Skip to content

Is Direct Message (DM) the new Email?

August 16, 2011

Have you seen any dinosaurs lately?

The central question in the life of dinosaurs before the cataclysm can be found in the food supply. Imagine being a Brachiosaurus; the length of two large school buses and the height of a four-story building. Think about changing market conditions. Consider the relationship between size and adaptability.

Picture what it was like being outpaced to the food supply by the competition, a Compsognathus; slightly larger than a chicken. Speed is critical to retaining and gaining market share.

Dinosaurs went extinct about 65 million years ago. If all of Earth time from the very beginning of the dinosaurs to today were compressed into 365 days, the dinosaurs appeared January 1 and became extinct the third week of September. Technology sees a similar refresh cycle. Upgrade protection is important.

Business and supporting technology are cyclical. The Information Age has completed a full cycle: 60s-70s mainframes; 80s-90s servers; and 00s-10s Web. This current decade will be marked by cloud computing, context-aware computing, and the business impact of social media.

We are moving away from a world where IT is delivered to the business to one where IT is delivered through the business. Business Intelligence is the “intelligent business.” And Enterprise Transformation looks more like the “Transformational Enterprise.”

IT Enterprise consumption is being replaced with consumerization. Initial adoption has transferred to the citizen sector before attaching to Enterprise engagement. This trend will impact virtually every aspect of corporate life.

If you only remember one thing — today’s hyper-personalized data coalesces around mobility. It’s about anytime, anywhere. The “food source” is information. Those who get to the information first, and act on it quickly will gain a competitive advantage. It’s called survival.

Traditional email is yesterday’s technology. It’s time intensive. Business moves at light speed. Time is our most valuable resource. It’s finite and irreplaceable. Social media has confidently taught us that effective time management is best achieved when limiting all electronic communications to 140 characters.

The key to successful communication is to take an imaginative leap. The most effective communication clarifies rather than obscures. Communication presented in a simple format makes it more understandable. And the more understandable it is, the more credible it will be.

140 characters is the perfect length to achieve countless objectives. You are judged in seven seconds and your ideas are judged in thirty seconds. DM forces clear and concise communication. Say what you mean and mean what you say. It’s that simple.

Your first words are more important than your last. What you say first colors everything that follows. It will either cast a shadow over your purpose or provide a foundation under it. What you choose to leave out of your communication is just as important as what you choose to include.

As the Information Age continues to define and refine itself, it’s time to move away from traditional email and standardize on a 140 character platform. Whether the prevailing platform is Twitter, or “Twitter-like,” the concept of a Direct Message holds a lot of promise.

Email is to the lumbering Brachiosaurus what DM is to the nimble Compsognathus. Who gets to “information”… the food supply quicker? Lean is good. Less is more. Speed is everything.

Move beyond the status quo. Good enough never is. If you want to beat the competition, you must pursue a universal system of perfection. Relentlessly. If you don’t, they will.

The bottom line is this — if you don’t like change, you’re going to like extinction even less. It’s always about what customers need tomorrow, and how can you deliver it today? The ability to recognize technology trends and quickly adapt to its proper use plays a key role in answering that critical question.


Follow me on Twitter @johnanthonypain


From → Leadership

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: