Archive for October, 2013

Big Companies Ignite a Spark in the Collaborative Economy


Sparks of Inspiration

In just the last few days, the market has noticed how P2P sharing and customer collaboration is picking up.  From my vantage point, this indicates that the market is realizing that the Collaborative Economy is the next phase of sharing.  It bears repeating that the first phase of sharing is in the realm of media and ideas, which we call Social Media. The next phase of sharing is in the physical realm (goods, services, space, and money) which some call the Collaborative Economy.  Because of my corporate focus, I use this broader term, as it encompasses the Maker Movement, crowd-funding, and co-innovation, which are all parts of companies sharing with the people –beyond P2P

This transition doesn’t come without pain. The heat from friction is an indication that the balance of economic power is changing.  A silicon valley cab company – you know, the old style kind that are yellow, not a sleek, tech-enabled black town car – claims that Uber and Lyft have eaten away at 30% of their business.  The battle continues between NY and Airbnb, where advocacy group has obtained 88,000 signatures in support of restrictive legalization.  We see market forces reacting to each other, as enablers of this movement and companies who want to leverage this force, adopt the same strategies:

  • Salesforce plants an enterprise software flag.  Salesforce has published the four business opportunities that remove barriers to the sharing economy.  I shared the stage with Peter Coffee at the Magnet360 event in Minneapolis a few weeks ago, where we focused on the Collaborative Economy with a large hall filled with marketers.  Peter does a fine job bringing a tech perspective that focuses on how mobile devices, big data, and analytics can fulfill these market desires.  I anticipate that enterprise software vendors like Salesforce, IBM, Ariba, Adobe, and Lithium are well poised to help large companies enter this space.
  • Accenture explores new insurance revenue models.  Accenture has published a three part series on sharing and insurance.  They explore untapped opportunity for new insurance providers to offer new forms of coverage as people continue to borrow goods instead of owning them outright.  Lisa Gansky’s “Access trumps ownership” Mesh mantra focuses on how power changes as more things become interconnected.  Now, large financial institutions can benefit from this new opportunity by providing new ‘asset-light coverage policies’ that protect both owners and those who borrow goods, space, and more.
  • Motorola and others embrace the crowd. Motorola has forged ahead with cross platform Phoneblox, while other examples of co-innovation are emerging. This radical phone is modular, made to last, and designed for the whole world.  It makes currently dominant Apple feel like ‘the man’ shifting the “Think Different” moniker over to Motorola’s court.  Imagine a product that’s community built, community designed, with components that can be 3D printed, shared, or modified, similar to the characteristics of the internet.  In addition, Innocentive has launched a thought piece showing how many large brands, like Anheuser-Busch, Coke, General Mills, Nokia and Unilever, are embracing co-innovation.  They aren’t the only ones.  FON is even launching a product that shares its Wi-Fi signal with others, making sharing intentional and increasing its value.
  • Ikea enables a marketplace of used goods.  Like eBay, Ikea encourages people to exchange second hand goods rather than buying new.  People are sharing, selling and renting products in a second hand market.  Savvy brands will enable this practice.  Ikea collected used furniture, did a media blitz promoting it for sale, and launched a marketplace using online tools, Facebook, and media buys.  All of the used furniture was sold.  Why would a company encourage the sale of used goods rather than selling new?  The answer is simple: commitment to community, environment, and driving deeper engagement that can yield return sales later.  A few months ago, I identified this as a software market waiting to be fulfilled.  Thanks to Juho Makkonen for the link.
  • HP commits to 3D printing.  Meg Whitman announced that the company will have 3D printer solutions at the industrial or enterprise level by 2014.  Although there are numerous examples on the consumer side, HP makes a play for the mid market.  This enables creation of complex parts, from medical to devices to become highly personalized, built at local level, and all on-demand.  Manufactures, suppliers, and retailers who are focused on centralized production, scheduled shipping of standardized parts need to revaluate their business model.  Because of HP’s client footprint, and existing supply chain relationships, they could scale the roll out of these printers, quickly.  (Added Oct 31)
  • The government grants crowd-funding.  The SEC allows Crowd-funding . Certainly this is not a ‘company,’ but the SEC  weighing in on crowd business models holds weight.  In support of boosting the economy, small businesses that struggle to get support from traditional funding institutions can now more easily tap the crowd.  The SEC has reduced the friction of crowd-funding by allowing those who seek to raise capital from the crowd to “bypass the traditional costs of going public, which usually involves hiring costly investment bankers and accountants.”  This means that innovation will come from the smaller companies and will be heavily supported by the crowd, who will fund them, further shifting power.

