Seth Godin has written an interesting post where he discusses the availability of tools and the low barriers to entry facilitated by today’s technology. It resonated with me as last week I had a discussion with a taxi driver who enjoyed using Photoshop even though, in his own words “I am not all that good with it”. It does not seem all that long ago since no-one outside of the design sector even knew what Photoshop was.
While I am able to see the point of the “You have a guitar, but that does not make you Jimi Hendrix” argument in Seth’s post, the fact is that the metaphorical playing fields are being levelled as we speak. The key implication to me seems that I have to concentrate on selling what is in my head. That has to be my unique differentiator. As someone else somewhere else will always be catching up with me on whatever craft design skills I have developed, or else leapfrogging those skills with better, smarter tools. I think we all have to run just to stand still and engage in constant learning to compete.
Seth can make us all feel guilty, as we really do not have that any reasons left not to get down to it and write our books now. (Actually my phrasing does him a disservice. Rather than fostering guilt, he is encouraging self-sufficiency and personal excellence.)