I’m getting ready to attend the New New Internet Conference in Virginia, so I haven’t had a chance to keep up on much of what’s current out there. Nonetheless, I happened to see Peter King Hunsinger, Vice President and Publisher of GQ Magazine on CNBC last week talking about a new, powerful segment of superconsumers: “The Xoomers.” (Read the Press Release here.) I don’t have a lot of time to go into this, but this new trending data supports my contention that this hot, newfound demographic is going to be ready, willing, and able to marshall change on their own terms within the enterprise.
Archive for September, 2006
Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 18, 2006
Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 11, 2006
During web 1.0, I was a skeptic and pretty vocal about it. Before my research was finished, I presented in Atlanta (12/99) when market caps were high for the digital apostles I was tracking. Most of the presentation was tongue and cheek, but is somewhat prescient looking at it today. I wrote this column for Phil Wainewright’s aspnews.com site which was also published as an op-ed in Computerworld for the user community. When the back-breaking, risky 300-page market research report on what I called the “e-services” market was published in April 2000, I joined one of these start-ups myself. You see, through the course of doing the research, I became a believer too. I fell in love with the first Internet revolution and its massive societal-changing promise. Of course, like most companies in that first run up, the start-up crashed. I felt like I, in particular, should have known better than to have fallen for such an idealistic infatuation.
I read with interest Michelle Manafy’s editorial in eContent. This is the second time I’ve heard the Soylent Green, “It’s made of people!” reference in the web 2.0 crowd. This time it gets attributed to Ross Mayfield. I know when I have said, “It’s the people, stupid.” I’m not talking about cannibalism and annihilation; I’m talking about liberation. I’m not talking about overpopulation; I’m talking about a billion Internet users– sharing and doing. Interestingly enough, the tagline for our 2000 start-up was a question– “what happens when everyone’s connected to everything?” Less death. More rebirth.
So, maybe we should start considering a different indie flick? or maybe something more mainstream, if the mission is to turn perception positive on Enterprise 2.0, eh? Manafy’s a great writer and her community is extremely important to the new office generation. For instance, I just received the best presentation (a 100-slide deck) I’ve ever seen on web 2.0 yesterday. It didn’t come from Dion Hinchcliffe; it wasn’t something I found on techcrunch or wasn’t even something I could have gotten my hands on privately as an Enterprise Irregular. It came to me from Molecular, a consulting firm part of the Isobar network of Interactive Agencies. And oh, the reason I was reading Manafy is because Shiv Singh (Avenue A|Razorfish) referred to it in his blog.
Web 2.0 inside the firewall isn’t all work and no play, though. Singh has suggested to clients that there are fun ways to use the interactive processes for “prediction markets,” which harness group intelligence. For example, if a company has six ad campaigns under consideration, they can create a space where employees can “trade shares” on the ideas. “Then execs can see the activity that happens around an idea,” he says.
While Web 2.0 may or may not live up to its press, nobody can scoff at the ability of its underlying technologies to enable some of the Internet’s founding principles. As Singh says, “Collectivism is very big.”
Referencing the slide above… Now, one film we might consider could be Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The “throw out your dead” scene, in particular, is working for me. I was chatting with Cognizant’s Malcolm Frank Friday who is not dead (“Yes you are! No I’m not!”), and he was telling me that, in fact, Bob Gett, Gordon Brooks, and few others from web 1.0 are back in the Internet or IT services game. Of course, Jerry Greenberg has found Internet religion again. So maybe the Holy Grail is attainable in web 2.0. I’m not skeptical this time ’round. And it’s really early.
Incidentally, for all ITSinsiders who haven’t heard yet. the weirdest development for those with long memories, is last week’s announcement that Jim Sims was named to EDS’ board of directors. Can someone send that cart to Dallas? 🙂
Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 6, 2006
I’m an ancient geek and not ashamed. I was the only girl (I’m pretty sure, anyway) in my high school to take the first computer programming class there in the 70s. We learned FORTRAN IV on card decks the instructor had to run over to a mainframe somewhere in batch mode. When our green printouts came back, we had to make changes, and he would run over again… I loved it. When I went to college, I had to learned COBOL. Ugh. I hated COBOL. My Advanced COBOL textbook was written by Ed Yourdon. I will never forget it: Learning to Program in Structured COBOL. As a matter of fact, my 4.0 in Computer Science got me a job offer at Bell Labs. If I had accepted the offer, I might have been a rocket scientist by now.
