Time and therefore, attention – is the only non-scalable resource available with most of us today. Never in the history of mankind have organizations tried to capture this resource in a wholesale manner. Empires have launched militaristic and diplomatic campaigns for land, crops, slaves, spices and even ice. But none have tried to seize our imagination or our eyeballs. Except for religion. While it may be fashionable (or dangerous) to lament and berate religions these days – for the astute mind there are lots of lessons. Religious movements (and cults) have been great at communicating higher values, managing narratives through storytelling, building communities, packaging materialism in virtue and offering some solutions to deeper problems. More importantly, they were never about money. And yet, they made lots of it. Personally, I see parallels between religions and eyeball grabbers like Facebook, Netflix, Google, & Amazon – for they have built massive organizations based on our attention, while still being ridiculously cheap or even free. Why? Because as with religion, they may free… but we will still pay for it. Through, devotion or data.
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