I was having a read of Sandy Mamoli’s blog today and see she has just got a job at Fronde, the CEO of which is none other than Jim Donovan who is also a great NZ business blogger. Imagine a decade or two working for an organisation where the CEO was articulating his thought about the business and other issues and, as an employee, being able to see, read, reflect on and contribute to these thoughts.

All these things got me thinking about distance, relationships, information and access.

In 1993/1994 I spent a couple of years predominantly in the Middle East and Scandinavia. At the time the internet and email were in their infancy and telecommunications was still comparatively expensive. In the time I was away I maybe called home on a weekly or fortnightly basis and predominantly communicated via post.

I have a buddy who is a field geophysicist based in Dubai and Jakarta, him and are able to talk (Skype), chat (MSN, Skype, Yahoo) and generally communicate instantaneously at little or no cost and whenever we want.

So…. what’s my point…. well I don’t really have one other than to raise the question as to whether this is necessarily a good thing. In my travelling example – part of the growth I gained from my time away was as a direct result of drinking some dodgy water from a stream in the middle of Germany somewhere while solo cycle touring at a time that no one on the face of the earth knew of my whereabouts.

What I’m saying is that isolation, distance, risk and danger are integral parts to our growth and development and the ever increasing use of communication technology may very well be limiting these growth opportunities. I’m far from a Luddite and I enjoy the benefits that technology offers me but I also have the good fortune to have done some crazy stuff before these benefits where available.

Would I be the same person without these experiences? I think not – and that, IMHO would be a sad thing….

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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