Supernova Panel following JSB's talk: Philip Evans (Boston Consulting Group); Julius Genachowski (IAC/InterActiveCorp); Dick Hardt (Sxip Identity); Greg Lloyd (Traction Software); JP Rangaswami (DrKW)
This panel circled around one core issue to me: adapting identity to how social networks really work. They addressed opportunities in the consumer space that are held back by competitive forces. The enterprise issue could have been put more clearly: enterprise directory management is incompatible with easy group forming.
Philip Evans (Boston Consulting Group)
I found John's comments persuasive not least because they were going to say. Im intrigued by the Toyota story when a a factory burnt down that make a brake part and was the only source in the network Faced the prospect of shutdown in 36 hours. 10k workers and 62 companies swarmed the problem, organized themselves into teams, devised their own strategies for emergency productions. the owner of the factor sent out blueprints, gave away machinery that survived. A small company delivered a win. In 8 days they were back up to full production. Single sourcing and zero inventory was supposed to be a weakness. Exemplifies the extreme emergency what they have embedded in day to day relationships.
We see the same principles being followed in Linux and elsewhere:
- Technology needs to be simple and pervasive (more important than complexity), linux is written
- Common IP, as IP creates incentives as well as transaction costs. From GPL to sharing of process knowledge
- Scientific discipline, focus on trial and error, Test and report.
- Granular diffusion of knowledge. Do and tell everybody about experiments. This is how blogging works.
- Develops a rich semantic, chatter develops into a richer language and shorthand concepts that are signals of a rich and productive community.
- Develops trust. Trusting the other player is a a rational strategy when it is iterative. As in the case of the world of wiki and blog: visibility and iteration.
The point is not that transaction costs cease to exists. Lower transaction costs by focusing on trusted relationships enhances the pace of innovation. Wiki communities exemplify the scaling of the network that drives down transaction costs and in turn drives up the scaling of the network. A virtuous cycle that is removed from what conventional business people understand.
Julius Genachowski (IAC/InterActiveCorp)
Talks about how big IAC is. When they started: can we identify categories on the net that lend themselves to commerce, can we build a product that will add value, and if we have identified both should we build or buy? That got us into travel and ticketing? Looking at a new phase because of increased competition. Trying to figure out the next phase of the company. One element is increasingly important: community. Used to think of people as users (as consumers), and didn't set out to create communities. With Match.com and other properties, community was an unintended byproduct. Now the quesiton is how to turn users into participants. We are experimenting at some of our sites and the results are exciting. At Ticketmaster, put up a forum, 10k users 106k threads and 2.5M posts practically overnight. Trip Advisor didn't do transactions, but focused on user generated content and attracted tremendous traffic -- saw the power of empowering the community by leveraging the next generation tools. Now Expedia is transitioning to enable participation. Thinking about how to use wikis and blogs across businesses.
Dick Hardt (Sxip Identity)
Dick's identity is multi-faceted. Identity is really reputation -- what others say about you. It isn't filling in forms. Authentication proves you are a directory entry. Identity is what a site says about you, but sites are closed silos. You want users at the center for Identity 2.0.
Greg Lloyd (Traction Software)
Use of social software tools and their expectations set on the public internet will drive the architecture and structure within enterprises. People's expectations about how to keep informed are changing. Tools need to adapt to address specific audiences, groups. Private conversations foster trust. To broadly deploy conversations you need identity that works across all stakeholders, but also local permissions without having an IT organization hardwire everything. If I am an engineer at GM and someone in Germany opens up a blog and puts it on the network. If the content of the group weblog talks about a design. Would like to find out about the blog by searching, finding someone's elses blog that links to it and be able to subscribe to the blog without having IT be involved.
JP Rangaswami (DrKW)
To repeat Cluetrain, markets are conversations. Even the work bankrupt relates to a breakdown in trust. Business of a bank is relationships. When four guys from the bank show up here? They are here to learn. How do you differentiate from employees, partners, customers? They are all part of a group. JSB said you have SoA and Virtualization working together with Social Software. If I try to figure out what we are trying to solve, look at Hugh's cartoon saying our job is to make a membrane between customer and firm more porous. Learning how to use tools to share and collaborate. I want to focus on the role of the individual as the modern firm is redefined. Used to be the firm defining the individual, now the firm needs to have a value set in line with theirs and provide a toolset that allows for their creativity to flower. My customer (user) expects to be able to choose from devices connections. What is being transfered, the connection and the device is up to him. It needs to be recordable, searchable and content independent. These things are possible provided that identity and IP are resolved. Collaboration always existed, now an individual has knowledge, content and skill to be able to produce something with others that no one individual can do alone. We use these tools to attract the right people and let them choose to stay.
Julius: As we have more social software on our sites, we need to address identity. But not likely we will make it easy to let users access competitor's sites. But there are models where competitive quotes are encouraged.
Philip: the way these connections become open is a coalition of the weak and strong. Companies that cannot create a proprietary reptuational marketplace to compete with eBay will attempt to be open.
Dick: Open and simple always wins long term.
Greg: the business or enterprise group might lead the way as there are business reasons for open identity.
JP: KM and info security merged a while ago. Need to keep policies lightweight. Screams about security are less valid than the issues of security. Can only have trust with transparency. I'm a regulated institution. Tech enters the bank from the bottom up. If I make it top down, it's likely my staff won't adopt it in the right way. Adopting the technology by the alpha consumer as an individual, then you get what you might need for it to work in a corporate environment. Employees of tomorrow will demand a set of capabilities for the firm, not through a central statement of what they will and can do.
Dick: Salesforce sells to a business unit first, then the IT department.
Julius: We have people hungry for sharing of best practices, easier ways to communicate across silos. A big change in our organization. If you can get companies to understand that it will be empowering, security is manageable and won't effect control, these tools have a big future. Don't need fancy communication tools, the CEO communicates with email and people respond and he gets dialogue. Horizontally it is trying to think about incentive structures. What are the obstacles to rational behavior and how do we eliminate them.
Greg: align with business purpose of goals, something that intrinsically involves a larger group of stakeholders.
Philip: we have observed large corporations have different stages in a lifecycle in which issues are difficult. Have been using a multi-layers social network analytical techniques:
- transaction network: of productive activity
- trust network: relationships
- communication networks
- network of power: formal organizations
People are connected through all four, helps you understand where and why there is organizational disfunction.
JP: because we have to prevent silos, the issues are connected to identity but go into permissioning and authentication. Not trivial in a regulated environment.