In the 1997 song by the shooting star band Aqua, the music video opens with a Japanese movie-styled intro, the gong, and the plastic chirping bird. The creativity in the music video is so kitsch it’s become a classic. Almost timeless. The sitcom-styled intro of each of the characters and the overly garish color schemes is tamed only by the ludicrous hairstyles. 

In a world of Nokia domination, MySpace proliferation, a lecture on governance from the chief executive of WorldCom and unicorn founder living lavishly off the back of, the world pre-Y2K was a fascinating place. The compact disc (CD) represented a yardstick of technological evolution. 

But the world before Windows and Internet Explorer was dominated by Mosaic growing internet penetration in the world’s number one economy from 15% to 35% in less than a decade. When Aqua released their music video, the main characters were communicating using an 80s-styled rotary phone. A classic for the ages. Intimacy was about proximity & personalization. To develop a relationship one needed to be close and pay attention. The internet has changed everything. Today, with data tags, cookies, and a dictionary of new-age spyware installed on every device you use, LOVE is a function of simply enabling cookies. 

In my day, you wrote your “crush” a letter, preferably in color pen, and laced it with your mom’s fragrance. You sat up well into the dark of night, painstakingly listening to RnB love songs and writing the words on a letter as a summation and confession of your love. Today, love – the internet would have you believe – is a mere “swipe right” away. 

What is the future of love? 

According to Alain de Botton, love is shaped by society and context.  What empirical studies refer to the first, second, and third horizons of love? The most recent studies suggest that the fluidity of partners is a natural evolution in the construct of love. 

For leaders and executives, this means that we can use the latest technology and digital tools to develop relationships with our customers, our staff, and our stakeholders. And the development of SaaS providers enabling tools to do this cost-effectively makes it not only achievable but also necessary. 

Building intimacy is a part of human existence. Leveraging intimacy and connection is a strategic lever for leaders driven by increasing the productivity and output of the teams. Connections matter. 

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Vusi Thembekwayo is a Global Business Speaker/CEO: MyGrowthFund Venture Partners. Follow him on Linkedin.