Chris Brogan Must Make His Brain API-Aware

One of the slides in my presentation about derivative thinking is the black box slide. You don't care what's in the box - you know what comes in and what goes out, and that's all that matters. The contents of the box, as long as they work reliably, can be invisible or opaque.

This is the essence of an API. You don't know what's going on behind the scenes. You do know that reliably, when you put beef in the machine, burger comes out. You know that when you hit send on your end, data appears at the destination location, but what happens in between here and there isn't important.

Black box API thinking is one of the skills that I promote. You don't care what something does, you just care that it does it. Then you start bonding things together, a bit like Legos from our childhood. Building block by building block, you assemble the pieces together in different combinations to yield powerful tools.

So when I say I want a project lead, this isn’t a job. It’s not a technology (though it could be). I want someone to volunteer their blog, a sliver of their focus, a fraction of their time, and some of their interviewing skills to finding out whether the existing social media tools, when harnessed and dashboarded, might make some kind of formidable tool in the world of drawing attention, establishing a relationship, and then driving part of the relationship’s actions towards an outcome.

When you have a pile of tools, examine what they do, learn what they do singularly, and then start plugging one into another to derive greater powers. Plug Feedblitz into WordPress, plug MySQLAdmin into both of those, then plug MySQLAdmin to LinkedIn to get a cleaned list of people. Suddenly, each individual tool's powers are magnified.

The thing Chris is looking for isn't a technology or even a project lead. He's looking for someone who can combine tools into great powers.

What tools in your toolbox do you have that can be bonded together to make even more powerful tools?

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