almost 9 years on 2009-01-01

INFORMATION'S VALUE, RESTATED VIA RESTAURANT RECOMMENDATIONS


last weekend i spent a wonderful lunch with a good friend, mollie chen, who is an editor at conde nast traveler... as often happens, the conversation moved towards content, and the future (what an original topic for me to get hung up on, i know)...

that said, i espoused my normal position, which is that the value of information is based on scarcity, and really is just a function of scarcity.  that means that there will always be a way to sell content.  the business of information isn't going away at all, in fact there is an argument that it will become more potent -- but what constitutes 'scarce' information / what sells is changing...

in the process of the conversation, we came up with a new description of what is really happening via the metaphor of restaurant recommendations, which i think is interesting if not elegant

regardless of whether it was 1910 or 1990 or 2015, if you want to know where to go to dinner in new york, you have various means of discovery at your disposal along a continuum.  the more you 'spend', in time or effort, the better an answer you get.  you can 'spend' in the form of time, money, or social capital - and your 'return' is based on how you value the correspondingly better restaurant experience.

your restaurant picking mission is simple -- you are looking for the highest roi answer based on how you value your time/money - and how you value an incrementally better meal -- (you are not necessarily looking for the 'best' answer). 


original swl blogposts and letters 2007-2010