Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

You can subscribe to this site via RSS (the humanity!) or .

Idea Commodities

I’m having a hard time deciding whether I think this quote from Thomas Friedman is total crap or brilliant:

In today’s wired world, the most important economic competition is no longer between countries or companies. The most important economic competition is actually between you and your own imagination. Because what your kids imagine, they can now act on farther, faster, cheaper than ever before — as individuals. Today, just about everything is becoming a commodity, except imagination, except the ability to spark new ideas.

I think it’s actually somewhere in the middle of the two. Sure ideas/imagination are worth something and you can’t get anything done without them, but if they’re not acted on, they don’t matter. And while it may be easier and cheaper than ever to act on them, the vast majority of the universe doesn’t get around to it. While I certainly believe in encouraging this kind of behavior in children (and adults) as much as possible, I think it’s the bringing an idea to life piece that’s not been commoditized.

March 21, 2010