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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

New Economic Models for personal data

Excerpt from the book "Value and Worth: Creating New Markets in the Digital Economy" available in January 2013

Link to book at


New Economic Models for personal data

As the digital age progresses further, more of ourselves can now be potentially commodified. I say potentially, because it depends on the firm’s ability to do so. For practices that are measurably visible and direct such as mouse clicks, button presses, it's commodification potential is obvious. Companies like google or Facebook have sophisticated algorithms to calculate how much a recommendation, a share or a like could translate to creating worth to advertisers. However, since digital connectivity also allows us to interact, we are now digitally more visible – we vote, pay, applaud, and commodification of such practices are much more a challenge. With greater digitisation into the contexts of home and buildings, the digital self in future could be seen more transparently through how we create value within digital contexts i.e. the visibility of elements (nouns), system (verbs), structures (rules), agency, affordance and outcomes in contexts (see chapter 4). We already generate much personal data through our financial transactions, tax records, health behaviours and online interactions. There is a growing concern over our ability to control what information we reveal about ourselves over the Internet, and who can access that information. The US Federal Trade Commission has provided a set of guidelines on widely-accepted concepts concerning fair information practices in electronic exchanges called the Fair Information Practice Principles. The problems is that treating data according to what is ‚good practice’ doesn’t reduce individuals reservations about its collection and use. It breeds a culture of mistrust especially when so much of what we need to do digitally results in signing ‚informed consent’ about what firms could do with our data, documents that we cannot humanly and cognitively process in terms of its implication. In addition, injustice may arise because individuals could buy and use digital offerings under conditions of inequality or necessity which suggest that such practrices are coercive, prompted by the necessities of his situation.

How should we understand our personal data in terms of privacy, vulnerability and security for ourselves on one hand and while we wish to have firms create new offerings to serve us in context on the other? How should we think of personal data as protecting us while at the same time creating new markets?

These are the conditions we often face today for online personal data privacy.

We withhold our consent for personal data to be used because we get nothing in return.
We do not wish to participate in online digital activities for fear of being digitally visible as we do not know who holds our data and what they would do with it.
The firm refuses to compensate for use of personal data because it does not know yet what worth (new offerings) could be created.
The firm owns part of our data and could do with it what they wish, as long as they anonymise it. But they cannot share it with another party so there is limited understanding of the data.

One way of thinking about personal data is start from the position that its ownership is our digital labour. Thus, by allowing it to be owned by someone else such as a firm is allowing for its exploitation, regardless of how the firm anonymises it. This does not mean that firms cannot be allowed access, merely that as a point of principle, the information has to be owned by individuals and firms only give the right to access it. The reason this principle should exist is that personal data could then be seen as our labour for commodification just as the way we see our real work in life as labour for commodification.  This creates a market for digital labour of which firms could ‚buy’ and compensate individuals for. Continuing the logic, digital labour i.e. visible practices on line would then become an asset to individuals. By doing so, individuals may not be so restrained in their digital practices, since its a reduction of their assets, but may be more discerning on whom they could share them with, thereby sharing only when there is benefit to themselves. Firms could offer contextual digital offerings based on these assets they can view and compensate accordingly, to the individual as both digital labourer and as customer. Currently, our compensation for personal data is often what is commonly known as 'a free lunch'. So we may get back coupons, discounts, freebies from the commodification of our practices. By liberating personal data into a format where we could store and be accessible to firms, a market for prosumerism exchanges is created where individual choices can be respected even while markets can be created with new business models for compensation and experience.

This could be a solution because the current personal data held by several insitutions is often not shareable under data privacy acts. Thus different firms hold data that is partial, with visibility that is incomplete. This results in digital labour becoming less valuable to firms and commodification becomes a challenge since firms do not yet know how to create worth from digital labour. Access to a more complete visibility of the customer with suitable compensation to digital labour will create better offerings for individuals allow choice, and could stimulate market creation under conditions of fairness and consent.

