THE POWER OF SHARING
I suppose many of you have played Sid Mayer’s Civilization. If not, I feel sorry for you because you’ve missed a highly addictive turn-based strategy game that can teach you a lot about history, strategy, diplomacy and a lot more. Mark Zuckerberg is obviously a big fan which is a pleasant surprise for me. I have played all versions of the game including one on a floppy disk. I avoid playing it though, because of its obsessiveness and my vulnerability.
Why am I telling you all this?
The game is a simulation of our civilization. If you have maniac inclinations to be a dictator or just to determine human history, it would help you execute your plan to take over the world. Turns out, Mark knows how to play it in real life.
Generally, the game shows how diplomacy, economy, trade, culture, science and progress function in our society. The objective is to expand and develop your empire to be the most powerful.
To achieve this, most often you need to make sure yours is the one with highest technological level compared to all other players’. Thus, it can more easily become the highest culturally developed empire with the most modern army, etc. The fastest player to find all the technologies wins. One of the most successful strategies (spoiler alert) is to share technologies you found with other empires. In exchange, they reveal theirs. This is always a winning strategy when you play against the game itself. I guess the human minds standing behind the algorithms of the game know that sharing is a winning move.
What does it mean to share?
Before answering this question, I want to make sure I am not misunderstood.
Sharing is neither a universal answer for every problem, nor is a magical solution for any business and personal casе. Sharing is a practice which applied properly can be unbelievably successful, if not – fatal. I won’t go into deep analysis of what can and cannot be shared but let’s say there are things no one would want to share. It is completely normal.
To share means to be able to give without waiting for something in return. The only sure thing you will receive is the satisfaction you get of sharing. It’s the ultimate win-win.
It sounds abstract so let’s use an example. Education is basically sharing knowledge. If teachers don’t share with their students everything they know, it means our civilization would soon disappear. Imagine if no one is capable of learning new things from others ever again. I know – it is highly unlikely and that’s probably the reason it is so hard for me to imagine it. But still, it shows that sharing is not just a condition, but a base of our civilization.
There are so many other things whose philosophy is sharing. Digital revolution. Shared economy. Internet. Think about it – the internet is just a platform for sharing, nothing more. But it goes with food, water and air. Do you need more examples…?
Why sharing is so important?
I think now is the time to say that sharing kittens’ pics is not exactly sharing.
As nuclear energy can be used for peaceful production of engines, so it can be used for destructive purposes such as a bomb. Internet unfortunately is so powerful that it can be compared to nuclear energy. The power of sharing is so great that if not used properly, tomorrow we can wake up in a kind of nuclear winter of shared photos of kittens in each social network everywhere. It’s a good thing we can delete those friends of ours, or just stop follow them. Let’s not be rude.
It’s important that we share. It helps both the person giving the information and the one who receives it. We are stronger when united. But to be united we need to share. I know it sounds simple but the bigger the organization, the harder the sharing.
Sharing is power you need to be careful with. Don’t share kittens. Share knowledge. Share emotions. Share ideas. Be the source of this power.
Finally I would like to give you one more example. Elon Musk realizes the threat to the planet and our civilization that comes from global warming. His work towards the elimination of fossil fuel engines have yet to be learnt in History classes of the coming generations.
Probably many of you know this, but he gave public access to all the technology of electric propulsion engines of Tesla cars (now that’s an EPIC SHARING). He is aware that sharing this knowledge will help other companies to improve and develop their electric engines, and thus will accelerate at times the development of the electric motor so that it will become a real alternative to the internal combustion engine, and more thus, it obsolete and be discontinued.
Now you can share this article. I didn’t put kittens on purpose…
Nikolay is the CEO of DigiMark and also a huge fan of Sid Mayer’s Civilization, which inspired this blog post.