Trylon Communications  - August 2003

Analog vs. Digital

No, we aren’t talking phone lines nor information flow. We’re talking about thinking. More importantly, we’re talking about how easy it is becoming NOT to think.

With today’s ability to access vast amounts of information, developing a gut knowledge of your business is more critical than ever. How easy is it to search a topic on the Internet, find an article that fits what you want, and use it for research or background?

A great example of this is the gaffe made by the President in his State of the Union address. A White House staffer had found a report that Saddam Hussein had tried to purchase 500 tons of nuclear material for developing weapons. This was repeated in Bush’s speech. It turned out to be an erroneous report with no basis in fact.

A recent consumer survey of automobile buyers showed that people place more credibility in what salespeople tell them at the dealership than in information they get on the Web. Does this mean that they hold auto salespeople in high esteem, or that they do not believe everything they read online?

For every valid news story that makes its way onto the Web, there can be a dozen that are either partially or completely false. The ability to sort through information and trace back sources and legitimacy of reports will be a crucial skill to own as information becomes more abundant.

What does this mean for business? The role of research analyst in your company will become more and more important. Whether the subject is marketing, product development, competitive analysis or whatever, the ability to think and not just mimic will be at a premium.

This is one case where analog will beat digital every time.