The leap from here to there has never been closer.

Sure, leaping is naturally hard.

That’s why people caution other people, before they embark on a path they can’t see, into a future they can’t understand, with outcomes that are unimaginable, to “look before you leap.”

It’s been written before that, in the context of a conflict, this is terrible advice, most often given terribly.

In the context of the idea of the primacy of the network over everything else , leaping from the Internet “in here” (the greatest communications disruption tool invented by man yet) to the network of physical relationships, textures, and moments in the world “out there” (the physical world), it’s actually great advice.

The difficulty of leaping from inside the machine to outside the machine is misunderstood and underappreciated. Google is trying it’s best to make that leap, as is Facebook, but the real players in the leap from virtual to physical, might be platform builders who understand two things:

Connectivity is not a bug, it’s a feature. Too often in the non-virtual world, connection is now shifting from being treated as something to be hoarded (though there are still those who do that) to something to be freely shared. This shift is thought of by the hoarders as a bug in the system and they do all they can to wipe it out.

Access is a responsibility. Too often in the physical world the location where the fiber optic wire ends (the last mile concept) is thought of as the place where it’s not financially worth it (a profit can’t be made) to provide access to the people living beyond that, sometimes literal, “last mile.” This mindset is shifting, because the reality is that access is gradually moving from a limited privilege to a global civic good.

Once people, businesses, and networks wrap their heads around these two philosophies, and then are self-aware enough to act on them with intentionality, “look before you leap” will return to being the terrible advice it always was.