Disrupt your cash cow, before your competitor does

The status quo. Soft killer of ideas, people, businesses and countries since the beginning of dawn. The dangerous feeling that “it’s all right”. We’re there. We made it. All is good. We’re dating perfection.

That –legend has it- is exactly why dinosaurs are today extinct. They achieved status quo, and decided not to bother in investing in a space program. The rest of the story is known: No planet B, and no space bridge to get there before that space rock hit home. End of story, the only thing reminding us of dinosaurs today, are some fossilized dusty bones, and the general framework of a chicken.

Not moving forward, not innovating, taking everything for granted, and pathetically holding on to what is, kills. Without remorse, time and again.

Progress start with challenge

If you have to invest in a Chief Innovation Officer, you at least admit partial failure, says analyst Jeremiah Owyang: “The very need of such a position proves that you were nearing status quo. No innovation, no transition-in-to. But the very process of innovation starts with admitting that the ship is dead in the water. The appointment of a Chief Innovation officer might be a wise first step. The default setting of the CIO though, should be ‘disrupt’. There is no room for making the old better. There is urgent need to invent the new.”

Macintosh killed the Apple 2

You had to prove Steve Jobs –over and over again- that your product line was viable,” quoted Guy Kawasaki, random Wise Guy, ex Apple CMO, investor and author: “For Jobs, your product was doomed, until proven otherwise. A tough ship to sail, especially because everyone new that Jobs probably also had a team in the field that was designing a product that would kill yours. And, he did. The Macintosh killed the Apple 2, the iPhone killed the iPod, the list goes on…”

For Kawasaki, part of the genius of Jobs was this relentless drive to disrupt his own work. The crystal-clear realization that he had to come up with something better, something more edgy. That made Apple to the success it is.

It is also one of the reasons why it is struggling today. It’s having difficulties in killing its latest cash cow, the iPhone. Apple seems to be waiting until the rest of the industry disrupts their hegemony, with analysts clearly asking themselves if Apple lost its edge.

Disruption is a cultural feature

While CEO and CFO are bonus-(s)ing themselves rich in making the numbers, while Chief Technology Officers and Chief Digital Officers are trying to have all systems in the green, while HRO’s are trying to accommodate staff to stay… and senior commercial and client facing staff is trying to sell what is making most money –usually the old stuff–, who is at the helm of the innovation that is for certain the future of the company?

For Owyang, there is little doubt: disruption must become an integral part of the company culture, at all levels. He calls for a healthy spirit of disruption, at all levels, fueled by short sprint programs lead by small, sharp and very ad-rem disruption teams.

And now?

We need that big rocket, fast…

Collaborative Economy Honeycomb

It was great to meet Jeremiah Owyang again at #SXSW. The founder of www.crowdcompanies.com introduced the third version of his Collaborative Economy Honeycomb. The Collaborative Economy, the passion of Owyang, enables people to mostly get what they need in life or business from each other. A new trend that is extremely disruptive for most industries and businesses. Uber, Airbnb anyone?

Honeycombs are resilient and extremely solid structures that enable access, sharing, and growth of resources among a very demanding and resourceful group of empowered people. Jeremiah’s latest version of the Honeycomb framework, visualizes how the Collaborative Economy has grown exponentially  to include new applications in Reputation and Data, Worker Support, Mobility Services, and the Beauty Sector. Owyang’s Honeycomb is slowly, but surely taking on the very nature of a real hive….



The Jesus effect: do a Jeremiah… or hire a Scoble…

Jeremiah Owyang from Altimeter is a wise man. Usually I am all awe on what he has to say. But when he dropped in his keynote @LeWeb in December that companies should not overestimate the impact of social media heavyweights on their business, I disagreed.  My gut feeling, and the feedback and data I collect through my client work just points otherwise.

Having people on board with lots of social capital, social cloud, and social influence usually helps spreading a campaign, words, and thoughts a lot faster. For my take, Jeremiah does exactly that for Altimeter: using his (well earned) social media rock-starship to propel the company he works for to new heights… and I do agree with Jeremiah that we should not hire Ninjas, SpecialOppDirectors and Gurus ;-).

Actually, I parked my view on this for a couple of weeks, till i read an article from CloudAve on the effect  Social Media heavyweight Robert Scoble had on Rackspace. Here are some numbers: Scoble started at Rackspace (NYSE: RAX) in March 2009 with stock trading at $5.98 dollars. In January 2011 the stock was trading at $31.33. That is a staggering 457% increase. Not bad. Read CloudAve to see how they correlate this growth to Scobles Cloud.

Here is my take. If your digital media frontline people have cloud, social capital and influence/credibility, your ship will just fly better…faster, farther…  just saying…. ;-).

Actionable Intelligence: when Real Time Web is just not fast enough

While speaking at an event in San Diego last year, I had the privilege to meet Jeremiah Owyang, the energetic analyst from The Altimeter Group (coming from Forrester) as he was giving his views on Social Media. One of the trends he spotted was that the Real Time Web simply is not fast enough for the growing information and data hungry web users. As the need for accurate, focused and profiled data grows, of the shelf (nearly) real time data does not get you in the charts any more. Jeremiah calls the need for a faster, intuitive web use: what he labeled as the “Intention Web.”

It is amazing to see how the web evolved in just a couple of years from an asynchronous web, (archiving thoughts, information and events) over the Real Time Web (instant two-way interaction) to Owyang’s Intention web (metrics used to predict trends and events).

Using both online conversations metrics and online archived knowledge we slowly -but surely- evolve the web towards a worldwide connected grey matter that produces Real Actionable Intelligence. It is safe to say that most of humankind’s sec knowledge is archived and search-able on the net. This vast knowledge library fueled with the flavor of instant, measurable and chart-able online sentiment and online conversation gives an extremely powerful forward-looking knowledge tool.

Adequate metrics, linked to location, time, profile and projected calculated intention give intelligence that can be acted upon instantaneously: Actionable Intelligence is what (personal) brands and corporations will be fishing for in the future. Data tools, metric systems and analytical wisdom to turn this gargantic knowledge pool into tangible and tailored bits will become the moneymakers for the years to come…

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