Access to information diffusing in a given network may be a much stronger predictor of productivity than traditional human capital variables such as education or industry experience.

I’m betting heavily on the value of information. From everything I have seen in the field and every interaction I have witnessed, I know that not much gets done without timely access to information. And virtually nothing gets done well. This is true for both societal progress in general and for specific organizations. Collective, shared information is the very bedrock of progress. Without it, countless resources would be wasted as each organization, and ultimately each society, continuously reinvented every wheel. Without the very real benefits of collective ideas and progress, we are stuck. We know this, and yet the exact value of collective knowledge eludes us. It seems almost intangible; how do you put a number on it? Luckily, researchers in Boston are trying to do just that. Their results might surprise you.