The word hybrid is being thrown around all over the place these days. Those of us in the technology business have known this word for a long time. Now, everyone is getting used to the word. My kids were highly interested in this word as their school district had a big board meeting to discuss the concept of “returning to hybrid.” The kids, scratching their heads, probably wonder what that really means. I think they figured out that to the school district it means they will be going back to physical school 1 or 2 days per week. This got me thinking about what hybrid really is. What lessons can I learn by really thinking about a “hybrid” life cycle. Modern society seems to be wanting to use the word hybrid to describe a transition between one state and another. From home school to live instruction, from on premise technology to cloud technology. Hybrid is almost painted as a bad thing, a bridge between a less desirable state to a more desirable state.
There are many ways to look at the concept of hybrid. To think about this, I looked at hybrid foods just to see if I could derive any observations.
First type of Hybrid – Chicken and Waffles
So this type of hybrid is two completely different things, that serve the same essential function, but when combined together do the job better. So Fried Chicken is awesome, Waffles are awesome. Both satisfy, both provide us food, both taste good. One is savory and the other is sweet. Combined together they are the perfect combination of savory and sweet. That is hybrid! However, it is not bad, nor is it temporary. This food combination is awesome and better than the separate components. In this case hybrid produces a better combination.
Second type of Hybrid – Cauliflower and Broccoli
So this type of hybrid is where you merge to like things together to produce something new. Think boysenberries or pineapple. This is not a bad thing, this is actually a natural thing. True bio diversity happens through hybrid intermixing of species. Sometimes we try to force it, like actually combining Cauliflower and Broccoli together. This produces a really strange looking plant, that tastes like Broccoli, but has the texture of Cauliflower. Interesting, the resulting flower on this plant produces a perfect Fibonacci sequence. In this case hybrid is the natural result of evolution and diversity.
So hybrid is really not a bad thing, nor is it an unnatural thing. It is a natural evolution to improving and getting better. So perhaps we should not be so nervous about entering a hybrid world? Maybe we are heading into a new and improve society? A hybrid world.