#SocialEra Value Comes From The Outliers

by Jay Deragon on 01/08/2013


Most all new innovation comes from the outside rather than inside. Inside being an organizations preconceived notions about the market, the business and all those people that interact with the business. Outside being a competitor or crowd.

Markets move when they are influenced by outliers. Think in terms of the IPad and how Steve Jobs created a movement in the way people interact with technology. Then every supplier followed in form and format.  If it wasn’t for the crazy ones thinking on the outside our standard of living and the quality of our experiences would be much less than what it is today.

Value creation comes from those crazy ones who think from the outside.

How To Find The Outliers

Much of what we are witnessing today represents the dynamics which collectively point to “outliers”. The collection of these outliers represent the dawning of The Social Era. The difference between this outlier and previous ones is that it hasn’t been created by one individual or organization rather it is the natural phoenomena of millions of people, learning, teaching and collaborating together.

The historical understanding of “outliers” has been the result of a scientific method  representing a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. The emerging Socail Era defies all principles of reasoning created by previous evidence pointing to “outliers”.  It is the natural dyanmics of the human network enabled with the power of social technology.

In statistics, an outlier is an observation that is numerically distant from the rest of the data.  An outlying observation, or outlier, is one that appears to deviate markedly from other members of the sample in which it occurs.  Think about what social technology has created in terms of human behavior, market dynamics and the explosive growth of user generated content. Outliers are becoming the norm.

In economic science, outliers are often responsible for much of the positive progress (and negative events, too) in a macroeconomic system. Perhaps this ties into the value of exceptionalism – being a unique outlier that does not follow the norm, but seeks to break a new path gives greater opportunity to overperform (or fail miserably). Think about the hundreds of technologically driven start ups who have attempted to become an “outlier”. Now think about the ones that started as an outlier and are now social norms for communicating, collaborating and creating collective value.

In the Social Era value comes from the outliers. Unless you or your organization can think like an “outlier” then your chances of creating new lasting and meaningful value are slim.  Breakout the thinking.

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