Personal data may therefore be seen to be not just a privacy or legal issue but that about market exchanges of rights and the external effects that could be obtained from the creation of such a market. Our consent is not merely an ethical dilemma. It is a right not to 'work' and a right therefore not to be digitally visible, but if we decide to be visible we could be rewarded for that just as labour is compensated through work. When a market of personal data generation and use is created, individuals may be more willing to do digital work as a result, or at least, allow for their data to be visible and accessible. By doing so, they are accumulating a potential resource for a commodification opportunity, with the firm playing the role of developing its capability to create worth from that commodification. Without such a market, individuals may withhold consent and firms, being unable to create worth from partial personal data will not pay for it. With no incentive for participation, what economists would term as market failure results. While firms today talk about ‚big data’, data will get even bigger with greater connectivity and the internet-of-things. Fundamentally allowing firms to aggregate data so that they can serve the population through new services while recognising the rights of those who generate the data is the way forward. We will all benefit from better traffic information if we allow our individual travel data to be collected, aggregated and served back to help us with our travel plans but conversations around big data must recognise both the business and service generation from big data as well as the rights of the data generators who contribute their digital labour and a free market to allow more of this to happen is crucial.

When the economy is based on an exchange of ownership, we create unlimited value (or not) from what we buy. Traditional exchange economy for goods gave little visibility to value creation, especially for things. The economic system only measures worth and not the value created. As firms wish to appropriate more revenues from value creation and change their business models particularly in the digital economy, they may give up the ownership model, and instead, look to business models that derive revenues from use or experience e.g. Power by the hour. By not creating worth from value creating activities, the firm opens itself up to other ways of creating worth. Understanding personal data and how digital activities create value in context becomes a stimulus for new business models and new innovative offerings.


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Sunday, 29 July 2012

New economic models from collapse of exchange and use in retail banking

This post was brought about because of an exchange between Wim Rampen and Arie Golshlager on twitter. The conversation is captured in Arie's post and Wim's comment at

Essentially, Arie put up the Barclays ad on choices for retail banking and Wim commented that customisation is great but research has shown that giving too many choices stifles the customer (pointing to Sheena Iyengar's Ted talk

Arie asked me to comment on his post but there was so much to say that I decided to post this on my blog as well. It is also tied to my upcoming book and a recent keynote I delivered so if you are interested in more of this, sign up at the book page Value: Creating New Markets in the Digital Economy and check the keynote at service systems resource page

The problem I have with this ad is the revenue model/economic model for retail banking. To understand this, let's go back to fundamentals and evaluate what NEED a banking service is really satisfying. Keep my money safe. Give me interest for my excess at the best possible rate, give me my money whenever, wherever I want to use it securely and fast. If I don't have any, lend me some at the best possible interest rate.

What this means is that true retail banking service is a magic wallet for my money. It's with me all the time, and I can access, store, use, earn Interest (for excess), pay interest (for what I owe), but always at the convenience of being in my back pocket or handbag.

Now take a look at retail banking. It has grown into monolithic institutions, creating rules, transactions, norms, practices that we have come to accept as the 'solution' to our needs but actually makes us jump through hoops just to access money (dongles to log in) in the name of 'service'. And there is an academic term for this phenomenon. It's called an institutionalised solution. Basically, it means that we have been conditioned to think that the solution to our needs takes a certain form and that form has become 'institutionalised'. Markets are therefore formed from such institutionalised solutions (ref Steve Vargo who is researching in this area - need a cite here, Steve). So we believe that the solution to knowing the time at the bedside is a bedside clock, and managing our money is the current form of retail banking. So markets for bedside clocks and retail banking emerge because people accept that it is an acceptable solution (at that time) and it becomes 'institutionalised'.

