I honestly don't recall paying all that much attention to technology until about 10 years ago. (That puts the years in the early 90's, and me in the same of my 40's.) Of course, I had always used it, benefited from it and valued it. But I did--before I began paying the aforementioned attention--what we all do with new technology: I just did the same-old things better, faster, easier and/or in less time.

I wasn't the first kid on my block to have a computer, but I was an early-adopter (or is that, "adapter"?). My first machine was a Xerox with eight-inch floppy disks. Then I moved up to something brand new for which they coined the term "desktop publishing"--a Xerox "Documenter" with a big 19-inch screen and laser printer, developed by the guys who later brought you the Apple Macintosh. Very sexy. Very expensive (the maintenance agreement alone was $600 a month!). And, it crashed every time it rained--no kidding!

What did I do with this marvelosity of leading-edge technology? I used it as a typewriter, filing cabinet, spreadsheet and organizer...kind of.

It was the coolest typewriter I ever saw! Had it all over my old IBM Selectric and white-out, even over its Xerox predecessor, which remembered the last five lines, 443 characters (with spaces) and approximately 100 words entered. It was a monster of a file cabinet, too. Heck, I kept everything on it--or in it. Documents, forms, files, folders--everything. And what a spreadsheet. Oh, Mama! No more pencils. No more books. No more accountant's dirty looks. Yes! And that great big screen and its "desk top" with little icons and word-of-mouse all over the place added lots to my illusion of being organized. Kind of like a Field of Post It(TM) Note Dreams....

But there was nothing really new. I just did the same-old, same-old, only more and better.

Technological Alchemy

I don't think I really woke up to technology beyond the Greeks' definition--a "systematic treatment of an art or craft"--until I met Paul Zane Pilzer. I was introduced to Paul's concepts of "economic alchemy" in his great book, Unlimited Wealth. Some unremembered someone gave me one of those Tony Robbins "meetings with remarkable men" tapes wherein the Giant Without was interviewing Paul. I was blown away!

Paul connected the dots (and soon-to-be dot.coms) of technology in a way I'd never seen before. We agreed, me an' Paul, on the initial use of new technology to do the things we always did just faster and easier. But Paul went further--much further.

Unlimited Wealth explained how technology was the engine that drove, pushed, pulled and compelled change. It was not just the fuel. It was technology itself, PZP argued, that led to the ever-increasing quality (with less quantity) of life on Earth.

One example Paul used concerned the music business, specifically records (remember to set the date for Unlimited Wealth to 1990 on Mr. Peabody's WABAC machine). Once upon a time, Paul pointed out, there was a multi-multi-million dollar industry, one which nearly every American family and many, many large and small businesses world-wide depended on and revolved around (sorry), which in less than five years was on the brink of extinction--because of technology. CDs and their players (literal and figurative) had taken over those 33- and 45-rpm ethylene-derived records. Somewhere in the mid-90's, the CD meteor struck--and the vinyl-record dinosaurs vanished.

In their place were these smaller, more nimble and intelligent mammals. CDs were longer lasting, more durable, more convenient, longer playing and--save that those lovely old AR turntables with the Grace "Ruby" cartridges went up or down the staircase to storage--most of us were all the better for it. The music business certainly was. CDs gave us more artists, more recordings, more choices, more quality, more profits all around. That's the "economic alchemy" Paul Zane was taking about. And technology made us do it.

Through Technology, Humanity

Today, we have our hands (and minds and hearts) on a technology that truly dwarfs any other in recorded (no matter what medium) history: the Internet. And sure enough--most of us are using this World-Wide-Web wonder to do... what? The same-old, same-old, just easier, faster, etcetera. Granted, you can now know just about anything and everything in a matter of minutes. "Let your fingers do the walking" indeed. "Instant this, instant that" is an almost-always reality on the Net.

But the really awesome power of dial-up digital is just emerging. It's not just same-old: it is something new indeed. I say, it's Community.

The ability of the Internet to bring like-minded, like-hearted people of common interest and intent together is staggering in its proportions and implications.

What if there were a place where everybody knew your name--and it was global?

What if you could ask and answer any question you have about your life and work, safely, swiftly, with men and women just like you, many of who have been right where you are now and know the way home?

What if you could share seemingly un-ending resources and relationships, develop friendships and partnerships, learn and grow in leadership together "for your greatest good and all involved"?

You can. Right now.

No matter what your area of interest or involvement, there's a perfect "mastermind" community waiting for you on the Internet. Go find it. It will change your life for the better forever. n

John Milton Fogg is the author of the million-selling book, The Greatest Networker in the World, and founder of the "Greatest Networker" online community (http://www.greatestnetworker.com).