What can extreme surfing and World of Warcraft teach the enterprise? Independent Co-Chairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge and former Xerox PARC Chief Scientist John Seely Brown holds them as examples of the power of frequent benchmarking and full industry info-share. He also uses them to show how the core ecosystem can be made stronger by sharing knowledge gathered from learning on the edge. In addition, Seely Brown touches upon his theory of a monumental economic shift from a push to a pull economy as outlaid in his 2010 book, The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion.
Entrepreneurship By the Book
Even in the age of lightning-fast digital communication, the printed page still has tremendous impact on innovation and entrepreneurial theory. The following three authors have delved deeply into the modern age with very successful - and yet, old-fashioned - tomes.
Can one truly develop a business plan before having a product or a customer in-hand? Not very successfully, contends KPCB partner Randy Komisar. In this clip, Komisar discusses the premise for his book, "Getting to Plan B", in which he points out how often the theory of a start-up succumbs to its execution. Komisar goes on to point out that thinking of Plan B as part of the process can change the way we think about constructing and managing the start-up.
McDonough + Partners lead William McDonough points out that manufacturers can utilize the same resources repeatedly, and build a lifetime buying relationship with their customer in the process. By closing the product cycle - that is, designing goods with their deconstruction and reconstruction in mind - product developers are uniquely poised to deepen their customer relationship. McDonough cites a case study of a carpet manufacturer that employs Cradle to Cradle design. Customers "lease" the carpet, and are offered financial incentive to return it after its term of use, where the manufacturer can strip it, reuse the backing, and replenish the fibers into new design - keeping toxic chemicals out of the environment, and unwanted product from the landfill.
We can't legislate against historical trends in the global age, but we can look more closely at the well-networked superclass - those who have broad influence across international borders on a regular basis. The Superclass has money, power, and influence - but it's woefully short on ethics in the global interest. Author David Rothkopf (Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making) describes this influential core of the global power structure and stresses that economic prosperity can't be the only metric of a civilization's success.