Does Disequilibrium Precedes Disruption?

by Jay Deragon on 09/05/2008

We, the users of all this social stuff, can easily miss the larger picture and not see the forest through the trees. As soon as a new social technology comes into play our satisfaction can quickly turn to dissatisfaction. The initial functions and features create new value which is then diminished by the discovery of issues that irritate us and expectations for more value.

The challenge of any technology provider is to constantly introduce innovations aimed at adding value to the networks and subsequently the users. Many times adding technological enhancements can cause disequilibrium which can interrupt stability of existing functions and features.

Enhancements sometimes can cause a delay or interruption of continuity and subsequently users can temporarily experience dissatisfaction. This can be a good thing if enhancements bring greater satisfaction. A bad thing if enhancements do not bring increased value to the end users. Personally I like it when things seem to be broken temporarily. If I wait I may be surprised when the system gets back to some stability because I may find the system enhancements bring me greater value than I had before. On the other hand if the networks I participate in become to stable I know the leaders are not being aggressive enough with innovation and the network will become static in a relatively short period of time. Today’s common drivers of dissatisfaction include:

1. Closed vs. Open Social Exchange Capabilities

2. Proliferation of new networks vying for our time and attention

3. Designs and interfaces that suck our time bank dry and frustrate us

4. Old Advertising and Public Relations Methods cluttering the Socialphere of human exchange

5. Old business models trying to force new technology into old business systems

Kevin Kelly writes in his book, Rules for the New Economy, “To achieve sustainable innovation you need to seek persistent disequilibrium. To seek persistent disequilibrium means that one must chase after disruption without succumbing to it, or retreating from it. Change comes in various wavelengths. There are changes in the game, changes in the rules of the game, and changes in how the rules are changed.” The pace with which technology is changing necessitates a broader outlook on doing business. They’re not the conventional ways to deal with things, All of these things are kind of disruptive new out-of-the box ways to think about our life and how we interact with the connected world.

So as we watch, analyze and anticipate the future of all this social stuff our attention should be focused on the fringes of change and disruption. When you consider Google’s constant stream of announcements, Facebooks new suite of products, Linkedin’s recent additions of functions and features, the proliferation of new networks, custom designed networks, new social media tools and the flurry of other announcements we should be proclaiming “Bring it On, Lets Roll, Please Disrupt Us!!!”

The market is exploding with new networks, innovation, disruptions, disequilibrium and competition is fierce. We should be celebrating instead of complaining. Your world is changing and what matters today will be mute points tomorrow. The convergence has begun, chaos is good and we are on the fringes of something of greater value than we have today. Today’s conclusions are not tomorrow’s solutions.

Can we keep up? Will we embrace change or be disappointed and resist it? The choice and perspective is ours as to how we view our world. So how are things in your social networked world?

What say you?


How to Get Six Pack Fast April 15, 2009 at 9:12 am

I can tell that this is not the first time at all that you mention the topic. Why have you decided to touch it again?

Daniel January 7, 2009 at 4:46 pm


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