Since you started reading this sentence about six seconds ago, humans have discovered, created, produced, stored and made available more content, more data, more bits and bytes and even more Qbits than we have since the very beginning of recorded time.
More information in 20 seconds than in 200,000 years.
But, from finance to football to physics, the race isn't merely about the accumulation of information, it's knowing how to use it. How to separate the wheat from the chaff and the ore from the slag.
As Proverbs 4:7 says: "With all thy getting, get understanding."
Simon Winchester, in his new book "Knowing What We Know," says, “Information scientists speak of a 'DIKW pyramid': Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom. We now have a superfluity of D and I, but that makes K hard to discern and W ever harder to attain."
It's not just technology clients that have difficulty explaining what it is they make so potential customers can buy things with a slim scintilla of confidence. I tried to buy some jeans online last week, but I couldn't.
I couldn't understand their non-descriptions of their "fits," above.
Or their colors, below.
Most brands today--even advertising agencies and holding companies have at least one Chief Information Officer. What they don't have is a Chief-Make-Sense-of-Information-Officer.
Someone who helps them define, differentiate and demonstrate. So they can dominate. First mind-share, then market-share.
Perhaps what's needed is a liaison between engineers, marketers, copywriters and designers.To eradicate complexity. To guide brands from Data and Information to Knowledge and Wisdom.
Some examples of making the abstract palpable--even pass-along-able.
From Chip Heath and Karla Starr's, "Making Numbers Count."
Somehow, we have forgotten as a society and an industry how important it is to make information interesting and sexy.
So we say nothing interesting. Or nothing differentiating. Or we show nothing but people smiling. Or breaking into dance.
Data isn't enough.
Information isn't enough.
Knowledge and wisdom--differentiated dimensions are needed.
That's how you sell things.