September 4, 2012 1 Comment
As someone who always devours the latest edition of Wired Magazine – and as an Apple fan – I was more than delighted to see Sir Jonathan Ives on the front cover of the July edition as No.1 in the “2012 Wired 100”, who the magazine describes as the UK’s digital power-brokers.
Now, it is notoriously difficult to categorise in groups the digiratti, since yesterday’s web entrepreneur is today’s venture capitalist and/or government IT adviser.
However, whilst stuck on a long train journey I did try and categorise all 100 of the Wired power-brokers, because something struck me forcibly when I flicked through the list, and I wanted to see if it was really true.
It is, as I said, wonderful to see Sir Jonathan at No.1 – and it is appropriate that he has been recognised with a “K”. No more needs to be said on that.
So here is my categorisation of the 100:
- 25 venture capitalists
- 20 web entrepreneurs
- 9 media/journalists
- 7 conference and exhibition organisers
- 6 IT company leaders
- 6 in government IT
- 5 in advertising
- 4 in retail
- 4 in games
- 3 in politics
- 3 in charity
- 2 authors
- 2 inventors
- 1 consultant
- 1 in telecomms
- 1 private sector CIO
- 1 singing artist (that’s Adele).
What struck me was how different this was from the lists that appear in the CIO Magazines that are aimed at the corporate sector, and this is reasonable enough. Yes, I know Wired aims to be uber cool and (ahem) perhaps we CIOs and IT Directors are less so…
So my point is that there is perhaps another ‘digital divide’ in the UK, and that is runs between the web entrepreneurs and venture capitalists on one hand and the corporate CIOs and the IT companies on the other. The more I think about this, the more it rings true. We inhabit very different worlds – corporate IT and the web investment world.
This is something of a shame, since – in my own field, for instance – John Lewis is now 25% online company, and retail and many other industries are being revolutionised by web technology.
But, more than a shame, I think this ‘divide’ could also have a serious impact on how IT is viewed as a career and how we train young people in IT skills.
Maybe we should be breaking down the barriers between these worlds?