‘The Manifesto’

Answering the ‘so what do you do?’ question has always been a tricky one. I’m not much of a salesman. And yet it is a question that needs an answer. How can one make a business if one can not explain the product?

Chatting with the other half of Johnny.Decimal over dinner, Lucy explained how in other marketing/advertising environments, before you release a new product you often spend time reminding your target audience of the problem it ‘treats’.

You remind them of the problem that exists so that they are ready to accept the solution that you are selling.

And so that’s where we decided to start. Channeling my inner Marx, we came up with ‘the manifesto’.

We recorded these and Lucy made a series of amazing videos. You’ll find those on the new YouTube channel as well as in a series of posts on the LinkedIn page.

If you feel like helping out, reposting those LinkedIn posts would be great and only takes a second! Thank you. :raised_hands:

The problem

When we kept everything on paper, organised people had these things called filing cabinets. They stored all of their documents in them in a structured way so that they could find them again.

Now those same people store all of their files in arbitrarily named folders on their company’s shared drive and wonder why they can’t find anything.

Information wasn’t always free

When we kept everything on paper, generating information came with a cost. Paper cost money. Typing out a document took real effort. Duplicating a document meant a trip to the photocopier.

Every document produced was a tangible thing. It was there, on your desk. You couldn’t ignore it.

Now anyone can duplicate anything, instantly, invisibly, for free. We assume this is an improvement.

Is it?

You had to be organised

When we kept everything on paper, you had to be organised. There was no other option.

If you weren’t organised, the information was lost. Not lost as in ‘it’ll take me a while to find it’: lost as in ‘gone forever’.

Now you can be disorganised, but at what cost? The cost is the time it takes you to find a thing; it is the risk that the thing that you find is a duplicate or an old version. It is the constant frustration that comes from knowing that something exists, but having no idea where it is.

We all feel this every day and we have come to believe that it is normal.

It is not normal.

Why aren’t we given training?

When we kept everything on paper, it was someone’s job to organise it. This was an occupation: you were trained. You became an expert.

Now we employ Gen Z’s who didn’t grow up with the concept of ‘a file’ yet we expect them to navigate the byzantine hierarchy of the company’s SharePoint.

You work at a keyboard all day, so we make you sit through a module so you know to bend your knees when you lift a box.

But when it comes to information management: you’re on your own.