So there you have it, in just a few short days, we’ve seen a proliferation of business-focused articles emerge, with a focus on how large companies will develop new business models in the next phase of sharing – or else be disrupted by it.  If you’d like to learn how these business models must change, see my Slideshare on the Future of Business Models, or read my larger body of work on what this means to business, or peruse my running list of brands that are moving into this space.

Images used with creative commons license by Andrew Stawarz

Guest Post: Altimeter’s new Analyst on Digital Marketing Suites, Andrew Jones


Jeremiah: Please welcome Andrew Jones, as a guest poster on the Web Strategy blog.  I worked with Andrew for many years at Altimeter, if you’ve read my research reports, you’ll often find him on the byline as a researcher involved in my work on social business, social media management systems, and more.  Andrew has showed fantastic research chops, derives insights, and is growing his capability to forecast future markets.   While I’ve moved on from Altimeter a month ago, I remain a friend of the firm (and on the board of advisors) and wanted to help showcase the new talent that’s rising, esp during these transition periods.  Please show Andrew the same warm welcome that others have shown me, as he now covers the digital marketing space and more.   In the following post, Andrew spells out the future of the growing digital marketing suite, which we see the large enterprise software players building. Andrew, the floor is yours…

Building the Digital Marketing Suite 
Apple World by Andrew Jones (bio, twitter, the full post is here on the Altimeter blog)

Salesforce, Oracle, and Adobe are all building “suites” for cross-channel customer engagement through a series of acquisitions and integration with their existing offerings (see Figure 1). Among the components, each has bought marketing automation players as well as various social media tools. Having a complete social offering is a big part of this, but it’s also about integrating social with other customer engagement channels for the best data, targeting, and contextualization. The result: a technology suite that goes beyond just social, designed to entice CMOs with one-stop shopping convenience.

Figure 1: How Three Companies Are Creating Digital Marketing Suites
Component Salesforce Adobe Oracle 
Social media monitoring Salesforce Marketing Cloud (Radian6) Adobe Social (Adobe SocialAnalytics) Oracle SRM (Collective Intellect)
Social media management Salesforce Marketing Cloud (Buddy Media) Adobe Social (Efficient Frontier / Context Optional) Oracle SRM (Vitrue & Involver)
Social media advertising Salesforce Marketing Cloud ( Adobe Media Optimizer (Efficient Frontier) N/A for now; on product roadmap
Marketing automation & multi-channel targeting Salesforce ExactTarget Adobe Campaign (Neolane) Oracle Eloqua
Analytics & insights Salesforce Marketing Cloud (Radian6) Adobe Analytics (Omniture) Oracle SRM and OBIEE (Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition)
Content marketing No internal component, but integration (e.g. Kapost) Experience Manager & Creative Cloud Compendium
Enterprise social network Chatter N/A, although has built collaboration into Marketing Cloud Oracle Social Network
Data & CRM Salesforce No CRM, but has Omniture DataWarehouse and data connectors into partner solutions Oracle Database (plus Siebel), Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle Service Cloud, Oracle Commerce

It should go without saying that this chart is not an exact comparison and that line item “components” vary in complexity; the degree of integration also varies significantly.

What does the future look like with Digital Marketing Suites?

Beyond the obvious benefits of integration, like fewer tools and logins, and platform security that come from an integrated suite, there are four impending changes that marketers should watch closely:

1. Internal and external social networking on a single platform

In SMMS, collaboration features are mostly limited to basic workflow (tag, flag, annotate, route). Yet as social permeates an organization, the need for internal communication through Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs) becomes necessary to plan and react to external engagement. Companies with installed ESNs are also eager to tap and evolve internal employee engagement and direct it toward external conversations for purposes like providing customer support and employee advocacy.

2. Company-wide utility—this is not just for one department

Most SMMS address one or two departments’ needs well, yet we found that companies today are likely to have up to 13 departments involved in social. Because each department has different use cases and metrics, these suites are looking to address the needs of many departments rather than just the one or few primarily addressed today. Marketing is central, but other stakeholders are increasingly being involved.

3. Customer relevance and targeting (Social CRM)

The growing need for a common view of customers’ social profiles and social behavior data is also driving a move to suites. Several SMMS vendors have focused on customer identification and targeting from the outset—but few integrate well with marketing automation and enterprise CRM systems in order to know and target customers based not only on social data, but all relevant customer data. This has been a long-term promise and the customer journey keeps getting more complex, but Adobe, Salesforce and Oracle have all been especially focused on this of late.

