Business 2.0

December 12, 2006 — Leave a comment

Jason Calacanis writes about “Out there” people. He’s right. If there’s one really good thing coming out of Web 2.0 it’s the change from the traditional top down hierarchical know your place companies to a new way of doing business, where questioning is acceptable, hierarchies are less, decisions are influenced by the crowd.

I suppose it should be noted however that the old adage of the nail sticking up still holds true in many companies though: it’s bound to get squashed. Smart companies welcome dissent, differences, vitality. Dumb companies believe that their CEO should be the sole face of the company, and everything he says goes. Smart companies use dissent as a way of driving positive change. Dumb companies get rid of the dissenters.

I love this quote from Calacanis:

“Of course, in business most answer are not right or wrong–they are 50, 60, 70, or 80% right or wrong. “

Empowering the individual, all individuals within the company actually works against something that can be poisonous, the cult of the individual.

I’d like to think I’m an Out There Person. Certainly it doesn’t always win my popularity points, but it works for me.

Mark Cuban’s list with Calacanis’ additions

1. Fast followers
2. More flexible
3. Open communicators
4. Aspire to greatness
5. Looking for new, innovative ideas
6. In short ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú your future leaders
7 Passionate
8 Lovers of intelligent debate
9 Don’t take themselves to seriously

7 can be an issue for me, when I’m passionate about something it can sometimes be with too much zeal. But I love 8 and 9. There’s nothing better than an intelligent debate. As for taking myself to seriously, I’m a lot better than I use to be, and certainly I think I make a rather good change agent.

At the end of the day, I honestly believe that only those Web 2.0 companies that embrace this sort of thinking will succeed. Indeed, if they aren’t already they aren’t really Web 2.0 companies. Having a Web 2.0 web site or tool doesn’t automatically make your company a Web 2.0 firm, it’s about the culture as well. This new culture is the way of the future, and it is a path to success. Those that follow the old ways are doomed to failure.

Are you an out there person? If you employ people, do you encourage them to be out there, to challenge, to debate?


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