The Internet is Making You Stoopid

While most Americans were surfing funny pet videos on YouTube last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Internet is making us stupid and killing the kind of creativity that entrepreneurs need.   But surprise!   It’s not YouTube or LOLcats that is squashing entrepreneurship.  In fact, just the opposite.  Here’s the quote:

“…while the Web has enabled new forms of collective action, it has also enabled new kinds of collective stupidity. Groupthink is now more widespread, as we cope with the excess of available information by outsourcing our beliefs to celebrities, pundits and Facebook friends. Instead of thinking for ourselves, we simply cite what’s already been cited.”

As usual, the WSJ requires some translation.  If I may sum it up:  “Too many people let other people do the thinking for them.”

As entrepreneurs we must rise above this.  Entrepreneurship demands more.  Business builders are rebels, cowboys, explorers and daredevils.  We don’t care what other people think.  We don’t go with the flow.  As Malcolm Muggeridge once said,

“Only dead fish swim with the current”

But there is more to it than ignoring the crowd.   Creating a great business, building wealth, finding that spark that makes you jump out of bed … that kind of entrepreneurship takes more than “thinking different”.

It takes work.

  • Consumers get their thoughts from Twitter, FaceBook and MSN.  As the WSJ pointed out, none of those sources are any good for an entrepreneurial brain.
  • Entrepreneurs find new thoughts by seeing past the headlines and digging deeper.  Allowing diverse and divergent ideas to mingle in their head.  Entrepreneurs do the hard work of questioning, comparing, probing, and prodding.

Henry Ford was aware of this problem and put it this way:

“Thinking is the hardest work there is,
which is probably why so few people engage in it.”

So don’t believe every 140 character headline.  Ignore the crowd.  See past the groupthink and the brainless acceptance of Internet reality.   Go for truth and data and vision.  Find the concepts and the meaning that will make your life unique and valuable.

Now, turn off the Internet and go make it happen!

Dedicated to your (Unique and Valuable) Profits,



Originally Published

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