I've felt for a while that today's necessity of PowerPoint in the business world will be eclipsed by video. Managers will use multimedia and interactive videos to model their ideas and present their facts. The only question is how do we McJob the creation of video so that anyone can do it and look professional?
We're getting there with digital cameras and cell phones being able to shoot movies and Windows Movie Maker being on every copy of Windows itself and the growth of YouTube and Revver and others. That's bringing everyday people into this world of video production and distribution.
But... I want to get back to my statement that video is the way to present ideas and that business folk will seek to present their ideas in this format. Why is that so?
I read a lot. In the past year, I've purchased maybe 50 to 75 books, everything from "Execution," a business read, to "Conversation in Paint," an art book. Great stuff. I like the portability of books. I can even take the to the bathroom with me if I wanted to - The Library, as it's jokingly known in some quarters.
Even 5 years ago, it was pretty much unthinkable that I could drag a video - any video - into the bathroom with me. Sure, there were portable DVD players, but that was movies. What about TV shows? Home videos? These things weren't really available to put on DVD.
The Internet and video iPods and such make just about any video available to us whenever we want it. And a picture is worth a thousand words.
In the last 12 hours, I've spent about 2 hours of it watching explanations of m-theory and string theory, the latest trends in physics to resolve the questions of the universe into a single "theory of everything." It reoccurred to me in the course of my watching these videos that I was learning this much faster with the slick presentation of complex, moving graphics and human expression than I would through books. This doesn't dispense of my love for books, but it does show the alternative benefits of learning by video.
Now take that to the business climate. Do people really like to read the dry writ of reports? Of course not. If they did, PowerPoint would have never gained any hold. Managers want bullets, not paragraphs.
But how much better and more efficiently could we present project proposals and financials in video?
View the videos below - both of these are the first segment in multipart videos available on YouTube. Then imagine reading the books that give this same information. Doesn't video propel you much further along? And if you agree with that, apply this to communication and growth within a company. Would video accelerate the growth of the business because of the greased communication that video provides?
The Elegant Universe
Text works today because I can search it and jump into it and through it. For example, in reading a book, I can skip ahead, grab another book to dig deeper into something to understand a concept better. Video isn't interactive. I can't hotspot something and get more information. But I'm sure that's coming.
Video isn't searchable. I can't go to Google video and query to find all of the videos that have a Coke bottle in them somewhere. Only if someone tags the video with text, "Coke" in this instance, can I find the videos that feature a Coke bottle
And so PowerPoint is useful because it is both searchable and I can stop it to have a discussion and drill into a point.
How long before video offers that to users? And how amazing would learning then become?