"You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path."
“But out of that chaos will come some really amazing things. And right now there are amazing opportunities for young people coming into the industry to say, ‘Hey, I think I’m going to do this and there’s nobody to stop me.’”—George Lucas on the current state of filmmaking (via kickstarter)
"I was in Africa last year and saw a lot of animals in the wild that I’d only seen in zoos before. It was remarkable how different they seemed. Particularly lions. Lions in the wild seem about ten times more alive. They’re like different animals. I suspect that working for oneself feels better to humans in much the same way that living in the wild must feel better to a wide-ranging predator like a lion. Life in a zoo is easier, but it isn’t the life they were designed for."
"Any big idea is going to take a while to get there. By definition, if it’s big, and no one has done it before, it’s not going to be 1-2-3, ‘We got it!’ There is going to be a dark period in there, because you don’t know what the key to getting there is. You have to be willing to be in some murky territory, and be prepared to invest, if you really want to do something different.”
In the coming years, there will be a shift toward what is now known as contextual computing. Always-present computers, able to sense the objective and subjective aspects of a given situation, will augment our ability to perceive and act in the moment based on where we are, who we’re with, and our past experiences. These are our sixth, seventh, and eighth senses.
“Socialized business process” — the idea of adding social tools to traditional business processes — is unlikely to work in the long term. The enterprise is now transitioning to social network–based communication as introduced by social tools, and there is a fundamental conflict in communication models with business-process-centric business. The attempt to make the socialized business process work may be part of the adoption problem reported in the social-business industry.
The shift to social network’s pull communication, where individuals more or less subscribe to information sources, will run counter to business process push communication and eventually invalidate it. Push-and-pull communication styles won’t jibe, and pull lines up with the transition to social network–based communication. Most notably, this will undermine business processes and the collective-collaborative organization that evolved in parallel with business processes. The shift won’t take place in the way that email led to organizational flattening. Rather, it will invalidate the rules and roles of business processes and turn the process logic into just another kind of information passed along through the social network.
It may be obvious, but companies that are more oriented toward a connective-cooperative style of work will get more benefits from social networks than those that are less so. Stated more strongly, those wishing to get the boost that many believe is inherent in this lean, self-innovating, fast-and-loose model of work will have to actively move away from the cultural principles of slow-and-tight, twentieth-century business.
In order to better explore these rapidly changing dynamics, this report presents a psychodynamic cultural model for business called the 3C model. The name is based on three sorts of business culture:
Competitive: wheel-and-spoke organization, decision making by edict, feudal or clan culture
Collaborative: pyramid-and-processes organization, decision making by elite consensus, slow-and-tight culture
Cooperative: network-and-connections organization, laissez faire decision making, fast-and-loose culture
We also explore various archetypes of individuals’ psychosocial matches with the various flavors of companies. The freelancer and follower archetypes, for example, do well in cooperative settings, but they are poorly matched with entrepreneurial organizations (which may explain Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s recent edict excluding remote work.)
High-performing companies of the near future will be operating based on looser ties among individuals in and across businesses. Many more of them will be supported by next-generation cooperative tools. Individuals in these companies will have more autonomy, and there will be more opportunity seeking when compared to the largely slow-and-tight, risk-averse companies that are dominant today. The value of consensus is falling in a rapidly changing, unstable world where there is a higher premium for business innovation and more uncertainty than ever before. And this leads to a devaluation of business processes, in particular those business processes intended to direct human agency and to act as a surrogate for management directing employees’ every move.
You can sign up for a seven day free trial of the GigaOM Research service, and read the entire report.
In a post-Internet, post-mobile world of one click access, the distribution of products has all but ceased to be the issue. When one of something can be efficiently shipped to anyone, anywhere, the question of where the sale takes place is rapidly becoming moot. In other words, in the long-term, sales of product simply can’t be the primary strategic purpose or metric for the store.
Some of the world’s largest retailers are struggling with this jarring reality already. “Stack it high and watch it fly” has abruptly turned into “stack it low and hope it goes” as big box stores scramble to lower inventories in the face of flat or declining sales. The knee-jerk reaction among some is to simply downsize and marginalize the role of the store. Others are adopting the buzzword of omni-channel – resigning to the idea that all channels now act as one – which I would argue risks oversimplifying what’s really happening.
You see, what’s actually evolving is a new and far more complex role for the store, and online brands like Google, Bonobos and Warby Parker are affirming it, as they each embark on creating their own, branded, physical stores. They along with a growing number of other online pure-plays recognize that in order to “fully actualize” their brands, they need to animate a physical presence and visceral experience for their consumers, not to move products but more critically, to move hearts and minds – to sell the idea, essence and values of the brand – all of which has more traditionally been viewed as the role of media. And therein lies the critical point.
“‘This is a generation of kids that grew up with data science around them — Netflix telling them what movies they should watch, Amazon telling them what books they should read — so this is an academic interest with real-world applications,’ said Chris Wiggins, a professor of applied mathematics at Columbia who is involved in its new Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering. ‘And,’ he added, ‘they know it will make them employable.’”—Universities Offer Courses in a Hot New Field - Data Science - NYTimes.com (via infoneer-pulse)
“Companies looking to drive traffic to their core brand sites should strongly consider a social media campaign promoted by email. According to Experian CheetahMail, a leader in digital marketing, making email the foundation of a social campaign is key, given that the typical company’s email list is 32 times larger than the number of fans they have on Facebook. An analysis conducted by Experian Hitwise also reveals that, 60% of brands that sent out an email with the word “Facebook” in the subject line averaged a 27% increase in traffic to their website the week following the email deployment.”—Experian 2011 Social Media Consumer Trend and Benchmark Report (via alexcarantza)
US net oil imports dropped to 5.98m barrels a day in December, the lowest since February 1992, according to provisional figures from the US Energy Information Administration. In the same month, China’s net oil imports surged to 6.12m b/d, according to Chinese customs.
Just over nine months ago, armed with a few beta users and a short wait list, we launched Teespring to the world. The concept was simple: Kickstarter for custom t-shirts. Instead of dropping thousands of dollars to get your tees screen printed and trying to figure out how to get them to your buyers, all you had to do was come to Teespring, design your tee, set a goal (the higher the goal, the cheaper the price per tee), and launch the campaign. Buyers could come to your campaign and pre-order your tee, and once you reached your goal we’d handle the production and fulfillment and send you a check for the profit.
We had big dreams of Techcrunch articles and explosive growth. We’d poured ourselves into this, people were sure to be blown away and it wouldn’t be long before they’d be sharing it with their friends. It was only a matter of time.
The reality was far less exciting. No one was interested in covering our launch, only a small percentage of the waiting list opened their invite email, and traffic was the same as it had been the day before. It was time to face the truth: There would be no overnight success for us, we’d have to grind it out.