I brought up the concept of fragile information. Millions of dollars a year are spent protecting the information that is deemed in the fragile category. There is an entire world of anti-fragile information, but that isn’t what companies are trying to protect. Anti-fragile information works regardless. If you consider an author is publishing a book, the book is anti-fragile (within reason of course). In that negative press can achieve the original goal (sell more copies) of the book. Authors are unique in that presentation of anti-fragile information. You see companies don’t always have that luxury.
The formula for something the company owns is truly fragile information. Information that cannot be lost by the organization. Lose the information that is the formula for the soda that is your major product, and you lose market share. Lose market share, and eventually, you lose a company. Fragile information is information that cannot suffer the slings and arrows of bad press, but also would, pending its loss cause irreparable damage to the company. That reality that is information becomes a problem. For example, this blog, a presentation of ideas I have in the area of fragile and anti-fragile information. It is to a degree anti-fragile information. Anti-fragile to the point where comments that impact me, may hurt my feelings but also may increase the numbers of readers that read my blog, which is the primary goal.
The reality of our ability to functionally address the fragility or lack of fragility (anti-fragility) of information today is one of the reasons why we are still far from a true information age. In the information age, when it does finally make its appearance, there won’t be issues separating data into the various buckets. We will be able to say that all information lives into a system, and that system can change the delivery speed of the information based on the fragility or anti-fragility of the information. IE, anti-fragile information may have a longer response time allowable than fragile information. If we cannot deliver the information relative to a procedure that would save someone’s life quickly, it may cause the loss of a person’s life.
Information fragility is more than response time though. It is also the secure delivery of as my hero Bill Gates said many years ago “the right information at the right time to make good decisions.” The fragility of information can be sending the wrong information at the wrong time. Or the right information too late.
The dawn of the information age occurs when we solve these problems.