Business Week on Web 2.0

The blogsphere is chiming in on this Business Week piece from June 5 called, Web 2.0 Has Corporate America Spinning.
The article does a good job of laying out the "big picture".  Honestly, I think it’s the best mass consumer oriented article I’ve read on this subject.

I think we’re finally seeing corporate eyes opening "for the first time".  Elimination off the layering between idea and reality seems to be catching on.   The shunning of multi-million dollar solutions (or even six figure solutions) will become more prevalent.

I know of a local Des Moines company who spent a lot of time, resource, and cash deploying an intranet solution that is marginal at best and not used.  With a little bit of assistance (and almost no behind the scenes tech knowledge), I could deploy an intranet with team collaboration, wiki, knowledge base, event tracking, project management,  and have nearly total adoption in about 3 days if given the chance.  All of this would be accomplished while the IT department was having an off-site about Sharepoint.

Eggers at the QuickBase blog says, "Home Depot is the Do-It-Yourselfers Warehouse. They staff with special
folks with applicable experience and helpful attitudes. Our Application
Specialists, who work with prospects during trial, and our Customer
Advocates, who work with customers, were all chosen based on this kind
of mix… applicable experience and helpful attitudes. And, we have a
"teach to fish" approach to our work with prospects and clients."

This is the kind of attitude and approach that will bridge the gap between hyped up Web 2.0 noise and Enterprise 2.0 applications.  Unfortunately, I still believe that price points must be arbitrarily bumped by 500% to get the enterprise interested.  It will get easier to have discussions executives about how a $1000/mo solution can run a division but for now, they must pay more to give you respect. 

Another key idea comes at the end of the article. 

All that’s going to require more than slick
technology. Executives, long used to ruling from the top of the
corporate hierarchy, will have to learn a new skill: humility.
"Companies that are extremely hierarchical have trouble adapting," says
Tim O’Reilly, CEO of tech book publisher O’Reilly Media, which runs the
annual Web 2.0 Conference "They’ll be outperformed by companies that
don’t work that way." Ultimately, taking full advantage of Web 2.0 may
require — get ready — Management 2.0.

Exactly.  Guys and girls who are in their 30’s (and prematurely gray in my case) are leading this software evolution.  We were kids in a playground during the 90’s and we’ve emerged with an understanding and seriousness about value, ROI, ridiculous corporate culture, IT waste, simplicity, and the farce of multi-tasking.  We’re fishing right now and bootstrapping ideas (most of which are simply features that will become part of the collective)…so we can determine how to manage the companies that we’ll all be in charge of down the road.   

We’re really figuring out how to manage change and the pace of business we see unfolding before our eyes and web 2.0 is merely an exercise.



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