Accelerating Spheres of Influence

by Jay Deragon on 11/09/2010

Spheres of influence are now the measure of power in human relationships.

The digital economy is transforming the lives of people and organizations. There is a revolution in media, market relations and consumer behavior. Also there is a revolution of rising expectations by crowds of people who are rejecting old business philosophies and outdated management practices. Revolutions create change as changes accelerate through spheres of influence. Revolutions create buzz because the human network is attracted to changes that create meaningful value.

The buzzword is social media. The term social media goes beyond what we are witnessing today in terms of human interaction and the subsequent changes fueled by the interaction. Conventional spheres of influence are accelerating changes in business processes, market dynamics and buyer preferences.  However the marketplace of sellers considers these changes as merely an alternative to make a channel for marketing or selling product on and off line.

What we are witnessing is the ability of buyers to innovate entire business processes in real time while sellers struggle with understanding the foundation of changes created by the influence of buyers. Fundamentally there is a philosophical shift underway driven by the voice of the customer. When buyers are given a loud united voice, organized and accelerated by technology it can ignite systemic changes in how businesses operate and engage with buyers. Failure to understand these changes means a failure in operations. A failure in operations means your “system” is out of sync with buyer expectations. A “system” out of sync with buyer expectations is a business in rapid decline.

Traditionally business measures do not efficiently monitor synchronization of operations with buyer expectations. Thus the results of not being in sync with buyer expectations and changing market dynamics do not show up in real time results because business results are a measurement after not before or during real time changes.

Spheres of Influence on the Fringes

In the emerging “buyer economy,” the players as well as the rules of the game are changing fast. The changes are being fueled by an increase and expansion of knowledge. Buyers are learning from buyers rather than sellers. The traditional media no longer satisfies buyer needs for relevant information and knowledge buyers want or can use to share with their spheres of influence. Historically buyer spheres of influence were limited by one’s ability to communicate to the masses. The media held the power of mass communications and thus the influence.  Now the opposite is true and the rising tide of data demonstrates the accelerated spheres of influence now being driven by buyers.

Technology drives the velocity of changes. Velocity of knowledge exchanges, money and goods in an economy refers to technical efficiency. Technical efficiency refers to particular rates of change and influence created by new dynamics fueled by technology.   Technical efficiency brings about a frictionless or transactions-cost-free marketplace. Social technology is ushering in frictionless or transactions-cost-free marketplace fueled from new knowledge and innovation. Entrepreneurs, innovators and those that think out of the box and ahead of the change curve are creating new economic models on the fringes of change that will accelerate the spheres of influence over entire marketplaces. A few examples of this include:

  1. Doc Searls VRM Project which aims to reduce friction and enable markets of buyers to operate more efficiently.
  2. Dan Robles Ingenesis Project which aims to create the social value index based on knowledge inventories of individual exchanges.
  3. Tara Hunt who is exploring the emergence of social currency and its use in a marketplace where value is exchanged and monetized creatively.
  4. Chris Heuer is paving the last mile of social media by building a global network of local resources.
  5. There are many entrepreneurs who are leveraging social technology to improve local commerce and relations.
  6. Last but not least is the entire human network learning to leverage assets, reduce friction, exchange value and create a new economy.

The above five examples are just a few of many spheres of influence which collectively represent changes on the fringes which will accelerate the velocity of even more changes. The results of not being in sync with these changes means you are out of sync with changes that will accelerate the decline of your business.


Michael Silverton November 9, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Jay NAILS IT again. All these highly popularized landscape maps are great, but it’s CONTEXT such as you provide here that adds the knowledge value. I know Dan will always help correct my paper if I have my social capitalism math wrong on that statement. 😉 These are ideas whose time has come. I can’t wait to see what the innovation of the next few years and decade ahead will bring.

Something … wonderful.

Dan Robles November 9, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Wow Jay,

Thanks for the plug. Let me add that the one thing that your “list of 6” have in common. They convert money into social currency. Then create social value denominated in social currency. Then convert the new increased social value back into money.

That is so different than the status quo: i.e.; converting money into social currency, then expending social currency as a means of transferring money from one pocket to another pocket.

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