Collaborative Economy Roundup for the Week Ending October 30

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Your Weekly
#‎CollabEcon Roundup for the Week Ending October 30
We hope everyone is geared up for an extra #spooky Halloween weekend. Uber’s latest valuation and funding round might be scary (actually, terrifying!) We’ll get you up to speed on this week’s best #CollabEcon articles. Just settle in with some trick or treat goodies and read the best the web has to offer this week:

1.  “Can the Commission collaborate on the collaborative economy?” via Science|Business – “At a Brussels news conference, top EU officials had different perspectives on taxi-sharing and other aspects of the ‘sharing’ economy.” – https://goo.gl/ioy5jj

2.  “Developing the Sharing Economy” via Economy Watch – “For any policy in this area to be effective, it needs to grapple with and challenge some underlying assumptions about the ‘sharing economy’ and its associated rhetoric.” – http://goo.gl/ylbgbY

3. “Interview with Uber: Creating a Frictionless Experience That Spawned A Generation of Copycats” via PSFK – “The Uber experience has also impacted consumer expectations across industries: if people can call a driver, organize a ride within minutes and pay for their trip at the tap of a button, why shouldn’t all service brands apply this same methodology?” – http://goo.gl/QSdl07

4. “Today’s sharing economy will shape our future” via The Daily Northwestern – “This recent unprecedented rise in the so-called ‘sharing economy’ is not just defining our careers, but also actively reshaping our daily lives and even our mental approach toward consumption.” – http://goo.gl/WWNuKN

5. “Following Uber’s Success, Copycats Rush To Carve Out Niches” via NewsFactor – “Uber has become a hip shorthand for efficient transportation and seamless commerce, a digital darling that turns your smartphone into a matchmaker between you and your ride home.” – http://goo.gl/PlLF1g

6. “FIR Interview: Jeremiah Owyang On Competing In The Collaborative Economy” via FIR Podcast Network – “The collaborative (or sharing) economy is heating up, with dramatic increases in both the number of startups that employ the model and the number of consumers who use them.” – http://goo.gl/DsV8Ha

7. “A Revolt Is Coming for Cloud Labor” via The WorldPost – “We are on the cusp of a revolution in the way work and labor are done.” – http://goo.gl/wucpNX

8.  “A worldwide paradigm shift from ‘sharing’ to ‘collaborative’ economy?” via LabGov– “Most importantly, it’s only if and when each and all of us gets directly involved in such a process that we together can make a difference – suggesting a more than necessary shift toward a more participatory and collaborative economy.” – http://goo.gl/MlcIiY

9.  “The Sharing Economy Doesn’t Need to Be Full of Monopolies” via The Atlantic – “Without checks on their power from consumers, these billion-dollar companies are beholden only to government regulation—and even then, sometimes they shrug that off.” – http://goo.gl/GvvLqC

10. “Corporate Travel Managers Don’t Trust the Sharing Economy” via Skift – “It’s shocking that more corporate travel managers haven’t embraced mobile technology and the sharing economy as ways to reduce costs and gain more accurate data on the habits of their clients.” – http://goo.gl/JCw0n6

Bonus: Bill spoke at Crowdsourcing Week Europe last week in Brussels (the conference was amazing). Presentations from all the sessions have been uploaded here. Do yourself a favor and spend some time with these slides!

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Communities in the Crowd Economy: #CSWEurope15

image credit: Xavier Damman @xdamman

This week I am participating in Crowdsourcing Week Europe 2015 in Brussels. The conference has an amazing range of speakers from both the public and private sector sharing their ideas about, and experiences from, the Crowd Economy.

My session focused on the critical role of Communities in the Crowd / Collaborative Economy, and covered:

  • Why 20th century businesses aren’t adapting to 21st century realities;
  • Why we need a fundamentally new and more expansive approach to building online communities in our evolving global economy;
  • Emerging opportunities for businesses to create and exchange new forms of value with their communities and in the process, become more sustainable.

Key points detailed below:

  1. Networked Companies Thrive
  2. Connected Customers Create More Value
  3. A Lens on the Collaborative (Crowd) Economy
  4. Crowd, Communities & Collaborative Organization
  5. An Example of a Market Network

1. Networked Companies Thrive
In a recent article from Harvard Business Review, a study between Deloitte and a team of independent researchers examined 40 years of S&P 500 data to examine how business models have evolved with emerging technologies. The study had 3 key findings, including the emergence of a distinct new business model of “Network Orchestrator”. As defined by the study:

Network Orchestrators. These companies create a network of peers in which the participants interact and share in the value creation. They may sell products or services, build relationships, share advice, give reviews, collaborate, co-create and more. Examples include eBay, Red Hat, and Visa, Uber, Tripadvisor, and Alibaba.

Network Orchestrators outperform their peers on revenue and profitability.