Then technology comes along and disrupts all that because fundamentally, there could be other solutions that are way better, much easier for the consumer and in doing so, the market could potentially explode because there was so much latent need that was not satisfied with the previous institutionalised solution. Technology, in particular digitisation, can now potentially make this magic wallet come true e.g. through mobile solutions and other ways to access money. But of course, institutionalised solutions are hard to 'de-instutionalised' (reason why radical innovation is hard) so they try to modify the model to fit, by giving more choices. Often, new provisions are secondary to the 'primary solution' of retail banking; the idea that the primary solution could be wrong is unthinkable.

So why could the retail banking 'institutionalised solution' be wrong?

Well, wrong is a little harsh. It's just archaic, inefficient and rather 'inside-out' and sooner or later, it will be replaced (although one must never underestimate the longevity of entrenched institutionalised solutions)

To answer this, let's go back to the simple magic wallet again. The problem with the current retail banking model is that it is still based in an old good-dominant logic of exchange (cue SD logic music now.... Vargo & Lusch 2004, 2008). They are still thinking that revenue (and therefore service) is created at the point of exchange- which is why Barclays, and so many products are doing all these customization, that could result in too many 'choices' problem.

Why is this untenable? because the business model is now becoming too challenging to maintain.

Quite simple really. The value created by retail banking is not at the point of exchange. It's at the point of use in context. My magic wallet creates value with me at the time I need to access, look at, use my money. Making me choose the options for my magic wallet (retail banking solution) before I use it is just passing risks over to me, and in my opinion poor service.

At the keynote I mentioned that for all the choices that we have in the world for tea, coffee and cereal, the reality is that when you wake up in the morning, you only have the choice of what you bought. Retail banking is similar.

Because use contexts are complex, high variety and low visibility to the bank, they still prefer the exchange model which means the consumer has to make decisions BEFORE they use. They think the customer KNOWS what they want at choice but actually, they don't and even if they think they do, contingencies arise but these institutions are not thinking of new ways to serve use contexts, they are passing the risk on to customers at the point of exchange through choice-giving.

And they think that's good service.

What it is, truly, and why too many choices are stifling customers is because they try to use exchange to emulate possible use contexts. Customers are stifled because, in part, they cannot possibly envisage all contingencies of contexts.

All this is going to change with digitisation because it means that banking (and other offerings) could actually build contingent revenue models, better context pricing models ie collapsing exchange and use into the same time and space, with new platforms of both exchange and use, better aligning customer outcomes (and needs) to the exchange. And guess what, there is actually more money to be made when exchange and use collapse into the same space (check the music industry example at the keynote). Now that is truly a retail banking service to look forward to. The only question is - which bank will lead. Be careful, competition dynamics in contexts are very different with different players coming into the scene. Bedside clocks are fast becoming a thing of the past, replaced by your phone.

I do some work with media and content context pricing - media as an industry is digitising faster than banking because they are less monolithic and entrenched and content is fast changing with user generation etc. so the product itself is evolving because of its ability to serve use contexts. At an abstract level, you can see industries changing from seeing how media and content is changing but I don't want to include more spoilers for the book coming up so I should stop here. Do also stay in touch with the research in this area at our RCUK funded New Economic Models in the Digital Economy (NEMODE)

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Future of Manufacturing and the rise of value constellations

I've had to tell this story so many times now that I think I had better blog it.

The start of the story is from the article
"Siemens beats Bombardier to Thameslink train order":

To begin, here are some caveats. I do not know the people in Siemens or Bombardier who have been involved in this. Neither do I know anyone in government involved in this. I do know of a friend who is working in Bombardier (not directly related to this) and we had a conversation on it which led me to this blogpost.

I am analysing this based on what I think is a good illustration of the future of manufacturing.

So here's what I think.

