Lane Becker at SBS2010

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Lane Becker of GetSatisfaction.com on "Work Like the Network"

Businesses can only see explosive success in the networked economy if they can retool their structures, their cultures, and their base philosophies to be more like the Internet itself. The way people interact, communicate, and make decisions needs to become looser, edge-based, decentralized, open, highly interconnected, and transparent -- just to name a few. In this talk, we'll range around between the lofty and the practical, talking not only about what has to change but showing examples of how companies have done this and the kinds of success that can follow.

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  • Also my background: Organizational structure and process (grad school, AP, Get Satisfaction)
    Interested in the translation function. How do I make these ideas relevant to people who don’t have time for ideas?
  • You can take advantage of the benefits of the networked economy outside your organization only if you shift the internal organization of your company to mimic the structure and philosophy of the network
    In other words, if you want to succeed in the new world: BE LIKE THE INTERNET
  • the best founder.
  • just a figurehead now.




















  • You can take advantage of the benefits of the networked economy outside your organization only if you shift the internal organization of your company to mimic the structure and philosophy of the network
    In other words, if you want to succeed in the new world: BE LIKE THE INTERNET

  • Expensive to operate, painful to fail, people DIE when you fail (with railroads)

  • Cheap to operate, no one dies if you fail. The economics have inverted.
    All products have information content. The less a product has the more it’s commoditized.
    What was once expensive is now free. CD -> mp3s. GOODS VS. BETTERS

    AT THE MARKET LEVEL: Since information is so cheap to distribute (and often produce), it's made available for free. And when it's not, people copy and share it anyway. It's digital!

    With competition for visibility and context, linking becomes the central activity. ...Instead of hording or hiding stuff (including ideas), value is created by making it available.


  • Cheap to operate, no one dies if you fail. The economics have inverted.
    All products have information content. The less a product has the more it’s commoditized.
    What was once expensive is now free. CD -> mp3s. GOODS VS. BETTERS

    AT THE MARKET LEVEL: Since information is so cheap to distribute (and often produce), it's made available for free. And when it's not, people copy and share it anyway. It's digital!

    With competition for visibility and context, linking becomes the central activity. ...Instead of hording or hiding stuff (including ideas), value is created by making it available.


  • Linking creates new value chains. Really, an infinite number of value chains. Which means that most of the value in your offering exists outside of your business. It's both the pathway in, and an implicit part of the offering

    the linking allows for faster, more lightweight connections, which means a company's footprint becomes smaller relative to its market activity. It also insulates it against the unpredictability of the accelerating change that the network enables
  • Value to the business exists externally. What’s happening outside matters more, and is more valuable, than the work going on inside. Fining the balance, building the relationships, is what matters.

    This affects everything.







  • Opposites to frame the discussion, my favorite consultant’s trick
  • Opposites to frame the discussion, my favorite consultant’s trick

  • You are a node
    You can have a pretty big node, but it's still just one node
    And it's not the size of your node that counts, but the number and quality of the connections
    And the relative verbosity!
  • Thinking about it in explainable terms.
    That’s what it means to be a small part of a large, large network
  • Small biz in SF, you don't control your message like you used to, your customers control it. People start their business search on Google, increasing the importance of Yelp in the world
  • The internet is fundamentally about giving up control
    Wikipedia gave up editorial control and that's when it succeeded
    Google gave up (traditional) editorial control and that's where it succeeded
    You don't control the conversation anymore
    You can't predict what will happen, much less control it
    Bit players have huge impact
    You should always feel slightly out of control of events, because that means you're paying enough attention
  • William Whyte, author of the Organization Man studied foot traffic in NYC

    Complexity of the network makes predictability impossible

    Actually, it’s always been impossible, but now it's obvious on a regular basis. Story about Hong Kong harbor. Change needs to be baked into your process. Agile development: “Part of the process is changing the process.” Wisdom of crowds. (Maybe steal an example from the book?)

