The city that I grew up in used to feel like a big place until I learned how to drive. Distances that seemed to span hours by walking were compressed to minutes, all thanks to a car. And the gap continues to narrow. Advancements in transportation now allow us to soar through the sky and arrive on the other side of the world within a single day.
Digitally, we've seen the gap close exponentially. From what used to take minutes and an awful amount of modem noise to connect to a server now takes a few microseconds. Today, we can fold the world and transmit a message to a loved one before we even think of what we want to say. Vast quantities of knowledge is only several keystrokes from attainment.
To admit that I'm excited about this curve would be a massive understatement. When I allow my imagination to run wild, I can't help but think of living with a networked mind capable of sharing information faster than a neuron burst. I can even foresee airplanes being replaced by loosely theorized technologies such as teleportation. All of this and more seems entirely possible. Or is it?
The largest obstacle to innovation isn't the lack of tools or vision - it's education. How can we hope for future generations to create the future if they lack access to relevant and inspiring knowledge repositories? Fortunately, this gap is also narrowing. Institutions are unlocking their valuable courses while independent educators are creating new content in the form of digital books and videos. These new educators are currently free of an economic model that would compel them to achieve a level of profitability. However, it's not hard to see how these efforts can be transformed into something financially rewarding.
I'd like to think that the most successful companies attribute their particular successes to closing gaps. Value is there for individuals that want to roll up their sleeves and solve difficult problems.