We are used to wealth coming from a world of making things because we have always thought of value as exchange. I make something and then give it to you and you give me money (for more on this, check out my paper on integrative framework on value). But that world is rapidly changing as more information is being digitised and things are being connected. Exchange is increasingly less the source of wealth creation and commerce. Outcomes (some would call it solutions but I hesitate - see my blogpost on the difference between solutions and outcomes) are now being prized and as technology enabled connectivity become ubiquitous, customers are becoming more demanding. This has a massive impact on manufacturing. The manufacturing industry has always worked on a basis of exchange and ownership. The mindset and the business model is that of selling and delivering things, not the use of it. If you ask manufacturers, they still think of anything after the sale of a product as 'value-added' or something (usually a service) wrapped around the thing they make. They still don't think of fundamentally changing how things are made so that outcomes are better achieved. They have not understood that the new frontier of manufacturing is outcome, and not exchange.

How does the article above illustrates this? Well, bombardier makes trains and in the traditional way, train manufacturers make trains and give it over to the customer for them to use and operate, perhaps adding some services before, during and after the train has been manufactured as 'added value'.

But the truth of it is that trains enable an outcome of people getting from point A to point B. Think about the use of the train. By the time you get on a train, the problem is usually solved right? The real problem usually is getting on the train. So, what you really want to know is which train you should get on, how many seats are available on which carriage and where you can put your bicycle/pram and if you miss this train, which one can you get after and can you connect further south/north/east/west? So .... the train value proposition for exchange and the train value proposition for outcome, is quite different. In fact, I would argue that this actually could warrant a redesign of your train. In fact, you might want to think about how your train value proposition could be digitised/dematerialised to create resources for people away from the train so that they can get on to the train. This is where you need to get creative because new materials for manufacturing trains and new ways of configuring and digitizing the train offering could come up with new ways to enable people to use trains. As a start, there are aspects of the train such as number of seats available, luggage spaces etc. where you could put in sensors to communicate information. It also means that the entire train design may need to be remodularised so that the design could be more efficient to convey various information about the train. And this information could result in very different types of payment and economic models as well.

So this is where I think Bombardier didn't get it. Siemens, on the other hand, is much more clued into the information systems and connectivity agenda which I believe they have leveraged for the Thameslink bid. As an example, I've just done a simple screen dump of siemens rail and bombardier rail websites.

It's not hard to see the difference. Siemens title of webpage is Rail solutions. Bombardier's is Rail vehicles, although they do use the word 'solutions'.

Siemens combines innovation with responsibility to deliver technologically advanced solutions ensuring journeys are punctual, comfortable and safe


Bombardier Transportation offers one of the most comprehensive rail vehicle portfolios in the world.
From mainline to metro, light rail to locomotives, our strategy is one of continuous development that provides the most effective and cost-efficient rail solutions today and in the future

You can form your own conclusions. Remember this is just an illustration and shouldn't be seen to mean more than that but I think it does say something.

I don't think Siemens fully understand designing and manufacturing for outcomes either because, from their description, I don't think they have yet understood the role of value co-creation and co-capability, but they are probably a few steps ahead of Bombardier.

Manufacturing is changing  - the Economist had a special report dedicated to it. It doesn't quite go far enough, but you can see that slowly but surely, legacy boundaries between industries are starting to crumble.

The future of manufacturing is embedded in the role of the material, social and technological in collaborating and resource integrating value constellations (i.e. value creating service systems). Some things may be half manufactured (remodularised), and finished locally or by your customers because they know their outcome use varieties better (3D printing to finish scalable material platforms?). Some things can continue to be updated technologically and digitally (like the iPad and the operating system) for the material to adapt to other contexts of use. There will be new interactions between new types of materials, the digital realm and the social use of the object the way it has never been thought of before. New economic and payment models will follow as micro payments and contextual and outcome-type revenue models begins to pervade markets because it becomes technologically possible to track and measure use outcomes. We will see convergence between industries but for us to scale, grow and be economically more progressive, we need to know why and we need to know how to do it again and again. We need lots of new knowledge, tools, frameworks and methodologies for this new world. If you haven't been thinking about going back to research, start thinking now.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Outcome-based Contracts are NOT the same as solutioning

I've been told many times that outcome based contracts, such as flying hours, power by the hour, availability etc. are actually solutions-based contracts. (more on outcome based contracts at my previous blogpost here)