Recently, when I saw Ed Yourdon’s name in the blogswarm on Enterprise 2.0, I was curious. So, I checked it out. Yourdon has taken the trouble to build a mind-map that explains web 2.0: its societal and technological implications. He’s interviewing web 2.0 companies.
Ed Yourdon is my new hero. I forgive him for Structured COBOL. His blog says he’ll be at the New New Internet conference. I’m hoping to shake his hand. I hope blogger Mike Stevens (and his readers) will come who is of the opinion that Enterprise 2.0 is a vaporware category. I don’t blame Mike for thinking this, as I have a bit of advertising background myself. Enterprise 2.0 is an emerging market, not really a category yet. Companies and knowlege workers are getting interested in it, investors are putting money into it, and products are being developed for it every day.
Yes, it’s true. I spend my time helping companies with marketing strategy now, and I can’t even figure out how to make my blog work properly. Nonetheless, at heart and by DNA, I’m a geek. Not a hype merchant. Not a card-carrying marketeer. You’ll know it’s true when I meet Ed Yourdon and blush.
Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 4, 2006
Mandatory reading from Dion Hinchcliffe on the Tim Berners Lee comment. Brilliant.
Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 4, 2006
Thank you for your wine, California
Thank you for your sweet and bitter fruits
Mick and Keith might not be there, but you will be among friends. The kickoff conference for Web 2.0 for Business is definitely Dion Hinchcliffe’s New New Internet conference here on the East Coast in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia. He has assembled an A-list set of speakers in web 2.0 including Michael Arrington (TechCrunch). If you (customer or vendor) are on the East Coast. DO NOT miss this conference. A first-mover event; will make it into the history books.
Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 4, 2006
To some degree, it’s pointless to comb the blogs of everyone who is on the same page and then reference them, but I couldn’t resist this post by JP Rangaswami.
Stalinists: Even though there is some doubt as to whether he actually ever said it, Stalin is often credited with saying that as long as people know there is an election, it’s not the people who vote that count, it’s the people who count the votes. A variation of this tends to operate in enterprises, where “power” is vested in the presentation-makers and minute-takers. What social software does is threaten this power.
Sadists: Learning to do things in an enterprise can be painful. Learning to do hard things can be very painful. I have worked in a company where, in order to save on stationery costs, they instituted a process whereby the “stationery cupboard” was only open on Tuesdays between 2pm and 4pm; if that wasn’t enough, no stationery could be ordered unless a form was filled in; and forms were only made available on Tuesday mornings between 10am and 10.30am. Learning how an organisation works is often like growing ear hair. There are no short cuts, it just takes a long time. And causes much suffering. What social software does is threaten to take away this familiar pain, leaving phantom limb sensations.
Stockholmers: Similar to hostages forming an attachment to their captor (despite the invidiousness of their position) there is an enterprise tendency to form deep-rooted and long-lasting relationships with lock-in vendors. This syndrome comes in two flavours: Temporary and Permanent. The Temporary one is less intense, fading when there is a change of management on the enterprise side. The Permanent version is a real feat of engineering, able to withstand multiple changes of management. Nobody gets fired for buying locks. What social software does is threaten to release the hostages from their secure jails.
Second-guessers: Any swarming or emergence effect needs to have a swarm in the first place. One place. With the plethora of options available in Web Too Many Oh, this creates a paradox of choice. Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to choose. Second-guessers can stultify attempts to derive value from social software, by fragmenting the enterprise base in time and space. Space because they ensure multiple options are taken up simultaneously guaranteeing there is no critical mass, no liquidity. Time because they engineer an enterprise change-of-horse-in-midstream, never actually allowing the liquidity to be acquired. What social software does is threaten to take away the freedom of the second-guessers.
Sewer-dwellers: The ploy here is to define the battleground for social software as infrastructure, as plumbing. Even though it shouldn’t be the case, most enterprise buyers treat infrastructure as overpriced, oversold and over. As soon as the argument shifts to sewerage, the enterprise immune system has no problem repelling all boarders. This is despite the fact that social software has minimal infrastructure costs. Why do sewer-dwellers do this? Because it’s their home. What social software does is threaten to take away where they live.
Silobites: These are people who live in silos. Their jobs are to ensure that as much stuff as possible is stored in the silo, the bigger the silo the better they feel. They are defined by the walls. What social software does is threaten to take down these walls, building small connectors between silos.
