Business and work Mindsets

Structure stifles creativity

Here is a great quote from BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti about structure, autonomy and creativity:

“If everyone is in some highly structured organization, it’s hard for anyone to be creative,” he says. “It’s hard for people to make new things without autonomy and freedom.”

Read “How BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti Is Building A 100-Year Media Company” on Fast Company for really interesting insights into BuzzFeed.

Mindsets Policy issues Social Web

Why are we abdicating responsibility online?

Woodrow Wilson, One of Leakey’s Local Characters, in His Pickup. He Never Works, But Sits Staring at the River from 7 A.M until Sunset 06/1972

Last week’s European Court of Justice ruling that Google must remove search result listings that EU citizens require it to remove (subject to their requests passing a test the court proposed) touched on a trend I’ve become increasingly concerned about: our collective reluctance to take direct responsibility for what we share online and where we share it and our insistence that online services be held accountable for what we ultimately endorsed when we shared our data with them. We need to decide what world we live in. Do we live in a world where we are willing to take responsibility for our activities and make deliberate and empowered choices in the process or are we happy to surrender our autonomy to institutions and expect them to make decisions for us? We seem to be collectively opting for the second option and I wrote about this in my most recent column on titled “EU search results censorship is about our irresponsibility with data, not Google’s“. Here is a preview:

Last week’s European Court of Justice ruling that a Spanish citizen (and, by extension, all European Union citizens) could require Google to remove search results pointing to content about that person was not the “clear victory” for online privacy protection. Quite the opposite.

For the most part we rush to submit as much information about us as we can because we want to use these services without much thought about the implications for us down the line. Then, when we feel that our trust has been betrayed, we are outraged and the object of our frustration changes something and we fall back asleep. We find ourselves in this position where vast multinational companies have tremendous amounts of information about us because we gave it to them with our blessing, thanks even. Instead, perhaps we should consider whether handing over so much really serves us? Do we really need to disclose so much? Should we not insist on other ways to share that don’t leave us exposed?