It's not.... so I thought l'll blog about the difference. Much of these insights come from my research in OBC so if you want the papers, check out my academic site

1. Diferent capability. Ability to achieve outcomes on Outcome based contracts means a capability to co-create, partner, collaborate and work together with your customer (see blogpost on value co-creation). That means you recognise that you need to keep your customers engaged and working with you and you develop your capability to do that. Solutions imply a passive customer. When you deliver 'a solution' it implies you do everything, and everything is under your control and the customer stays as a passive 'consumer'. Companies that don't really know how to collaborate, co-create and partner often prefer solutioning. Why? Because they want everything under their control. Co-creating and partnering is hard because they lose control. The ability to achieve outcomes on OBC is therefore a different capability from solutions. It's a capability of managing customer autonomy and complexity.

2. Different system. The system of solutioning is complicated. The system of achieving outcomes is complex. Complicated systems often means there is a central 'command and control' to achieve a solution. Complex means parties are autonomous and collaborating to achieve an outcome (see blog post on complicated vs complex). Complicated systems are based on reductionistic engineering science. Complex systems are based on holistic and systems science. Two completely different ways of understanding, viewing and analysing the system. Complicated systems are usually closed systems where anything outside comes into the system through designed and pre-specified conduits for inputs and outputs and predetermined 'touchpoints'. Complex systems are usually open systems where, because of autonomy, allows for a freer flow of people and information. I must stress that there are often closed complicated-type systems within complex systems so the distinction is a logical one, rather than a physical difference. We have inherited a world where often managers use reductionistic science to carve out the 'problem space' and solve it in isolation which can create more complexity from unintended consequences elsewhere in the system so its hard to tell the line between complicated and complex (there usually isn't one).

3. Paradox of solutioning is that the more you provide 'solutions' and relegate your customer to a passive role, the harder it is for you to please your customer. The logic is that an engaged customer is a happy customer because you respect their autonomy and yet able to manage the cooperation. Wanting your customer to be passive is like wanting your child to be passive and you provide everything for a child. it usually doesn't make for happy children.

4. Sometimes more expensive. Solutioning is sometimes more expensive than OBC. Why? Because to provide the 'solution' a provider need to price resources where ideally, some of these resources should not be provided by the provider but by the customer, because the customer, at the use end, has more updated information. For example, say you provide a security service for a house. If your customer wants 'incident-free' as an outcome, it goes beyond just patrolling the grounds or cctvs. It is also knowing when there may be a particular event in the house (e.g. a celebrity visit) where the event could attract security incidents. Your customer knows it but you may not. Not knowing it may make it costly for you as you need to overprovide or be overly cautious. If the customer is also responsible for the risk, the total cost of the outcome may come down. Of course, OBC could also be more expensive sometimes because of cost of cooperation/engagement. Hey, its a capability right? It's not meant to be easy.

5. Complex outcomes vs functional complicated outcomes. Some outcomes are impossible to be 'solutioned'. For example, if you may be able to provide the 'solution' of constructing a 'village' (build houses, townhall, parks, roads etc.), but you can never provide a 'community'. that can only be co-created. Similarly, many emergent properties of systems e.g. family, experience are co-created and not 'solutioned'. So if you are outsourcing a service of your firm be very careful what outcome you are outsourcing.  I see firms specifying functions to be outsourced and then becoming very unhappy because they got the outcomes wrong. Its easily to think the world is about functions. Often the outcomes we want are complex outcomes and not complicated functional outcomes. Specifying only the complicated functional outcomes for outsourcing is the most common problem I encounter because it underestimates the full outcome of the 'outsourced' element and reduces it to only a function when that element was achieving more complex outcomes before it was outsourced (and when it was part of an internal division).

