L’audace, encore de l’audace, toujours de l’audace

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Returned from London on Saturday, an unintended World is Flat tour.  Saw Roger Federer at Wimbledon; learned how Osmosoft uses the Twitter web tool to constantly connect the members of its Open Source innovation team; and observed Belgium banks joining others in Chapter 3 of Web 2.0.

Chapter 1 began for me in mid-2005 when our team spoke about the 10 Emerging Technologies You Should Care About: podcasting, google maps, video over IP etc.  Most considered this George Jetson-like speech to be an entertaining two hours out of the office.  Chapter 2 was written when News Corp., owner of MySpace and Fox News (and now bidding on 2 satellite networks in Europe), made its ultimately successful bid for Dow Jones in the Spring of 07 encouraging managers to conclude that ‘maybe Facebook is not just for kids?!’.  Chapter 3 describes the variety of Web 2.0 projects that are being tested in a wide range of companies, e.g.video on YouTube or wikis for project collaboration or rudimentary social networking – all in an effort to improve the customer experience.  These enterprises acknowledge that something potentially game-changing occurs and ask how their initial projects compare to what others are doing.  They’re moving beyond the starting line in the pursuit of associated variety and depth.

One my favorite Community Building examples is IKEA.  I learned last week that IKEA now sponsors a series of customer workshops in both Europe and the USA where customers meet to discuss business matters: leadership, sales and financial management.  A professional, social network stemming from furniture purchases. Soon we’ll have version 2 of the iPhone.  For fun on any mobile device, have a look (did I tell you that I just returned from England?!) at 1-800-Goog411 or Chacha.com.  Ask either one a specific question and receive a specific answer, Goog by voice and Chacha via text.  These are carefully crafted efforts to control search on the mobile device so that related advertising may be controlled.  These services are easy, entertaining and fun to use so be mindful of how they can influence your own customer relationships.  The brilliance of Roger Federer is his variety, his graceful movement and his courage to succeed.  He trusts the breadth of his talents and is not content to continue only with what is working for the moment.  This is how he stays ahead: purposeful movement in search of an opportune moment to challenge himself.  You could almostconsider this a formula for constant innovation.

Best for the July 4th holiday.  Subject line described.