The architect Miles van der Rohe adopted the motto “Less is more” and gave us     simple clean line design. Einstein concurred… but added a caveat, “Everything should be made as simple as possible but not simpler.”

The thinking behind Twitter, while Twitter does not guarantee simplicity, shares the mind-set of both these geniuses:  nothing extraneous.   The idea behind Twitter was that Internet could serve as a knowledge-sharing Utopia: the contributors would populate this Utopia knowledge available at a click, and we all would be smarter for it.  But there’s a natural limit to the kind of knowledge that can come in 140 characters or less?

According to a new McKinsely study (Frundt) clients want expertise.  Teaching is the new selling.  What does it take for salespeople to be expert teachers—and learners?  Can it be accomplished with a “less is more mind-set”?  Are we being conditioned that if something appears too long or too slow to just skip it and quickly move on?  Are we doing ourselves a disservice by believing we can develop deep expertise with a click and a few sentences?  Of course Twitter—and the Internet –are amazing and we all have found exactly what we need just like that but a fact or answer is far from expertise.

Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter and serial entrepreneur, now recognizes the limitations of short, unfiltered information.  So much so he is backing a company that is the antithesis of Twitter, Medium, with the goal of creating a depth of quality information that will demand greater attention and focus not only from the creators but also from the users.

Clearly, there is a hunger for knowledge.  We know the Internet has the potential to be the university for us all.   But even in the digital world there is no such thing as a free lunch.  How can we leverage all of the resources of the Internet to develop the kind of deep expertise clients are demanding?

What are you thought on how to build expertise whether industry, market, client, or stakeholder?   What niche of expertise are you working to develop?  Learn how to put it into 140 characters. But also learn how to put it in a medium that clients want— expertise in a true conversation.

You can now pre-order your copy of Changing the Sales Conversation (McGraw-Hill, December 2013).