How many people in the world can say that? I remember it because it was first grade and my friend Nick Dillingham was telling me that my search engine (goto.com) was too slow. The things kids in Silicon Valley compete over. We were in the library, and obviously searching for important things, time was of the essence.
“How do you know yours is faster?,” and he said, “Because Google has a timer.”
You want to know why I switched over to google, it’s because when you searched, it returned the results and also how fast it got the results! Nick Dillingham knew the benefit of Google over all other search engines. It was certainty. It was not only that you returned results, but you were able to tell people how fast it responded.
Take that moment and compound it over 20 years of growth: Google maps, google search, google docs. Google gives us more certainty than ever. It indexes the worlds information with the click of a couple buttons. No longer can we debate facts!
“Babe Ruth hit 714 home runs in his career.” cannot be argued anymore. Google has solved for this.
“Who won the World Series in 1994?” cannot be argued anymore, Google solved for it.
Certainty of information has been solved. We have a source of information all the time. So what can we argue over now?
I have a theory, my theory is that the more certain we become about one thing, the more uncertain we become about everything else. It’s a 1 to 1 ratio. So over the last 20 years of Google, we have become more understanding and certain of information, and as that access has scaled, we realize more and more of what we do not know, leading to this constant uncertainty of everything else.
Which has led to an entire category of “mindfulness” technology, and searching for real world experiences. We have to escape the certainty of information, we have to force ourselves to “Dis-connect” from the technology in the world.
We are addicted to certainty. Social media, text messages, Uber… everything is all about delivery of certainty.
I have more on this topic, but not enough time to write it today, please send me your thoughts.
By Adam Draper
I ponder as a VC.
It's a quick one minute read to make you think, smile, or laugh.
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