What you know or who you know

The old saying “its not what you know, its who you know” is losing steam. In a world on instant startups and flourishing home offices of one, what you know is becoming much more important. But it isn’t all important. How you use that knowledge is what really counts.

Peter Drucker proclaimed over a decade ago that “value is now created by productivity and innovation, both applications of knowledge to work.” It is exactly those productivity gains and innovative new products and services which kept the US at the business forefront for the last decade plus.

Unfortunately, while our education system and its home-grown beneficiaries produced much of our work, times are a-changing. Some are beginning to wonder if the United States is becoming anti-science. If it is true, and the fervor spreads, a lot of what Thomas Friedman warns us about in The World Is Flat may turn out fact. US institutions educate foreigners, our “work” makes it easy for them to return home with that knowledge, and a few folks are left wondering what the hell happened.

This isn’t some “close our borders” mantra. The bottom line is some people are extremely motivated – the fact that they aren’t necessarily born in the US to US born parents makes no difference. They are doing it, and others are not.

The tools exist for people to turn their knowledge towards creative, widely beneficial endeavors.

Whether you use your knowledge is up to you.

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