By Carm Huntress, guest written for Experiments – Trial by Fire! and Harsha Raghavan
First, let me thank Harsha for giving me the opportunity to share
something on his blog. I hope you enjoy my rantings. Since I have
started working on my current start-up, Cardvio, I have spent a huge
amount of time analyzing the current web industry, technology and
trends. There are many things that worry me around the Web 2.0
phenomenon, particularly how many companies are trying to make things
work with no real idea of how to make revenue.
However, there are some aspects of Web 2.0 that I think are really
innovate and have brought a lot of great new concepts to the Internet.
Here are just a few:
* Community – Take a group of people who are interested in
something and get them to rate/review/improve/redesign your
service/product and the wisdom of the crowd will surely out perform the
* Long Tail Markets – The web has no inventory costs, so it’s easy
to create spaces for companies to connect users to niche products and
services way beyond a brick and mortar store
* Platform – By creating a system that allows customers to more
easily interact and redesign your product in any way they choose, the
opportunities for innovation and growth become infinite
I recently read this great article in Fast Company about Slim Devices
and how they developed their new high end audio device. They
essentially opened up ever part of the R&D process. They created a
forum for users to review, suggest and give feedback on product ideas
and features of the new device.
Slim Devices even went so far as to allow users to actually re-write
the firmware of the product much like an open source project.
The interesting concept I took away from the article was that Slim
Devices is a company making hardware devices and using web 2.0 ideas to
improve and better innovate their products. This means that Web 2.0
concepts do not have to be constrained to just the web, they can be
applied to any market, in almost any industry.
So, what I would like to suggest is for you to look into your company
and think about these concepts of Web 2.0 and ask yourself what would
happen if you tried to implement them inside your organization. For
instance, imaging if struggling Ford Motor Company created a car that
was completely built by consumers. I could imagine forums focusing on
every aspect of the car from the dashboard to the drive train and
making innovative ideas on how to make it better. And what if the car
could be modular much like a piece of software. Where pieces could be
taken off and easily replaced with other options or parts.
I think the lesson to be learned by Web 2.0 is that the concepts it
introduces should be applied not just to the web but to any company.
Go out and get your customers/community involved and see where it takes
your organization. Today, it’s not the protection of your IP that will
make your company a success, it’s your customers and the connection
they feel with your organization that makes the difference.
Big thanks again to Harsha and if you want to check out Cardvio and try
out Internet to Mail Greeting Cards, go to http://www.cardvio.com. Also, our
blog is cardvio.blogspot.com.
— Carm Huntress