When I was a kid, my friend “T’s” Mom drove a Citroen. Actually, she never called it that – she subbed in an “sh” for the “c”, which delighted us a lot (probably why I named my youngest daughter after her – another long story). If you know anything about cars, this is a fine example of something that was over-engineered, incredibly complex, and bound to break constantly. It was also a damn fine ride when it worked but that was infrequent enough so as not to care.
In the late 1960’s, this was not a car one could take just anywhere to be repaired. In fact, you couldn’t take it anywhere – no one knew how to fix the damn things. So every time it would break, T’s dad would call Nicholas. How he found Nicholas is long gone. What Nicholas did for a living is also a mystery, as was English to Nicholas. But he knew the only phrase that mattered: “I fix!” And so he did, in his MacGyver-like way.
Which makes me think of two things.
First, how easy it would be today to find Nicholas – in fact, the problem is more about the fact that we can’t sort through all the repair options we’d surface in a simple search and making information more accessible is really the single biggest challenge for content companies and marketers. Sort of why the semantic web is going to be important.
Second, no matter how good you may be at most things, you’re probably not great at everything. T’s Dad built a beautiful brick wall in his back yard and added on to the house but couldn’t fix this car. That’s why people like me are here: to fix your ride so you can get back to doing what you do best. The trick is not to wait until it breaks down!