My buddy Chuck Frey has balls of steel. In a recent blog post, he’s come out making a prediction that many would be afraid to: In the height of the worst economic climate since the Great Depression, mind mapping is going to go mainstream.
Yeah, and this’ll be the year my chocolate fried chicken idea gets off the ground – and funding. As Marty Crane would say, ‘you taste that and tell me that’s not better than a woman’.
So, what has Chuck been smoking besides optimism (Public service announcement to the kids: Stay in school)? Well, apparently some pretty good stuff because his points are well-founded.
Here are some of Chuck’s reasons:
- The barriers to adoption are falling
- Chuck’s really driving at the webified version of MindManager. I agree on this point, it’s easier than ever to collaborate with other people as the web acts as a glorious middle-person (look at that badass political correctness!).
- It plays well with other productivity tools
- Couldn’t agree more on this one either. The seamlessness with which MindManager talks to the Microsoft Office suite, love it or hate it, is what gives middle managers the juice with C-Level executives who think dead spider when they see a mind map.
- The outlook for future growth is bright
- Chuck came up with 25% growth for mind mapping in the next 3 years. I think that has more to do with the bump you get from the webified versions than from any new love of mind mapping.
- Positive, growing media coverage
- Chuck mentions the 2 hours saved a day by businesspeople using MindManager. If I sold MindManager for a living (I train people, it’s different), you could only shut me up about that number if you pressed dollar bills into my hand, because time is the most precious commodity of all. Next is love.
So I think Chuck has laid out a pretty great case. I see a lot of organic growth coming from the island users of MindManager within corporations.
Now for the big, hairy but…
Mind Mapping’s Real Problem
Here’s mind mapping’s real problem. I can show a mind map to a group of friends and they will near universally denounce it as ‘hippie crap’. That may not be the words they all use, but it’s what they’re trying to say. Not exactly what the publishers of mind mapping software want to hear. And then, after my friends have taken a crap on my career choice (We all give each other a hard time so shed no Kleenex for me), we proceed to play 12 hours straight of Halo. So, let’s recap, my friends think a 2.5D environment for visually organizing MEANINGFUL information is stupid, and then they are happy to spend 12 hours in a 3D world saving Earth from an alien invasion force… navigating & manipulating visual objects the whole way through.
I don’t know if I said that well enough and it’s not like there aren’t early career types who like mind mapping. But it’s a problem when the same people who use Facebook, MySpace and Twitter think mind mapping is, for lack of a better word, ‘weird’.
And before you’re like well Kyle, you and your friends are just haters…. Quite the contrary, I’m just completely awesome at using Mindjet MindManager and Mindjet Connect. I make my living (A) training people on MindManager - ResultsManager and (B) working for clients in Mindjet Connect.
Last Train Leaving the Mind Mapping Commune…
I think there’s this idea that if the sales presentation just gets a little bit better, mind mapping will finally go mainstream. Hogwash, or to put it politically correctly, bullshit. There’s nothing I love more than a Microsoft Excel graph that tells me I made more money last year. Bling bling. But the idea that you could somehow teach me to love using Microsoft Excel… LMAO. Oh no, he didunt just use IM lingo.
We as visual mappers need to watch out for being too enthusiastic. The line between meaningful customer evangelist and cult poisoned Kool-Aid pimp is more thin than many prefer to acknowledge. We need to start telling linear thinkers that it’s okay to be a consumer of visual maps, just the way many of us are consumers of linear data. You don’t have to create it to benefit from it!
Mind mapping is going to wind up like anything else. The most passionate users in the team or company will create the content. People not as passionate will be consumers and sometimes editors of the mind maps. I’ve found that more linear thinkers are often better editors of mind maps because (A) they’re not so emotionally invested (B) Their focused mind will FINISH before they move on to the next thing.
I’ve got love for my fellow mappers, but c’mon, we’re a bunch of procrastinators. We need our linear thinkers! I tip my hat if you’ve conquered procrastination. I have, and it feels like Christmas everyday.
(Hi this is Kyle’s humble side taking a slight commercial break. While he has greatly improved his desire to procrastinate, he is being an arrogant ass in the way he presents it in the sentence above. On behalf of everything that is good and decent about Kyle, I apologize.)
Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m about to shutup
To conclude, don’t miss Wallace Tait’s comment number 7 on Chuck’s post. I think Wallace Tait, who wins the ‘Kyle McFarlin You Left a Badass Comment Award’ has it right. According to Wallace:
“I firmly believe, at the end of the day, the tools are rather irrelevant, the results are what matter.”
In response to that comment, Michael Tipper Said:
“Remember guys no-one wants the drill - they want the hole.”
Check out Chuck’s post here.