Friday, April 30, 2004

Consultant, Consult Thyself

A lot of people come to me for advice. I'm not really sure why. Maybe it's because I know a lot of people, or because I've written a lot of articles.

Regardless of why they ask, I almost always enjoy giving them advice. I like to help others. I also like to feel wise and important, so don't think I'm that altruistic!

And regardless of what they ask, I always seem to have an answer. Money problems? Financing advice? What books to read? I've always got something to say.

Many of the friends that I help with advice are extremely smart, competent people. Why couldn't they figure out their problems on their own, before coming to me? And as a converse, how can I have so much helpful advice for others, yet struggle with my own problems?

That's when it hit me--I could consult myself! Instead of fretting about my problems, I could call in Chris Yeh, crack coach and consultant to tell me what to do. What I discovered is that if I pretended that I was helping out a client with the exact problems I had, I could unlock my creativity and generate quick, punchy action plans.

It helps to talk to yourself out loud, though I wouldn't recommend doing so around other people! Give it a try, and let me know how it goes.
Google Post of the Week

No, I'm not going to talk about Google's IPO, though every VC I know spent yesterday poring over the S1 and crying.

I'm simply going to point out that you can search Google in Klingon.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Virtual Worlds + Offshoring = ?

While I was in the shower this morning, I was musing on how real virtual worlds are becoming. The Merc had an article on how Linden Lab, the company behind Second Life, had hired a freelance journalist to report the virtual news.

That got me to thinking about how the real and virtual worlds are becoming increasingly blurry. If people can pay real money for virtual services, why not virtual money for real services?

Somehow, my mind jumped to the question of offshoring. Every white-collar worker, including me, has at least some worries about whether or not their job functions can be shipped overseas. I've comforted myself with the reasoning that my ability to navigate the Silicon Valley way of doing business, which necessitates personal contacts and networking, can't be replaced by India. Yet.

But....putting on my prognostication hat, I can envision a world in which the majority of working age people who grown up using virtual worlds for real-world collaboration. What's to stop the next generation of Linden Lab from replacing WebEx or PlaceWare?

And if the majority of businesspeople are used to doing business via a virtual world interface, why would distance matter? Whether your VP Marketing is in Bangalore or Palo Alto would become irrelevant.

I don't know whether the death of distance is 15 years in the future or 50. But it will have major consequences for the real and virtual world.