Everything that used to be centralized is becoming distributed. This is the the way things move in a post-mass-media environment. The changes are really caused by huge disruptions in growth. One billion PCs, one trillion web pages, 6.7 Billion people, more than 305 million Americans. World population doubled in the last 35 years. United States population doubled in 50 years.
Everything that used to be centralized is becoming distributed.
Like a movie action hero walking towards the camera and away from the blast, we are reeling from the pace of growth. When management was invented in the 19th century, it was used to deal with a world that was 10% of the size of today’s world. Information traveled slowly. Decisions could be made from the top because the view was better up there. That world exploded with more people, tools and complexity.
The theory that it was possible to deliver order by centralizing power had its heyday in the 20th Century. Everything got big and standardized. One car model, three networks, global superpowers, linear narratives. Lots of product. Limited choice. That’s how we dealt with the doubling of world population that happened between 1925 and 1970. The latest doubling effectively ruined the idea of standardization as a method for handling explosive growth.
This is why the network approach of Generation Y is not an anomaly. It’s the only method that will work in the world we actually inhabit.
Everything that used to be centralized is becoming more distributed.