When I was growing up, a 360º was the benchmark for cool: Cycle as fast as you can . . . pull on the back brake . . . push out the back wheel . . . and if you were going fast enough, you completed a circle. Only a few could do it, whilst the rest watched.
As we got a bit older, the 360º was the benchmark for the reckless: Drive as fast as you can . . . pull up the handbrake . . . turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction . . . spin the back wheels . . . complete the circle. Even fewer could do that.
Shedding the spirit of youth and entering into the 1990s, the 360º became a key workplace feedback technique for evaluating how you were doing, what people thought of your performance, and where you needed to go next. With the Internet, 360º takes on its fourth dimension.
Three quotes jump to my mind this week about the impact of the Internet in making the previously invisible visible:
1. The first is an interview with Scott McNealy, co-founder and chairman of Sun Microsystems, in which he said his one regret in life was not having invented the concept of Google Search in which “every word in the English language is sold to the highest bidder.”
Both quotes provide insight on the 360º machine that is the Internet.
And now in the 21st century, the 360º View is a tool becoming common in enterprise applications. Both the Blackboard Content System and the Blackboard Outcomes System use the device to give users an understanding of the full range of information that is available to them, a feel for the relationship between the different pieces of information, and most importantly the possibility for making connections between pieces or sets of information that weren’t previously possible or even conceived.
So what about that third quote?
3. A formula, created by Guy Kawasaki (which he also presented during his keynote address last year in Boston during BbWorld ’07), for successful innovation:
The 360º View tool is all of these, and vital for making strong educational decisions. Pull up the brake, turn that information around, and benchmark your performance!