6. Variety. Solutions and reductionistic engineering science in systems are really useful when there isn't much variety in the system i.e. in the context of customer 'use' of your service, there aren't many anomalies e.g. the experience of a flight. In such cases, a fully systematic system could be put in place where almost every contingency have been covered. When you have a customer in an enclosed cabin, there isn't really much else s/he needs except sleep, eat, drink, entertain (which is why I always think they dont want to give us internet access). In systems where customer 'use' of a service could have high variety e.g. a resort hotel, trying to 'command and control' the experience could end up with the customer disengaged. Be careful how you try to limit variety because not only do you end up not co-creating value, you engineer a disengaged customer. 'Variety' is double edged. It means more work for you but also an opportunity to create a better experience.

So in short, outcome-based systems are not 'solutioning' systems!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

New Year gripes on Top Tenners

Alright, alright since everyone is in that kind of a mood where new year predictions, and top tenners abound, I thought I'll blog mine. Here are my top six gripes about the top ten things that most top ten lists are talking about in 2012

1. Big data will just be fad of visualisations. Until analytics sort out HOW macro level visualisations can actually make individuals do things differently (micro level interactions), it will fizz out. The key is EMPOWERMENT and big data gives us visibility, but not empowerment i.e. it does not tell us how the individual entities can CHANGE the phenomenon, or how the phenomenon could be co-created, rather than merely described. Don't for a minute assume that the system is the aggregate of the one; when you decompose a system, you get the fallacy of decomposition i.e. what is good for the one, may not be good for all, and what might be overall 'good' for a system could be a false optimal because it may create perverse incentives and adverse selection at a micro-level. This micro-macro aggregation and decomposition issue has been around for as long as economics and systems theory and it is the reason why there is no real link between macro economics and micro economics (did you really think that macro economics derived from micro economics? stylized facts do not a theory make...ok ok I'm being harsh). I just worry that big data  empowers the wrong sets of people - people who use it to manipulate, command, control and direct without any wish to empower, co-create and engage. Be careful the firm that talks co-creation but uses big data.....

2.  Social networks grow older, more serious, less fun. Maybe you haven't noticed it but I have. Young people are starting to move out of facebook, twitter, google+. its become an 'old persons' thing now. My girls say 'Facebook is what your parents use'. Corporates, advertisements, privacy issues have taken all the joy out of social networking for the young. To the young crowd, gaffs, faulty privacy settings, faux pas - they are all part of the entertainment of social networks. Now its all 'check your privacy', 'make no mistakes', 'don't click on this', 'predators out there', 'whom to add' 'whom not to add' 'watch for spam' 'mark zuckerberg cannot be trusted with your data' - adults (and I mean adults in the logical sense and not the age sense) have a wonderful way of killing everything that is enjoyable (and risky of course) to the young (and young at heart like me ;p). I'm not saying we should let our children be stalked by pedophiles or give our data to zuckerberg. I'm just saying that our cautious attitudes are killing social enjoyment on line and many are leaving in droves. 'Corporatisation' is also making social networks an adult platform now, so this is all becoming all too serious. implications? well, we know the young are the derring-dos, the ones that try new and different things. They throw cows, act audaciously, say too much, show too much but resulting in more interesting interactions - adults are just. so. boring. and. careful. My pet theory is that for young people, the more they have on their network, the more they interact; for the adults, the more people on their network, the more scared they are about revealing too much about themselves so interactions reduce, which of course does not do well for the health and life of the network and I think its starting to happen already.  so I predict a slowdown of ideas and innovation on such platforms. bring back the brave, the young and the risk-takers - we need you for the excitement! if not - every social network will become a linkedin. imagine how boring that is. I feel like throwing a cow at someone right now but that would be too old. the young have moved to 9gag and beyond. sigh.