Look at the things threatened. Power. Familiarity. Security. Housing. Freedom. Enough said.
I loved this post! Yet interestingly, I see more “trash talk” and antidisestablishmentarianism in the SaaS ranks, where the objective is clearly to go direct to the users… the “Power to the People” crowd.
Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 2, 2006
I was reading Vinnie’s blog and he mentioned Tom Davenport’s pooh-poohing. When I returned to the business this year, and went to my first outsourcing conference in 5 years (see 3/30 post), Davenport was the keynote speaker. He was an excellent speaker and connected easily with the audience. As a matter of fact, he was talking about how the industry was trying to apply a CMMI-like model to the BPO market that I found intellectually interesting. I stopped him in the hall afterwards to ask him about it. I think I remember telling him the subject matter was actually insufferably boring to me, but I thought putting some structure to BPO that way was interesting, and I might like to write about it. Thankfully, he laughed at that and told me he thought it was boring too, but he gave me his card, and told me he would mail me something from the HBR he published that would explain it all.
Now Davenport has been around for a long time. I was impressed that IDC had him as a keynote speaker. He has McKinsey, CSC Index, Ernst & Young, Microsoft, board seats on Accenture– in his background, and his resume includes writing or co-authoring 10 best-selling business books about knowledge and information management. And this comes straight from zoominfo:
In the January 2006 issue of the Harvard Business Review, he wrote “Competing on analytics means competing on technology.” In the article, he highlighted companies that use analytical intelligence to drive successful decision-making and competitive differentiation, citing as examples eight companies that are Teradata Warehouse and solution users.
All that being said, with all due respect (and I so mean that sincerely), I want to say to Mr. Davenport and the others of his ilk: please don’t rush to judgment and dismiss Enterprise 2.0. First of all, it’s not just about blogs and wikis. There is a whole host of technology enabled by Web 2.0 (and it’s growing every day).
And, you might want to be aware of some of the more interesting knowledge-based Enterprise 2.0 products that are moving into your sector like Atlassian, Coghead, Intalio, Abgeniel, Illumio and even a little startup I’m helping right now, Experteria (in beta). And these are only the products I know about.
Yes, Enterprise 2.0 is a hot topic. But there is a difference between a hot topic and a fad. I’ve been harping on the youth culture that is driving the development behind these technologies and the attitudinal shifts that are taking place on both spectrums of the knowledge-worker universe. The fed-up, smart, hamstrung departmental users and a digitally comfortable, DIYYnot?-ready youth culture moving in.
In the 90s, it was Jim Champy who christened the Business Process Re-engineering movement. Fad. But it forced enterprises to think in terms of business process and led to BPO- today’s hot topic. Sustainable.
Last word on Hot Topics. My suburban mom friend and I would always nervously usher our kids fast past the Hot Topic store in the mall. It’s no Gap, trust me. I guess we were afraid they’d be seduced into the punk lifestyle if they were exposed to it. When the store first showed up in our local mall, I assured her, “Oh, that will be gone in a few months.” Wrong. The store has been here for years. And you know what? We all shop there now, even the kids (and no, they haven’t transformed). Great tee shirts and band paraphernalia. The lesson here is we all judge what we’re uncomfortable with, but cultural trends have a way of surviving and adapting around our unwillingness to recognize them at first.
Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 2, 2006
I’m experimenting with flickr. Here is the button for the Office 2.0 conference. What’s neat about this conference is the grassroots effort that is behind its organizing, collaborating, and showcasing.
Let’s see what happens when I hit “post entry…”
Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 1, 2006
Thank you Jerry Bowles, who thanked Andrew McAfee, and Ross Mayfield for his heroic efforts (adding props from me on behalf of all outsiders looking in)– the confederacy of brainiacs at Wikipedia have deemed Enterprise 2.0 worthy of definition and have not deleted it in its last dash, near-fatal round of scrutiny.
Others who should be commended for taking up the lightsaber* on pursuit of the revolutionary battle include: Vinnie Mirchandani, Ismael Ghalimi, Jeff Nolan, Dion Hinchcliffe, Jason Wood, Rod Boothby, Dave Tebbutt, and anyone else I missed who spent long hours debating what should be in/out of the definition.
*sorry, I know it’s bad form to mix trekkies and star wars fans, but remember, we’re fighting for freedom for all geeks and wannabe geeks. 🙂