How can we best humanize technology? A conversation with best-selling technology author and entrepreneur, Mitch Joel
Starting the 2024 season of the podcast!
My guest in the first episode of the podcast this year is entrepreneur, author, and longtime cultural, business and technology commentator Mitch Joel.
Mitch was a driving force behind Twist Image, a game-defining Montreal e-commerce agency he eventually exited successfully.
As the author of the early Internet classic book Six Pixels of Separation, he built a consulting practice that saw him advise companies like Starbucks, Microsoft and Google, and has been an early adopter and keen observer of technology trends and how they impact society for decades now.
Like many Gen X’ers whose careers co-evolved with the rise of digital media, Mitch sees technology as deeply embedded in a human context; it’s neither a “given” he was born with nor a separate realm he’s puzzled by. Rather, he sees it as a uniquely powerful force that keeps reshaping the way we live, over and over. Every time “progress” or “disruption” hit, a cascade of thrilling, frustrating, and surprising changes follow – often simultaneously.
For example, this came out in our talk when we discussed video games, and what they really compete with:
“Games now never end. In fact, the engines are created to keep you there as much as possible. If you study the area, which I do a little bit, you know that they're not even competing with other media formats now. These technologies are competing with sleep.”
This conversation took us to the history of the internet, how to leverage technology to support well-being, how brands can better connect to people, and uncovering the true meaning of the often misunderstood term “burn your boats.”
I thoroughly enjoyed it, and that it was the first in-person episode in the studio was a nice bonus (the fact that Mitch only needs to walk a few blocks to get there certainly helped :).
2024 will be an exciting year for the podcast. I’m really pumped with the quality of the guests I was able to line up - all amazing thinkers who can help us learn how to elevate the human experience today. So tune in, subscribe and share with your friends if you appreciate it – and never hesitate to reach out with your thoughts and suggestions!
PS. For those interested in GenAI developments, you can check out my article in entrepreneur.com on why AI won’t be replacing humans anytime soon here.
You can learn more about Mitch’s projects here:
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