So what on earth does that have to do with Twitter? Bear with me for a second.
I recently read a book called “In the Blink of an Eye” by Andrew Parker that talks about light, sight, and the Cambrian explosion of biodiversity. The Cambrian explosion is the term for the rapid appearance of most complex animals in the fossil record about 530 million years ago. Whereas there had been mainly simple organisms prior, there was a sudden appearance of most major groups of complex organisms in this period. The theory proposed in the book was that this diversity corresponded with the advent of the ability to see, albeit in very basic form.
Once organisms were able to see, a back and forth cycle of predation, defense, and consumption mechanisms exploded through the animal and plant kingdoms:
The development of teeth and shells in this explosion of diversity also meant that there was something to fossilize, and lead to the sudden appearance of a broad fossil record.
This one simple capability - sight - resulted in the most significant acceleration of evolution ever seen.Twitter, and social media in general, may result in an equally similar acceleration in the evolution of how we all do business.
Similarly, this new vision can be used for today’s business equivalents of predation, defense, or consumption:
Predation: Okay, it's a harsher word than we'd like to use, but companies are able to see your customers conversations. If your customers are dissatisfied, you can be sure that your competition will not hesitate in connecting with them.
Social media, and tools like Twitter have made a drastic change in our business environment. Where business evolves to in the next 5 or 10 years is anybody’s guess, but the only safe bet is that it won’t be the same as it is today and that following a script is more dangerous than improvising. Now is our chance to recognize the changes in the environment and consciously and quickly adapt to them. If we don’t we may share a similar fate to the pre-Cambrian organisms who saw the early versions of eyesight as “just a neat little toy that teenagers play with”.