It was a good talk, a lot like what I expected, and I suspect it would have been even more interesting if I had seen the accompanying slides. There are write ups, too, for those who like to skim quickly rather than spend the length of a presentation listening.
My favorite take away point was listed in the LITAblog write up. David Lee King pointed out that in the past 11 years Yahoo has changed into an entirely different kind of site. We wouldn’t have predicted those changes, so who knows what will change over the next 11 years. All we know is that it will change.
This resonated with one of his first points: that it’s harder to even prepare for specific jobs. King, for example, didn’t take classes in library school directly related to being a digital branch and services manager, yet that’s what he is. He’s had to learn and adapt to prepare for the next changes that are unpredictable.
It’s so clear to me that skills and traits like ability to learn, innovation, creativity, driven personality, etc. are more useful in the long run than knowing a specific computer language, how a specific database works, or what reference book in your subject area is the best one. The former traits will be useful no matter what situation you find yourself in. The latter traits are relevant only for this specific time period, and as things change, their usefulness will too.
Another point King made was about the places you can find time to devote to learning about new technologies. He recommended refocusing from energy (for example) book cart drill teams to learning 2.0. I wouldn’t want to rank hobbies as uniformly better or worse than each other, but I think it’s a good point. It’s also something we can all think of. For myself, for example, perhaps I could cut out 50 or so feeds from my reader. Then I could have a lot of extra time for experimentation.
Update: Here are the slides, etc.