Categories
Small Business

The Information Problem

When I was a young man and had ambitions to learn more about and start a business I was obliged to go to the Business Library in the Dublin City Public Library in the Ilac Centre in Henry Street.This was in the early 1980s when I was studying Commerce in UCD.

Back then, if you wanted to import anything, for example, you could go to this business library and go through the various directories of importers and exporters from various countries around the world.

This was the only way to find this type of information.

No internet, no mobile phone, no Google, no YouTube, no Amazon.

If you wanted to learn a new skill or find out how to do something you had to buy a book or magazine or take a correspondence course or go to college.

This was where the information was to be found.

Now I can pull my phone out of my pocket and a world of information is at my disposal.

There is no difficulty finding importers or exporters or distributors or manufacturers or middle men who are only too happy to supply their product. You can even have stuff delivered around the world in small sample quantities to check the quality, and so on.

To learn something you simply have to Google it or go to YouTube or go to Amazon and you will find what you want in seconds.

The problem now, though, is not the absence of information like back in the early 1980s; the problem now is sorting through the freely available information to find what is genuine, true, accurate, reliable.

Now the problem is sorting through the surfeit of information and trying to ascertain the reliable source from the charlatans, the grifters, the  con artists, the snake oil salesmen and women, the shills, the scammers, the fakes.

Now the problem is not a lack of information but which information to trust.

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