If connection is the product of the future, the problem is not going to be connecting; human beings connect naturally–and arbitrarily.

If connection is the product of the future, the problem is not going to be developing the tools and technology to mediate, facilitate, develop and encourage those connections; human innovation is already beginning to drive that development.

If connection is the product of the future, the problem is going to be determining the value of that connection.

The assumptions, decisions, and even the drivers, that encourage the development of markets, regulations, policies, and procedures, at scale are absent in the face of something ephemeral, long-term, relationally based, and seemingly arbitrary from person to person.

Here are a few questions to get you thinking about this differently:

  • What are we charging our customers and clients for?
  • What are we paid to do?
  • What do our clients and customers believe we are paid to do?
  • What is the value of education about connection to our customers and clients?
  • What is the value of connection for our customers and clients?
  • What is the value of the tools around the act of connecting with our clients and customers?
  • What do our clients think they want from each other?
  • What is the market value of our network, to our customers and clients?
  • What is the risk profile of our market, our clients, and our organization?

Answering these questions, along with carefully considering the inherent (and growing) value of storytelling, self-awareness, and conflict management (not resolution—that requires skillsets you might not want to acquire) will open the door to creating a macroculture of connection.

Avoiding these hard questions and hoping that another innovator, entrepreneur, or visionary will come along and create the web of support that the system of connection-as-the-economy requires, is foolhardy and dangerous.

If connection is the product of the future, the problem is going to be answering the questions, in brave ways and then acting on the scary answers.