Whether explaining or complaining, joking or serious, the human voice is unmistakably genuine. Most corporations, on the other hand, only know how to talk in the soothing, humorless monotone of the mission statement, marketing brochure, and your-call-is-important-to-us busy signal. No wonder networked markets have no respect for companies unable or unwilling to speak as they do.
But learning to speak in a human voice is not some trick, nor will corporations convince us they are human with lip service about "listening to customers." They will only sound human when they empower real human beings to speak on their behalf.
Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed.
As a direct result, markets are getting smarter—and getting smarter faster than most companies. Their members communicate in language that is natural, open, honest, direct, funny and often shocking.
Later, Luther would say about his life in the cloister, "If ever anyone has ever managed to get into heaven by being a monk, I wanted to do that too." Less than two years after entering the monastery, Luther became a priest in 1507.
Theological teaching was at the center of his studies, which he threw himself into with zeal.
Four years later, he completed his Masters degree and then began studying law. In July 1505, he was caught in a big storm and was struck by lightening.
Faced with the prospect of death, he feared having to face God unprepared, so he called to Saint Anna, the patron saint of miners, and pledged to become a monk.
Martin Luther pinned his famous 95 theses to a Wittenberg church on October 31, 1517.
In a world where people paid for forgiveness of sin, his ideas were radical.