When you love and do research as much as us, you develop certain insights, some big, some small, all relevant. The interesting twist with research is that it is never complete, it always leads to more questions requiring more research and repeats indefinitely. This process can be maddening and often produces an endless stream of unfinished projects.
It was many years ago, in the days of AOL, Netscape, and 56k modems that the IFs (Influencing Factors) began to reveal themselves in our research results. Thousands of new websites were popping up daily and the majority of them had some common traits that today would be akin to web design suicide. It was the days of scrolling text, multiple flashing banner ads, and entire pages laid out with frames and tables. Hard HTML and no CSS with heavy usage of the span tag. Holy shit it was ugly and we loved it.
The people embraced the overuse of in-your-face junk. CLICK HERE!! Extra large helpings of SPAM was served up 24/7 and nearly every website had loads of crazy affiliate marketing traps sprayed like gang graffiti all over. To most Internet users, this landscape was more than acceptable. It was a new world full of exciting new things. But, every once in awhile, something changes the landscape and creates a divide of the Internet users. What was once acceptable and normal becomes terribly annoying.
HTML GOODIES was one of those "somethings" that changed the landscape of the Internet, at least for us it was. We now had a knowledgeable source for web design. This is still before css was common practice, so the term "web design" is not all that accurate. As mentioned above, research always leads to more research and that is one of the greatest gifts HTML GOODIES bestowed on us. We now had a large and growing repository of HTML definitions and usages. It's research time!
HTML GOODIES was our first solid introduction to HTML and is considered the genesis of all our IF driven research, it could be called the IF behind the IFs. We began the endless search of all things related to Internet Success. Many wonderful discoveries were made, none more powerful than the one that divided all IFs into two categories.
Adaptive and Rigid
Adaptive IFs are factors that can and will change, usually dependent on human interaction and they almost always support one or more Rigid IFs.
Rigid IFs are static and very rarely change. Since Rigid IFs are normally supported by their Adaptive counterpart, they can be eliminated from the equation when circumstances force the supporting Adaptive IF to change.
A certain YouTube video has 10 million views. One of the Adaptive IF’s responsible for this, is the content of the video is well liked at the moment. The supported Rigid IF is that people share what they like. Therefore, when people change or circumstances change, the Adaptive IF that says "people like this content" can change to "people do not like this content" and that will eliminate the Rigid IF of people sharing.
To those of you that still do not understand or respect the value of IFs, the discovery of Adaptive and Rigid IFs probably means very little to you, but let us be clear, this is a major breakthrough in the understanding of why and how things are the way they are. If you can dissect a situation into the IF’s that surround it, you can learn to predict and control certain outcomes with surprising accuracy and amazing results. It is the foundation of success. The entire world economy is driven by IFs and billions of dollars are made and lost everyday because of them.
If you seek true understanding, the next time you are tasked with finding a solution (big or small), look at the how and why. Once you answer the how and why, you will discover one or more IF’s and that is a solid foundation to build on.
Until next time; ask questions, seek answers, and gain understanding.