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Column 2

Sandy Kemsley

Enterprise 2.0: Don Tapscott

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This entry cross-posted to my new blog location.

Don Tapscott talked about the concepts from his book Wikinomics, which I finally got around to reading recently (okay, I confess, I didn't read the whole thing...). He states that the web is becoming the new mode of production, and is facilitating the move from the old closed hierarchical corporation to the open networked enterprise. He sees four drivers for change:

  • Web 2.0, which changes the way that we interact with computers.
  • The net generation, who grew up digital and also are much more used to multi-tasking across multiple channels: reading, watching TV and surfing the internet at the same time. They see email as a "formal technology", suitable for sending a thank you letter to one of your parents' friends, for example.
  • The social revolution, characterized by the rise of sites like Facebook.
  • The economic revolution, including new business models to take advantage of mass collaboration.

He covered his four major principles of being open (as an organization): peering, being open, sharing, and acting global. I did like his quote about being open: "if you're going to be naked, you'd better be buff", namely, you probably want to have your company in pretty respectable shape before exposing it to your business partners and customers.

He closed with the new business models that he discussed in the book: peer pioneers (e.g., Spikesource, who is up speaking later this afternoon); ideagoras (open idea markets, e.g., Proctor & Gamble, who will have half of their innovations come from outside of the corporation by the end of this year); prosumers (where customers become producers, e.g., Second Life); the new Alexandrians (e.g., Google Earth Avian Flu mashup); open platforms (e.g., Amazon API); the global plant floor (e.g., Boeing creating a peer-produced aircraft with their suppliers); and the wiki workplace (e.g. Geek Squad product management within Best Buy).

In direct relation to something said in the collective intelligence session this morning, Tapscott said "don't fear theft of your intellectual property, fear obscurity."

Apparently this presentation is pretty well-worn: Martin Cleaver, who's sitting next to me, has heard it three times, and Mark Kuznicki, who's chatting with us on a group Skype chat from Toronto (I think) says that he can recite it by heart; in fact, he described it as "peer production, blah blah blah, user-generated content, blah blah blah, crowdsourcing, blah blah blah". This the first time that I've heard it, and it's pretty good the first time around, but Tapscott may want to get himself some new material to keep the repeat attendees happy.

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