My brain isn’t always the sharpest and it takes time for me to grasp information and its relative meaning. Words carry lots of meaning and unless we really “read and listen to comprehend” we can miss the true value of someone’s work. If you’ve ever listen to or read something from someone smarter than you then you know what I mean.
Three years ago I read Doc Searls work and in particular The Cluetrain Manifesto. The theme of the Cluetrain is “Markets are Conversations” and the book discussed how the internet was propagating conversations at rates never before experienced and subsequently creating and influencing markets.
Recently I read The Cluetrain Manifesto yet again for the fourth time. This time I think my brain cells finally connected and I saw exactly how the acceleration of conversations create cycles of transformation that lead to expansion of existing or creation of brand new markets. All generated from conversations.
Cycles of Transformation
Conversations are filled with information which is shared with others. The internet, in its current stage, enables the propagation of conversations from one to one to millions at the click of a mouse. The acceleration of conversations at rates beyond past experiences facilitates the transformation of information into knowledge. Subsequently a few people discern the knowledge gained and move to the creation of innovation in product, service and delivery (marketing, service and reach).
From the creation of innovative approaches in product, service and delivery market leaders create currency. Currency comes in many different forms. Time, productivity and monetization of both create new capital. Subsequently the introduction of new innovation gets disseminated as information contained in conversations which now becomes known to the masses thanks to the internet.
At each and every point in the dissemination process, content can be vetted by the community of peers, colleagues, and other participants. This is extremely important because content that survived extreme vetting becomes a factual addition to the marketplace of knowledge. This is the highest order and the most valuable outcome of the social media exchange. Every notice how valuable conversations are those that facilitate the creation of new value and subsequently are passed on to ultimately create innovation that attracts the masses? Microsoft, IBM, Google, Facebook, Linkedin all the Fortune 500 and every business born on the landscape of commerce was born out of a conversation. Those that survive are those that continue the conversation aiming at increasing value through innovative developments that the market wants or consumes.
The value of social media is relative to the cycle of social media transformation that is vetted through the marketplace of peers. Past industries were started, enabled and created by conversations that led to innovation. Consider a few examples:
- Manufacturing innovations that fueled production of products that consumers wanted. (examine any product currently manufactured)
- Service innovations that helped organizations and consumers improve productivty. (examine any service you use and consider its value)
- Technological innovation that fuels productivity, communications and creativity. (examine Google, IBM, Microsoft, Wireless, Internet, Broadcasting etc etc.)
In each case billions of new capital and currency was created.
Now we are witnessing conversations from the marketplace that confirm that the cycles illustrated are indeed the process of transformation aimed at creation of new value. The difference between today and yesterday is the rate of change created by and through the conversations propagated through social media.
Consider recent stories about KFC and Oprah, Target & Non Profits and the how Twitter is helping local businesses improve sales. You don’t have to look too far to see other examples and you can bet we’ll see a lot more who understand this cycle, whether consciously or not, and apply the thinking to create new markets or serving existing ones better. Those that serve or create markets best win. Did I Get it? Do you?
What say you?