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    paul saffo Quotes

    Every day huge amounts of information break off like icebergs and melt away. What worries me is that much information in electronic form is never reduced to paper. Some people have described this as being on the edge of a digital Dark Age and fear we may commit a massive act of amnesia.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: fear  people  dark  age  worries 
     
    As Stewart Brand (co-founder of Emeryville's Global Business Network) likes to say, "Information lasts forever. Digital information lasts forever or for five years, whichever comes first." There are examples everywhere. The tapes from the original Viking landers that went to Mars are at (NASA's) Jet Propulsion Laboratory, but there is no machine that can read the tapes.
    — Paul Saffo
    The value of a social network is defined not only by who's on it, but by who's excluded.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: value 
     
    Graphic designers are idea embalmers, loving undertakers preserving bits of data like to many butterflies pinned to felt in a jewel box.
    — Paul Saffo
    The Web is a compelling new medium being put to all kinds of uses, by everyone from banks to Cub Scouts to flying saucer cults. That said, it can also be a powerful folly amplifier.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: powerful  media 
     
    The difference between our collective generation and your generation (differentiating the reporters from the students) is that we poured our souls out on paper that got easily yellowed and lost. The danger is that many of your friends (nodding at the students) are putting intimate ideas in cyberspace journals. So when today's 15-year-old is 40, some friend is going to drag out all of that idiotic stuff at their class reunion.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: friends  soul  lost  danger  ideas 
     
    We tend to use a new technology to do an old task more efficiently. We pave the cow paths.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: technology  path 
     
    Hipness is the only asset that matters.
    — Paul Saffo
    Sometimes I think we're on this world for three reasons: to be useful, to tell each other stories and to collect stuff. It's the only explanation for eBay. We love to collect stuff, and at least if we're collecting stuff in cyberspace we're not deforesting the Sierra Nevada.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: world  stories 
     
    The curse of cyberspace is that everything we want to preserve will get lost and everything we want to lose will be preserved.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: lost 
     
    The future belongs to neither the conduit or content players, but those who control the filtering, searching and sense-making tools we will rely on to navigate through the expanses of cyberspace.
    — Paul Saffo
    Microsoft is a big intellectual roach motel. All the big minds go in, and they don't come out.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: mind  microsoft 
     
    I worry about a society that can remember everything.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: society  worries 
     
    We invent our technologies and then we turn around and use our technologies to reinvent ourselves as individuals, communities and cultures.
    — Paul Saffo
    Never mistake a clearer view for a short distance just because the technology looks like it's about to arrive in the very near future. Chances are there will be some surprises and in the long run even the most expected of futures tends to arrive late and in completely unexpected ways.
    — Paul Saffo
    I think it was Samuel Johnson who said, "There are two kinds of information in this world: that what you know and that what you know where to get." The tools help the latter, and that's what keeps us from going nuts. The sense of overload comes from the gap between that sudden jump in volume (of information) and the tools we have to make sense of it.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: help 
     
    I'm not sure the notion of employee or job is going to survive the transition over the next couple of decades. The very notion of a fulltime job will seem as quaint in 20 years as the notion of someone getting a gold watch at their retirement in the 1950s.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: job  employees  year 
     
    Never mistake a clear view for a short distance.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: mistakes 
     
    Each time you toss out a 'singing' greeting card, you are disposing of more computing power than existed in the entire world before 1950.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: time  power  world 
     
    It turns out it takes 30 years for a new idea to seep into the culture. Technology does not drive change. It is our collective response to the options and opportunities presented by technology that drives change.
    — Paul Saffo
    I think of futurists as people who have a particular attitude about the future. They're advocates for a certain kind of outcome. As a forecaster I am something very different. I am a professional bystander. I have opinions about the future, of course. But my whole posture is to be detached and to identify what I think will happen and not allow my judgments of what should happen to get involved.
    — Paul Saffo
    "Point of view" is that quintessentially human solution to information overload, an intuitive process of reducing things to an essential relevant and manageable minimum... In a world of hyperabundant content, point of view will become the scarcest of resources...
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: world  human  process 
     
    The goal of forecasting is not to predict the future but to tell you what you need to know to take meaningful action in the present
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: future  present  action  goal 
     
    Before the iPhone, cyberspace was something you went to your desk to visit. Now cyberspace is something you carry in your pocket.
    — Paul Saffo
    Responding to climate change will become the obsession of the next decade in much the same way terrorism was this decade's obsession.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: terrorism 
     
    I live on a canyon at the edge of San Mateo. We are fortunate to have lots of suburban wildlife as our neighbors, though I kind of wish the rattlesnakes would stop curling up by our back door.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: live  wishes 
     
    My driving style is alert. As a forecaster, I can't help but think about who else is on the road and how little attention they are paying to their driving.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: help  attention 
     
    Though I carry enough electronics to get nervous in a lightning storm, I love paper and I always have a Moleskine journal with me to capture notes, conversations and ideas.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: ideas 
     
    When I lived in Japan in the 1980s, I once was mistaken for Paul Newman, and I didn't have much more hair than I do now. My first reaction was that staying in Japan might be good for my social life.
    — Paul Saffo
    You don't want to rely on an expert to tell you what lies ahead.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: lies 
     
    Any thinking person is qualified to be a forecaster, and in fact, everybody does it every day.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: people  facts  thinking 
     
    The thing I see happening is that there's a real compression between generations. There used to be about 20 years difference (in technology use). Now you talk to 15-year-old kids and their 9-year-old brother or sister is using stuff that they don't understand.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: real  technology  kids  year 
     
    It's interesting to see the lament of each generation overwhelmed by the next new tool. I can show you passages from scholars of Germany in the 1480s lamenting the fact that they are overloaded with all this stuff to read because of the printing press.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: facts  read 
     
    I'm actually an optimist about what lies ahead. Are wikis reliable? It depends on the specific business. Is Wikipedia reliable? You bet. Wikipedia is a researcher's dream.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: lies  dreams  business 
     
    Take cyberspace as an example. We had this wonderful utopian vision of a new home for the mind. What we've reaped isn't cyberspace. It's cyberbia. It's this vast, bland wasteland of vulgar people and trivial ideas and pictures of half-naked starlets. But despite all the uncertainty, has there ever been a more fascinating moment to be alive?
    — Paul Saffo
    Using technology merely to lower operational costs amounts to standing on a whale fishing for minnows. It just allows you to do the old thing more efficiently, where in this moment of deep transformation, it is much more likely that you should be doing something entirely new in an entirely different way.
    — Paul Saffo
    My advice is don't use technology primarily to lower costs. Use technology to create new, effective ways of touching the market and creating new businesses and if you do that right, the cost savings will come.
    — Paul Saffo
    When everybody else is in a down market is focusing on what they're doing wrong, instead focus on what you should be doing differently, it may be that what you did in the past was perfectly right. It is possible to do all the right things in business and still have a business crisis because of what's happening in the external environment. And if you start focusing on mistakes only, you're going to miss opportunities.
    — Paul Saffo
    I think the most important thing that a company can do, not just in the customer space but the employee space, is to be completely open and completely honest. Don't pretend that you're doing something that you can not do. There's an old saying in Silicon Valley, "It's not a bug. It's a feature."
    — Paul Saffo
    The best way to let people go is to let them know when they're hired that it's an uncertain environment and that their job is always at risk and even if you let them go, it's not that you don't love them.
    — Paul Saffo
    tags: people  environment  job  risk 
     
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