4. Bigger sticker price and IT involvement

The average enterprise deal size for SMMS has steadily increased over the past few years, rising from $76k last year to deal sizes of what we typically see today in the $100-150k range. This reflects a growing ability to spend on social software where there is perceived value. These larger Digital Marketing Suites will naturally be more expensive, and because these suites are larger in scale and require greater care to be “plugged in” correctly, marketers will need IT to be more involved than it has been in decisions like SMMS, which marketing departments have often been able to buy and “install” completely independently.

Why Do Big Companies Crowdfund?


Above image: Intertwined strands bonded together share the
same shared fate of pulling a heavy load.

“Why Do Big Companies Crowdfund?”  Suprinsingly, it’s often not about the money.

That was the very question that was asked at Crowd Conference hosted in San Francisco yesterday. I had some stage time, but also listened into the panel where my contact Syndey Armani from CrowdFundBeat was speaking.

What’s crowdfunding? Instead of turning to traditional investment institutions, you can turn to regular people from around the globe to contribute money towards a good, services, or experience.

It’s pretty easy to guess why people crowd-fund, I see at least five reasons: A sense of ownership, revenue sharing, equity growing for resell later, access to goods before others, and of course, an opportunity for a better return than placing money elsewhere.

While this makes a lot of sense for scrappy startups, indie artists, and impoverished villages, why would a wealthy big company do crowd funding?

Why Do Big Companies Crowdfund? 
Certainly, big companies have plenty of money, so why would they crowdfund? here’s a few reasons why:

  1. Market testing: A great way to test if your future product will sell is to see if the crowd is already interested. While there are dozens of social software tools that measure organic social media sentiment and online community services that act like focus groups, these don’t ask for commitment in terms of money.  Expect social analytics firms to start aggregating data from Kickstarter and Indiegogo to find out what the market wants.  Also expect white label open source versions of Kickstarter to integrate with enterprise social business software platforms.
  2. Pre-Payment: In some crowd funding programs, it’s simply a form of pre-payment. Where the crowd funders will get access to early products as the first beta users, or receive specialized premium versions. This tactic is heavily used in the online gaming space where early registrants receive customize characters to play that others don’t get. While a startup, the Pebble watch raised funds on Kickstarter, offering early versions to investors.
  3. Keeping members engaged: Keeping potential customers and prospects engaged is a hallmark goal for many marketers. Now you can send your crowd investors frequent updates on project progress, early sneak peaks, and rally them to advocate for you. The great thing is, it’s opt-in for everyone. See how Dodge Dart Registry tapped the crowd to get your friends and family to pay for parts of your car, a brilliant maneuver involving a whole social group. Also see how Barclay Card tapped a community for good.
  4. Shared Fate: To me, this is the most important reason. Marketers have often said the highest form of engagement is word of mouth and advocacy. I believe that crowd-funding, where the crowd investors actually share an end result with the company is the highest form –they’re in it together till the end. See how U-Haul Investors Club has really lead the way by living the DIY mantra, and allowing their own customers to own trucks and equipment as crowd investors.

So there you have it, big companies may crowdfund, not just because of money, but because: 1) Market testing 2) Commitment to pay 3) Deep engagement 4) A Shared Fate.

(Creative commons image by Eryn)

The Next Phase of Sharing


Marunouchi - Tokyo - Japan

The first phase of sharing was of media and ideas, we call this social media; the second phase of sharing is the sharing of the physical world, we call this the collaborative economy.

Using powerful technologies like smart phones, mobile apps, payment systems and social networks, people can easily share the following things from the physical world: goods, services, space, and money.

This has upsetting impacts as people can now get what they need from each other, and often without buying it anew, this collection of stats shows how this is spreading across many markets.

It also creates intense friction as power changes hands, as regulators, governments, unions and lobbyists grapple with the power shift that’s powered by the internet.  See this simple news query to see the many stories.

Back to the first phase, social media. If your business card or LinkedIn account lists social as part of your title, congrats, you’ve been a leader in change. Yet we must advance our careers to the next phase of sharing as the physical world starts to be shared –beyond media and ideas.

To prepare for this shift in society, and our careers, we must ask and answer the following question:

“What role do companies play if people get what they need from each other?”

I’m betting my next company on answering that bold question. If you work at a big company that wants to be part of the answer, you can email me at to discuss more.

So there you have it: 1) the next phase of sharing is of the physical world, 2) it has radical impacts to companies, 3) prepare your career now.

(image credits Emmanuel Catteau)

Storyboard: The Future of Business Models #FutureOf


The business landscape is radically changing, as new technologies, economic uncertainty, and strain on earth’s resources are changing how companies go to market.  In partnership with Slideshare (part of the LinkedIn family) I’ve created a vision of the future of business models, based on new market drivers.   Also, you’ll notice the new brand for Crowd Companies, a company I’m building to help corporations with the collaborative economy.   I hope you’ll enjoy this slideshare which goes through

  1. How have business models been disrupted?
  2. What are the changes companies must make?
  3. Which brands are leading with new business models?

