The Audio Doesn’t Match the Video
Somewhere on the internet, the unthinkable is happening… alleged unfettered conversations are occurring with ostensibly no oversight from a central authority. It’s a movement that began last year, as society plunged into lockdown, and it is manifesting strongest a year later, in the form of an iPhone app. Clubhouse has burst into the limelight in 2021 and in the manner of just a few weeks, proven the value of authentic connection with one another.
Now, this isn’t a piece about an iPhone app, or what the app creators may love to scribe as a review of the platform. But it is recognition of a spark I feel coming out of the interaction quality it’s incited among its users. “How ironic,” I keep thinking to myself, that in a world of chaos and confusion (from the audio not matching up with the video) that an audio ONLY social ecosystem would be such a powerful agent to bring about a new coherent direction.
The “audio not matching the video” is an idiom that is hardly unique, but altogether appropriate for the circumstances we’ve been cast. It’s not a secret to anyone living in the modern world that the concept of occlusion has reigned dominant over virtually every major topic to hit the news headlines in the past 12 months. The exhaustion this has catalyzed is of no use to anyone, because the result has equated to further division across a population that was already at record levels of disagreement; when what we all truly need is cooperation.
As prescience would have it, Clubhouse is a looming tsunami of freewheeling thought and fresh perspectives on all aspects of human culture, racing its way ashore to wash it all away and instead infect the minds of millions with unbridled straightforwardness and candor. When coupled with a little bit of healthy debate along the way, it seems a promising avenue by which we can begin to access the minds of our contemporaries, and connect in a meaningful enough way toward solving complex problems that we collectively must reconcile. As a recent New York Times editorial piece by Taylor Lorenz points out, this has a tendency to make people uncomfortable.
It’s reasonable to have concern about the general level of abuse that any platform can give attention to, but like anything, this is truly a perspective that resides in the ‘eyes of the beholder,’ as the saying goes, but funnily enough, maybe our eyes are unwelcome visitors in this audio-only arena. After all, they have deceived us for so long (and are so Zoom-fatigued that how can they really be faulted?) that perhaps it is time that the leaders who have a voice to inspire unite to give rise to an age of auditory focus.
At ACE, we recognize the gulf between where we need to get with modernization but not leave people behind. As we are finding out with Clubhouse, human capital is the biggest factor in our success with life. ACE has its own uncertainties to solve, and I won’t deny that we’re affected greatly by the budget shortfalls which municipalities all over the country still face.
We have so many major stakeholders that are grappling for their own out of reach solutions that I can hardly expect relationships to be the well-oiled machine they once were, under these conditions. However, this company wasn’t grown in a vacuum. It required deliberate, genuine and honest connection with stakeholders who all added something along the way to make it what it is (and vice versa), and this equation is never going to change. Instead, this style of conversational format promises to bridge that gulf.
Stimulus checks are being dispersed to aid the population in a time of crisis, but which also carry untold downside risk for inflation. We have a new political cabinet whose forecasts for schools reopening may not match reality. A financial crisis was barely averted when a group of Redditors exposed a paper-thin buffer in the stock market.
I’m not claiming answers to these issues, but maybe I am claiming I have a methodology to try. ACE has been resilient over the years because our ability to act on our intuitions in application to systematic limitations. This has always been fueled by human involvement, creativity, and motivation..
These next years will be our ‘tale of two cities,’ and as Charles Dickens put it, it will be “the best of times” or “the worst of times” depending on how much stake we put into human ability and skill in Tomorrowland. At ACE, and for all of our stakeholders, the capital we reach for will be directly commensurate to how well we are able to form partnerships, build relationships, and allow those paths to converge in novel ways. I’ll see you on Clubhouse, ready to embrace a conversation for a better future…