2. Connected Customers Create More Value
The 1:1 relationship between a company and a customer is increasingly perishable. The customer is blessed by an abundance of choice in the market, and increasingly (especially for technology) the lifespan of a relationship can last only days, weeks or months — not years. As an example: most software companies are moving from a perpetual license to term-based licensing that can be as short as 24 hours. Creating a great customer experience and minimizing churn are key. One key strategy is to develop customer communities where customers connect to people in the business (as hosts) as well as other customers and prospects (as peers). This creates a network of many to many connections, where bonds strengthen over time and value is exchanged in the form of knowledge, content, advice and help. These communities translate into real value for the customer and for the host business. When I led communities at Autodesk, we found that community members were more loyal and more likely to recommend than non-members. We also were able to quantify cost savings from our support community to be several million dollars. When I led communities at Dell, we discovered our IdeaStorm community members spent 50% more than non-members, and members’ purchase frequency was 33% higher than non-members. Community member ideas from IdeaStorm created $100’s of millions of dollars in revenue in the period between 2007–2011.

3. A Lens on the Collaborative (Crowd) Economy
My POV on the Collaborative Economy is that it is a set of trends, movements and technologies reshaping how we make, market, discover and use products and services. It was born out of the global financial crisis of 2008, enabled by global communications networks and digital technologies, and powered by people. I would also assert that Collaborative Economy initiatives should be focused on sustainable methods and equitable outcomes for all stakeholders.

The purpose of defining, identifying and studying the collaborative economy is to understand how business models need to evolve to thrive in this new economic context. Based on my experience building online communities and collaborative experiences, as well as research I’ve conducted, I’m convinced that a new and comprehensive approach to online communities is the way forward.

An approach where:

  • What we thought of as “social” is really the networked marketplace
  • Your market is synonymous with your crowd
  • Online communities build lasting relationships amongst your customers, prospects, employees and partners and
  • Collaboration looks like a partnership with customers, not an internal social network no one really uses.

There are two great resources I would recommend to see the range of sectors and technologies that make up the Collaborative Economy:
Collaborative Economy Honeycomb – via Jeremiah Owyang / Crowd Companies
The 14 Parts of The Crowd Economy– via Sean Moffitt / CSW2

4. Crowd, Communities & Collaborative Organization
In order to begin exploring business opportunities in the collaborative economy, businesses need to shift their mindset to think about markets as networks. Their total addressable market(s), connected via platforms & social networks.

There are three important contexts to think about in the Network Marketplace:

  • Crowd: A group within a Market Network that has:
    • A shared interest or goal
    • The ability and assets to participate in a shared marketplace, task or activity via common platforms
  • Community A connected & hosted group within a Market Network that has:
    • 1 or more shared interests or goals, leading to shared identity & purpose
    • The ability, motivation and assets to work towards a common purpose over time
    • A host with intention to support & manage community over time
  • Collaborative Organization Collaboration amongst organizations, partners and customers essentially functioning as one organization:
    • Shared IP & Common resources
    • Shared vision of activities and outcomes
    • Shared risks and equitable outcomes

These contexts are not mutually exclusive, meaning, a Collaborative Economy initiative could engage a crowd, community and a collaborative organization context.

Screenshot 2015-10-21 09.45.54

5. An Example of a Market Network
As a thought exercise, I chose Levi’s as a brand to explore opportunities with. Please note: this is not client work.

The three key opportunities I see for Levi’s:
1.
Hosting a peer to peer marketplace where customers can sell / trade used and custom goods, possibly partnering or including listings from external marketplaces.
2. Extending their innovation function online (think a more modern IdeaStorm for apparel), as well as partnering with other communities to develop specific crowdsourcing and challenge initiatives. An example would be partnering with Hackster.io on a smart apparel.
3. Hosting their global fan and denim connoisseur community, while continuing to develop great content on their Unzipped blog. The community feeds all digital activity.

Example of a Market Network
Crowd Market Network Example of “Market as a Network”

My slide deck from my Crowdsourcing Week session:

The Net-net:
Networked companies are more valuable and resilient. Connected customers are more valuable to companies. To create long-term growth in a sustainable way, companies need to evolve their business models to address the “networked marketplace”. A new approach to online communities can provide a path for business model transformation.

Next Steps: I have developed a worksheet, based on my business model innovation workshop, to help businesses begin to explore new Crowd / Collaborative Economy initiatives. Please email me for the worksheet or to discuss participating in a facilitated workshop.

