Steve Rubel has decided not to drink the Kool-aid. And I quote:
All very sensible stuff...a bid odd coming from the #1 Kool-Aid mixer and promoter, but hey, we'll take common sense wherever we can find it.
1) Study History - The history books are littered with manias (both financial and otherwise) that followed by reality setting in. The dot-com crash, of course, is only one. There are many others. Study them. Humans created human nature.
2) Diversify Your Sources of Information - God bless Techmeme. It does a fantastic job of tracking what the blogosphere is thinking about. But what if the global brain is dumb? Diversify your sources of information. Seek out those who at first you may disagree with. Nicholas Carr and Robert Cringley are two to start with. Find new blogs, ideally those written outside of SillyCon Valley and consider what they say.
3) Question Conventional Wisdom - Conventional wisdom is always right, right? Not. Read Freakonomics. If a lot of people start saying something is true, look behind the curtain and poke at what's there.
4) Don't Ignore Data - I didn't think it would ever matter, but my lack of love for math makes me wish I spent a little more time in school. Today, data rules. I am reading an awesome book on this subject called Super Crunchers. Skip what pundits are forecasting and look for hard trend data that shows how people are interacting with the Net. I keep a good collection here. Also take a look at Google Trends too. It conveys a lot about our interests. Notice how Second Life searches, for example, plummeted.
5) Talk to Real Humans - One of my favorite bloggers is Dwight Silverman. (I used to pitch Dwight during the Web 1.0 era.) Hailing from Houston, Dwight has seen many technologies come and go over the years. He constantly reminds me in public and private conversations to talk to real people - from Iowa or Planet Houston. When some of my colleagues started telling me to do the same, I got with the program. Do your sister or brother's friends Twitter? Probably not. Now that doesn't make it unimportant. Why? Because they all Google. Talk to both humans and geeks for broader perspective.
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