Mcluhan famously wrote that the medium is the message. But he also observed that the medium is any extension of man that uses his senses and faculties to determine what he is. Meaning, all these things that we use, they are precisely what help us become who we are. They are platforms of evolution that allow us to engage all of our being in a fulfilling manner. But contrary to what some say, we don’t have to become slaves to these tools. We don’t have to accept the standard of what a particular medium can be, we can set that standard ourselves.
FREEDIUM -- A permission slip to elevate our own tools
That is our birthright as humans. We not only have the freedom to use the medium, but to suggest new possibilities for what the medium might become. Our talent is not only in the work, but in the hybrid nature of how the work is produced and presented. Tesla reinvented the car as we know it. Jobs changed what the word phone means. Newmark reimagined what classified ads look like. Because instead of looking in the rear view mirror, they marched forward into a better future. Critics and skeptics say, however, that you can’t just start a brand new genre. You can’t just invent a new category out of thin air. Sure you can. This is the whole purpose of evolution. To open ourselves to the complete possibility of what might be. To use the medium, whatever it may be, to help us become what we are.
My last employer was a tech startup who revolutionized air travel by converting aviation law into code, and converted code into a real service offering that assisted passengers in getting compensation for flight disruptions. It also helped airlines perform better and faster customer service. Fittingly, he called the business model, justice as a service. Because thanks to big data, there was feasibility of business models that weren’t possible years ago.
If there is a medium that has lost a lot of its edge, and your fire has dwindled, go figure out the platforms where you can tell your story best. Wreck some shop. Give people something they have already seen, but in a way they have never seen it before, and you just might go down in history. How will you create value in ways that were never thought of before?
Turn platforms on their heads
Create value for customers in new ways
Engage all of your skills in a fulfilling manner
Innovate entirely new categories and genres