Sherlock Holmes. One of my favorites. To this day I will, randomly approach the “Canon”, pick up one of his stories or go pot luck and turn to a page in one of his novels and just read on from wherever I land.
Fact is, I did just that today. “A Study in Scarlet” was the choice and as I entered the world of Victorian England to relax, for an hour or so, I stumbled across the following quote and indeed felt a little like the famed detective himself might have felt when closing in on his prey:
“I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it – there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”
I was floored.
I have been agonizing over trends of web use; issues of content and context; credibility and veritas; how do we add value to our clients; to consumers – you get the picture…
And here it was – “he will have nothing but the tools…a large assortment…all in the most perfect order…”
Imagine Holmes in our age!!! Was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle prescient? Could he have imagined today – by the way he was very forward thinking…worth looking in to.
It’s the tools. It’s all about the tools.
You see – users no longer are limited by Portals – aggregated multi- information sites that presupposes lazy behavior or ignorance of how to explore; search and find.
Nor do Web sites alone – aggregated more focused information sites – make the grade. Who likes to land on a home page; deal with often confusing navigation – cutesy headings; distractions – irrelevant ads and general noise – stuff that someone else thinks you need to know.
What is important are the tools that help us get people to the places they need to get to – as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Tools that cut out the confusion; the distractions and the noise. Tools that add value and are valuable in and of themselves. Tools that people will use and use again.
CRM? Do you remember Customers Really Manage? If there was ever a commercial for it and a proof of its viability and power – this is it.
Read last week’s posting – if you haven’t or read it again if you did – and apply this notion –
The experience is created; the experience is enhanced; the experience becomes real through the tools – and the better the tools the closer we get to creating real Eureka moments.
So lest you think that I have given up reality completely by quoting and waxing on about fictitious characters (although YODA remains an all time favorite quote…) let me turn to one of the great educators; philosophers and writers that England has ever produced – keeping thematic here – notice? (Although Conan Doyle is Scottish…) Who said:
“Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it”.
And there you have it a road map for our new world straight from the old.
If they know it themselves – what the hell – hard to add value. But think about the power of helping people find it – and define it by the right; relevant and most important information they will ever find.
One last thought:
“Come, Watson, come! The game is afoot. Not a word! Into your clothes and come!”
What do you think?