3. More firms will fail. Not really a prediction, because with the 'lack of growth' and 'economic stagnation' (see gripe no. 5), one would expect it but its why they fail that I think is interesting. My prediction is that more firms fail because of more firms coming into the market and squeezing the old firms out of new opportunities. The firms that fail are those that think that the world is still the same, and they underestimate how quickly they need to be more agile and entrepreneurial, or how fast they have to seize opportunities. Have you noticed how many people talk about 'change' and 'innovation'? That suggests a systemic problem. 'have you also noticed how many firms start initiatives and committees on change and innovation? that suggests what they think is the solution. Folks, change and innovation is not the same as productivity and efficiency. the usual way of 'managing' it is usually the first step towards killing it. of course i am not suggesting we dont 'manage' it. i am only suggesting that we take too many of our old tools and hope that all the problems are still nails and screws. But the market is a marvellous thing. New firms, new entrepreneurs will carve the way and they may even collaborate with more forward looking old companies. I like to ask companies 'so how are you not changing today?' or perhaps 'how are you impeding innovation today'. 2012 will (I hope!) see the battle against traditional 'management' and more 'intervention', 'self organisation' and intrapreneurship.

4. More intrapreneurs, less managers. I read this morning an article on a top business school crowing about where their ranking is on the worldwide MBA school list and I'm thinking, do I really want to shout about that? When so many firms, with managers educated by the world's business schools are not really performing well? Are they even in touch with what's happening around the world? I know the reply to this. Schools will say they teach specialist subjects such as strategy, marketing, OB, finance and its up to the managers to practice what has been taught, rightly or wrongly but I can't help feel, as a systems person, that there is something wrong when we teach business in piecemeal terms without giving an understanding of how its is holistically practiced. I mean, the medical profession also teaches in piecemeal terms (neurology, etc.) but they extol a healthy clinical education, a holistic education as part of the specialist knowledge and not separate from it. I think there is something wrong with business school education but that's an old refrain from me so I'll stop. I think 2012 will herald more intrapreneurs - I mean, why is it that CEOs get the big press? I would like to see 'Tom Jones - a normal working Joe - wins intrapreneur of the year working for 'tradfirm' - Tom Jones is credited for asking for a budget to buy out his whole team to spend 6 months as a 'subsidiary-within-a-firm' offshoot to improve the way the company's products are being delivered and used by their customers, improvements to service and bottom line more than paid for the budget...bla bla.... one can only hope. sigh.

5.  Lower 'growth' in economies, but why does it not matter so much? I get irritated when bean counters  equate 'consumer spending' with the 'health of the economy'. At a micro level, I used to spend £15 to do one thing now i can spend £15 on broadband and do 20 things so...... how are we calculating productivity again? oh, wait is it still a input-output firm production measure? of course it is - oh well, if we don't measure consumer 'productivity', I guess we'll never know. We are now getting much more for our money because value is increasingly distributed in systems, shared intelligence, information and knowledge is gaining currency on its own and we can actually buy less and spend less.... someone please work out a better metric. I really dont want to be told that revival of economies will depend on how much I spend. I would like to see more jobs out there but this whole produce-spend-produce leading to jobs is just becoming nonsense in a distributed, interconnected and co-created world of multiple 'currencies'. Here's an example. Lets say I work and earn £1000 a month. For my quality of life, I spend £800 a month with £200 savings. I now find, with this new wonderfully connected world, I can get the same quality of life with £600 a month with £400 savings but actually, I dont really want to work so many hours so I now work less, earn £900 a month, still have £300 savings and an even better quality of life. Measure that. That link between GDP (total of how much an economy produces and sells) and Consumer spending (how much we spend)? its called MY LIFE, or as Christensen likes to call it, my jobs to be done! and i could do it more efficiently and with less money!

6. Work and play gets even more blurred on social media. Google+ is so going to take advantage of this. It cant compete with facebook. or linkedin. or twitter so its going to start hugging corporates i'm sure. big firms are needing social media so much to improve connections and relationships within the firm and to incentivise innovation, change and intrapreneurship so i think we'll start seeing SAP circle, IBM circle and then it would mesh with personal circles. Then i want to work 2 days a week so i have a few other circles, and we talk about wine, work, children, and song. this is going to be fun. and boring. but still fun. and sooooo uncomfortable for many traditionalists. roll on.

sorry for the long post. its the new year and i ate too much so there is some spare energy to burn.