    From long-term strategy to scenario planning. Not "our six month strategy" but "here are the things that might happen, here are the ways we might respond". Directional, not determined. Which one you follow depends on what happens next, and you can never look that far ahead
  • So what can you use to guide you in this? If you can't control any of the myriad factors, constantly adjusting and adapting in real-time. That's the pattern that drives this new model

  • Industrial age models are not only rigid and hierarchical, they're also slow and require multiple levels of management

    Quality Assurance every step of the way

  • Product development teams are adapting to manage the speed and uncertainty of the network.
    The waterfall to the washing machine. waterfall approach to customer service, trouble tickets to “closure.” flow transforms. Away from the waterfall, assembly line approach, which is tied to complexity and increased cost -- solving for problems we no longer have. Towards the washing machine, fast, iterative

  • Get rid of the documentation that nobody develops, nobody reads, identify new ways of solving problems and expressing solutions to the team

    How can you achieve this?
  • Most documentation is just a record of failed collaboration

  • Historically paper, but with a good developer, Ajax works too! Plus with Ajax you can see what happens when people get in there (people are the integral part of the system)
  • One group led by a Scottish research at the Univ of Edinborough studies other species, to see how they communicate





  • In a fear based world, any show of weakness was an opening for your competition
    But if we're focused on connections and innovation over competition, we have a enormous amount to lose by trying to shut down. The most important thing is to engage and connect -- when somebody criticizes you, that's a conversation! That's an opportunity. When someone reports about a wrongdoing, that's an opportunity.
  • In a network where everybody is a node, you can be a 22 year old kid in the publication department of the world's largest HMO and shake the foundations of the business
  • Everybody gets to play deepthroat now
  • Example: Jetblue, YouTube apology
  • They created an environment where open discussion and opinions are welcome and where it’s OK to challenge ideas because as Brad Bird says “ The good ideas can withstand” those challenges and the weaker ideas fall away.

  • Secrecy used to be a staple (industrial-style), now is a hindrance.

    You have more to gain by talking to other people about it than keeping it to yourself, because that's where connections, ideas, transformations occur. You want to be a verbose node on the network.
  • again, the nature of a network

    It’s not clear where your interests end and others begin
  • What if we let people plug our content into their own sites, instead of trying to get everybody to come to our site to view it? Did that, became synonymous with video on the Web.
  • Create ecosystems around their businesses, more relationships, more value for themselves as an extremely verbose node.

    So many in the Internet space: Dell Ideastorm, Ubuntu Linux. Yahoo's open APIs, Google's open maps.

    Flattening hierarchy. Away from the notion of the "consumer" to everyone being a creator!
  • Create ecosystems around their businesses, more relationships, more value for themselves as an extremely verbose node.

    So many in the Internet space: Dell Ideastorm, Ubuntu Linux. Yahoo's open APIs, Google's open maps.

    Flattening hierarchy. Away from the notion of the "consumer" to everyone being a creator!
  • Create ecosystems around their businesses, more relationships, more value for themselves as an extremely verbose node.

    So many in the Internet space: Dell Ideastorm, Ubuntu Linux. Yahoo's open APIs, Google's open maps.

    Flattening hierarchy. Away from the notion of the "consumer" to everyone being a creator!

  • The most successful businesses don't think of themselves as the owners of property but as stewards of a mission or a community

    Success of businesses like Wikipedia and Google in direct proportion to how much control over their business they try to stake out

  • GOOGLE: Their business interests and their community interests are as aligned as they can make them. Make sure all the grain runs the same way.
  • GOOGLE: Their business interests and their community interests are as aligned as they can make them. Make sure all the grain runs the same way.
  • GOOGLE: Their business interests and their community interests are as aligned as they can make them. Make sure all the grain runs the same way.









