Media Lab: The Cognitive Limit of Organizations
This is a slide that I got from Cesar Hidalgo. He used this slide to explain a concept that I think is key to the way we think about how the Media Lab is evolving. The vertical axis of this slide represents the total stock of information in the world. The horizontal axis represents time. In the early days, life was simple. We did important things like make spears and arrowheads. At some point, however, the amount of knowledge required to make things began to exceed the cognitive limit of a single human being. When the Media Lab was founded 25 years ago, many products were still single-company products and most, if not all, of the intellectual property was contained in a single company. In a world in which implementing the next generation of ideas will increasingly require pulling resources from different organizations, barriers to collaboration will be a crucial constraint limiting the development of firms.
Related: intelligence collective
• digital economy