In the end, corporations will collaborate with empowered people, making brands resilient.


You can learn more about Slidehshare’s “#FutureOf” campaign, and check out a few other slideshares of note that were part of this launch, see the Future of Work and Future of Marketing.

Shapeways Delivers 3D Printing as a Service, Reshaping Business Processes


An assortment of 3D printed items, accompanied by Duann Scott (left), myself (center), and Savannah, (right) at the Shapeways 3D “Factory of the Future” in Queens, NYC. Behind us are rows of high-end 3D printers, polishing machines, designers, QA teams, and operations experts.

Trying to configure, calibrate, and properly print a 3D object is a clunky experience. Fortunately, there are services that enable this: Meet Shapeways, a 3D factory available now for you.

In my humble opinion, I’ve found that 3D printers for consumers need some time to mature.  I’ve taken a class at TechShop to learn that the level of skill requires a hobbyist and tinkering capability. It’s not just “Press print.”  To meet this need, and to print using high quality materials, Shapeways offers 3D printing services on demand, and ships your products to you.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to tour Shapeways “Factory of the Future” in Queens, NY, and got to see first-hand how they do this.  They offer a variety of designers and artisans, who can custom design your products, or tools that enable you to customize existing products. Truly, the possibilities are limitless.  With the capability to print in 35 different materials (and new ones coming), Shapeways has high-end, professional grade, 3D printers that can print in color, acrylic, and also polish and dye process to color your products.

The impacts to business are potentially tremendous.  One can print personalized goods for your own style.  Items can be printed on-demand and delivered to you within days.  They can also be printed at scale and replicated quickly by printing an entire batch.  These resources aren’t limited to consumers alone.  Progressive companies like Nokia have made their STL 3D printing files available to the 3D printing community, encouraging them to print out their own cases.

The potential impacts for business are quite significant:

  • Anyone can become a designer or manufacturer, without ever leaving home.
  • Rapid design and prototypes can be printed quickly.
  • No need to configure large warehouses and supply chains.  3D printers print quickly, on-demand.
  • Print only what you need, reducing the costly overhead of warehouses and excess inventory.
  • Customize and personalize for individuals, radically changing the game.
  • Eventually, use recyclable or sustainable materials, preserving our resources.

You can learn more about Shapeways, order ready-to-print items now, and customize things like color and size.  Read their blogbuild your own custom design, or upload your own design and set up your own ‘store.’

Below are some images, vine videos (Scroll over to see) and other examples of what I learned at the Shapeways factory tour.

Above: To manage fresh off the printer 3D printed items, I gave my hands in front of this professional machine. The material was heated up near to melting point.


Above:  In these hills be gold.  Inside of blocks of acrylic and other composites,

3D items are waiting to emerge.

Above: Blowing off excess materials with compressed air, and ready for the polishing machine.

Above: Should you want to print out replicas of your loved ones, or even yourself, this is possible in many materials. Makers are using modified Xbox Kinnect modules, and placing individuals on rotating discs to quickly scan someone. Beat that TSA.

Above: What if you could customized your jewelry for every day of the year? This is possible, with many pieces being just $20

Above: Intricate new designs, that are not been physically possible to create before, are now available, thanks to modern technology, this one being stainless steel.

Above: While Shapeways can print in over 35 materials, I took a quick vine of some of the more popular materials.

Above: Inspired by the life size Theo Jansen walking “Strandbeast”(see TED video) this was printed as two pieces, the walking leg part and then the propeller was printed and affixed on top. You can buy one, right now, for $100.

Above: I just ordered this Gyro, by famed designer Virtox. This was printed out as one single print, and is now available for you

Above: Nokia made their 3D printer files available so others could print them out, with mixed results

Above: Sad Keanu is sad. He’d likely be happier if he knew he was printed in color using gypsum salt, in color (see the color printer in action)

Above: My graciously delightful host, Duann noticed I didn’t have a quality business card holder for my Crowd Companies cars, and presented me with this.

Above: Savannah from Shapeways presented me with their “Business Card” a set of interlocking 3D cubes with the name of the company on front. You can quickly turn your company logo into a 3D item, using their website.

Want to learn more about how big corporations can tap this movement?  I’m starting a company to help with this. You can sign up here to get the details.  Thanks to Tim McDonald, who connected us, making this possible, and Vivian Wang, who first told me about Shapeways many moons ago.