  • Lane Becker at SBS2010

    1. 1. WORK LIKE THE NETWORK Losing Control: 8 Steps to Success in a post 2.0 World
    2. 2. BUSINESSES THRIVE ON THE NETWORK WHEN THEY ADAPT TO THE NETWORK NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND
    3. 3. “blog”
    4. 4. “ajax”
    5. 5. 36,000 companies
    6. 6. When Social Systems meet Customer Service
    7. 7. When Social Systems meet Customer Service Product Ideation Immersive Testing Launch Customer Service New Products, Buyers, Features, Buzz, Promotion, Problems, Questions, New Uses Pricing, Service Marketing Ideas
    8. 8. When Social Systems meet Customer Service Customer Service Product Ideation Immersive Testing Launch Problems, Questions, New Products, Buyers, Features, Buzz, Promotion, Ideas New Uses Pricing, Service Marketing
    9. 9. When Social Systems meet Customer Service Customer Service Product Ideation Immersive Testing Launch Problems, Questions, New Products, Buyers, Features, Buzz, Promotion, Ideas New Uses Pricing, Service Marketing Social Effects
    10. 10. Social business love the customer http://www.flickr.com/photos/kendrick/
    11. 11. http://www.flickr.com/photos/claudio_ar/ But most business is anti-social
    12. 12. Outsourced Call Centers FAQs Trouble Ticket Systems
    13. 13. Bad metrics & measurements...
    14. 14. ...Lead to this
    15. 15. Friction-free communication is the new norm
    16. 16. BUSINESSES THRIVE ON THE NETWORK WHEN THEY ADAPT TO THE NETWORK NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND
    17. 17. Networks are nothing new
    18. 18. It was about moving goods
    19. 19. HIERARCHIES BECAME NECESSARY TO MANAGE SCALE
    20. 20. A new kind of network
    21. 21. Server crashes aren’t train crashes
    22. 22. Linking create new kinds of value chains
    23. 23. http://www.flickr.com/photos/takomabibelot/ Value exists externally
    24. 24. Practically speaking...
    25. 25. http://www.flickr.com/photos/claudio_ar/ From this
    26. 26. To this http://www.flickr.com/photos/libraryman/
    27. 27. What does it mean to be social? http://www.flickr.com/photos/kendrick/
    28. 28. Three things
    29. 29. Three things 1. Organizations understand their customers are out there now.
    30. 30. Three things 1. Organizations understand their customers are out there now. 2. Every part of the organizational value chain is now aware of the customer and the impact that can have on their piece of the business.
    31. 31. Three things 1. Organizations understand their customers are out there now. 2. Every part of the organizational value chain is now aware of the customer and the impact that can have on their piece of the business. 3. Most organizations have no idea what to do about that.
    32. 32. http://www.flickr.com/photos/bachmont/ WAYS ORGANIZATIONS ARE CHANGING
    33. 33. http://saveabunny.com/
    34. 34. FROM CONTROL TO CACOPHONY (1)
    35. 35. YOU’RE JUST A NODE http://www.flickr.com/photos/generated/
    36. 36. Home sweet home
    37. 37. Customers lead the conversation
    38. 38. Change happens faster than organizations can process
    39. 39. We can handle it “They walk fast and they walk adroitly. They give and they take, at once aggressive and accommodating. With the subtlest of motions they signal their intention to one another.” William Whyte, City (1969)
    40. 40. http://www.flickr.com/photos/oskay/ Iteration iteration iteration iteration iteration
    41. 41. FROM PROCESS TO FLOW (2)
    42. 42. Less hierarchy
    43. 43. More improvisation
    44. 44. Waterfall to washing machine http://www.slideshare.net/leisa/
    45. 45. FROM DOCUMENTATION TO COLLABORATION (3)
    46. 46. FROM PREVENTION TO RECOVERY (4)
    47. 47. Fear of competition
    48. 48. Impossible to hide
    49. 49. Youa culpa
    50. 50. Pixar is a community in the true sense of the word. We think that lasting relationships matter, and we share some basic beliefs: Talent is rare. Management’s job is not to prevent risk but to build the capability to recover when failures occur. It must be safe to tell the truth. -Ed Cartmill, President, Pixar (Harvard Business Review)
    51. 51. FROM WALLS TO WINDOWS (5)
    52. 52. Secrecy is obsolete
    53. 53. It’s not clear where your interests end and others begin
    54. 54. Edges everywhere
    55. 55. Edges everywhere
    56. 56. Edges everywhere Edges everywhere
    57. 57. Edges everywhere
    58. 58. FROM OWNERSHIP TO STEWARDSHIP (6)
    59. 59. When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. - John Muir
    60. 60. ABOUT WEEK 3 I REALIZED I WASN’T IN CHARGE ANYMORE. - TED RHEINGOLD CEO, DOGSTER
    61. 61. Aligning the grains
    62. 62. “Don’t be evil.”
    63. 63. http://getsatisfaction.com/ccpact
    64. 64. In Summary
    65. 65. http://www.flickr.com/photos/claudio_ar/
    66. 66. http://www.flickr.com/photos/libraryman/
    67. 67. Three things 1. Organizations understand their customers are out there now. 2. Every part of the organizational value chain is now aware of the customer, and the impact that can have on their piece of the business. 3. Most organizations have no idea what to do about that.
    68. 68. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kendrick/
    69. 69. What does all this mean for... 1. Customer service? 2. Marketing and Brand development? 3. Product development? 4. Business development? 5. Advertising? 6.Human Resources?
    70. 70. Lane Becker Email at lane@getsatisfaction.com AIM at monstro9 Twitter @monstro Facebook at /laneb Phone at 1-415-867-1708 http://www.flickr.com/photos/blackbeltjones/

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