By Justas Janauskas, co-founder and CEO at Qoorio
In a world full of information, knowledge is often under-appreciated as an ‘asset class’.
We are surrounded by information – but what is information? It is data – the who, what, when, where of life. But information alone cannot answer the much trickier “how” or “why” questions. Knowledge is the process of synthesising information to find useful answers to these sorts of questions.
However, despite the efforts of companies like Google, Wikipedia and the others, there is a societal level gap in how knowledge is distributed – this can have a negative impact on business leaders – from the micro to the macro issues they are dealing with.
This is particularly true for entrepreneurs and start-ups – while the core business may well be great, if you’ve never run payroll before how do you find someone who might be able to help you? Not every entrepreneur has a deep pool of contacts to call on to answer these questions.
And this is the key point – Googling, reading or watching videos can only get you so far. Without help, you will ultimately be left to solve the problem by yourself. And if you don’t have the experience then that can be hugely harmful to businesses.
The obvious question is: How do you access the knowledge you don’t have to make your venture a success?
Breaking down barriers to knowledge exchanges
The key to this is using technology that can break us out of our own social ‘bubbles’ and then connect us with the person or people who have the experience we need to learn from.
By way of example, it is hard for an artist to get business advice from friends or for an artist to find a knowledgeable person to advise on a real estate. But with the right technology platform, we can direct people to just the right person who has the relevant experience in a particular subject and support the free exchange of knowledge rather than just information.
For instance, if you are trying to figure out the best way to raise capital for your start-up, or to find a working growth model for your business, then it is essential to speak to people who have raised capital multiple times, or people who have built growth models in the past.
Technology is the only scalable way to offer a structured way for these connections to be made by providing a platform for a community of members to be asked or to ask for their attention.
Enabling transformational conversations
As I say, this process of connecting with someone, sharing challenges and experiences, and building new knowledge through conversation, can be transformational.
Of course, that is not to say people will always have an easy answer to your business challenges. Or indeed, there may not be a single answer to such questions. But conversations can go so much further than a self-help book or a podcast in opening your eyes to new perspectives. They come with vital context and interaction that support better learning paths for everyone.
These platforms exist today – indeed it is the reason I founded Qoorio – but they will be vital to helping business leaders and entrepreneurs to close the knowledge gap and fuel business growth now and in the future.