On one hand there are walls. The people at Troy, the people at Jericho, build walls millennia ago.
A wall used to keep your family, your business, your house, your art and your temples safe from strangers. At night, everyone belonging to the community, gathered inside the safety of the city walls.
But then artillery came in, and military air crafts did it too. And walls were reduced to dust or became touristic attractions. Walls are not a shelter anymore.
On the other hand there are bridges. People have been building bridges for millennia. Ancient Romans built bridges still in use today.
With a bridge you can safely cross through a river and go to the next village. You can use it to go visit your parents, or to reach the market to buy some goods you don’t have on your own town.
Strangers will make use of the bridge to connect to you. To reach your village, and your business and your loved ones.
Bridges are still in full use. Every city has been building bridges to ease communication problems. And bridges, the ancient and the new ones, have become touristic landmarks too.
A wall can’t keep your business, your team, your project safe anymore. Your best developer will be tempted by a job offer from a company who operates with remote teams in three different continents. Your competition is operating under some Asian country laws. Your Australian customer is expecting your product to be delivered right to them, no middlemen involved.
But a bridge is more useful than ever, to connect your business, your team, your project. Your best developer will be working with a supplier’s interface to integrate your product into theirs. You will need someone with a clear understanding of how things work in the places where your competition is located. You can send products from one part of the world to the other easier than ever, and you can get direct feedback from your customer in a matter of seconds.
Bridges are at least as safe, and much more productive, than walls.
How much effort are you spending on building bridges and walls?
Related: Burning Bridges (Seth Godin) “A bridge well-crossed gets better over time. When you need to break it down to push through, you’ve not only hurt the person you trampled on, you’ve hurt your reputation.”