Structure3C Worksheet

An Award Winning Community Strategy… 30 Years in the Making

Two weeks ago my former team and colleagues at Autodesk won a Forrester Groundswell award for Social Relationship Marketing (Business-to-Business)”. I am very proud of the work the collective team did (and continues to do), and heartened to see that the online community strategies I put in to place continue to bear fruit.
A Rich History
Community has been part of the fabric of Autodesk since the beginning, and as early as 1986 the company was engaging customers in the nascent virtual communities forming around BBS, Compuserve and the like. I came on at the beginning of 2001 to help with a new online community initiative called Point A,one of the first online communities that was also contextually embedded in the product. After the bust of 2001 Point A was retired, but out of the ashes came a thriving online discussion forum community, a robust blogging community, and vertical online communities like AREA, a community for 3D artists and designers. I left Autodesk in 2007, and came back in 2011 to help restart Autodesk’s business community and community-based service initiatives.
Autodesk Community Evolution
Click for larger view
Ebbs & Flows
As with many corporate initiatives and functions, attention and focus ebbs and flows – at Autodesk, the fabric of the customer community tended to tear and mend over time. But with every mend, the fabric grew bigger and stronger – and at this point, the community continues to grow stronger every day thanks to a solid strategy, strong community leadership and executive support.
Highlights and the Details
Some highlights of the Community strategy are called out in the Groundswell submission post on the Lithium blog:
In particular, the platform and Customer Experience transformation, the Community Advocacy Program and the Fusion 360 Community are called out. All great examples and components of “Community with a Capital C” at Autodesk. Below are a few presentations I’ve done explaining the strategy and work behind those projects and programs.

The Autodesk Community Transformation

Community Advocacy: Autodesk Expert Elites
The Fusion 360 Community
I left Autodesk in February of this year to launch Structure3c because I saw the opportunity to help organizations connect with their customers and stakeholders through online communties. I think many brands are waking up with a social media hangover and realizing that they have over-invested in 3rd party social networks and are now essentially renting access to their customers and prospects. Further, Online Communities can help create enormous value through peer support, product development, advocacy, crowdsourcing, peer to peer marketplaces and much more.

I’m currently building a select list of clients to work with to build amazing communities. If you would like to schedule some time to talk about how I can help, please drop me a note.

Brands & The Collaborative Economy Research Project: Call for Participation

Update 3/2/15: The survey (Wave 1) will remain open until Friday, March 6th. We’ve had great response from brands, startups and a handful of non-profits. If your organization would still like to participate, you have until EOD 3/6/2015
bitly.com/collabeconbrands.


Today I’m kicking off a qualitative research project exploring the level of understanding, interest in, and urgency surrounding the Collaborative Economy for Brands. The goal of the project is to gain an understanding of how Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 6.38.22 AMorganizations are addressing the threats and opportunities emerging from the Collaborative Economy, how quickly they are engaging, and what resources they need to be successful. The research project will be comprised of a short online survey, select follow up interviews, and an additional series of interviews with emerging leaders in the space. To participate in the research, please take this short, 10 question survey.  All survey participants will receive a copy of the Brands and the Collaborative Economy report when it is published in March. If you would like to be considered for the thought leadership interview, please email me: bill@structure3c.com. I will be preview results from the project at the Collaborative Economy Conference (I’m chairing) in San Francisco, Feb 25-26th. Use code STRUCTURE15 for a 15% discount on top of the early bird discount that runs through Feb 13. Special thanks to Duleesha Kulasooriya, Jay Rughani, Jeremiah Owyang, Chip Roberson, Nancy White and Steve Alter for their feedback on the project.

Announcing Structure3C – Strategies for the Collaborative Economy

Today I’m taking a big (and scary) step in my professional practice – I’m going out on my own to launch a new venture: Structure3C.

It is becoming clear that a new wave of activity, the Collaborative Economy, is poised to have a large impact on global markets. Many organizations are not prepared for the coming shift, and given my experience with and passion for online community, crowdsourcing and collaboration, I see a huge opportunity to help.

So, the “official” pitch:
structure3c_sm

Structure3C helps organizations develop vision and strategy to thrive in the Collaborative Economy.

Through the lens of the “3C”s – Crowd, Online Community & Collaboration – we develop strategies, programs and experiences that connect brands and customers in meaningful, valuable and equitable ways.

In the next 3 weeks I will be:

  • Kicking off a research project to get an initial baseline of Brand’s understanding of, interest in, and readiness for the impact of the Collaborative Economy.
  • Announcing a strategy development workshop in SF in early March.
  • Chairing the Collaborative Economy Conference in SF on Feb 25-26.

Please wish me luck. If I can be of help to you or your organization, please reach to me at bill@structure3c.com or 415.299.9638.

Online Community Summit 2009

logoWe’re just about 2 weeks away from our 8th annual Online Community Summit in Sonoma, CA, on October 8-9. We have a fantastic speaker and session line-up that I’ve detailed out below.

If you’d like to attend the Summit and you’re a senior online community or social media practitioner, please go here to request an invitation. There are limited tickets still available.

Please note: We restrict attendance of platform and service vendors to those sponsoring the event. If you would like information about sponsoring, please email me.

Check out the event site here for more information.

We have a great group of folks coming, including: Answers.com, Apple, Autodesk, Inc., Cisco, CNN, GlobalGiving, Moshi Monsters, Edutopia, LinkedIn, American Legacy Foundation, SEGA of America, Time Inc. Lifestyle Digital, WestEd, TripAdvisor, Dell, Executive Networks, Inc., Microsoft, REI, Care2.com, Stupski Foundation, The MathWorks, and more.

Event Schedule:

Thursday, October 8th

8:00 – 9:00: Registration / Breakfast

9:00 – 10:00: Introductions & Welcome
Bill Johnston – Chief Community Officer, Forum One Networks
Joi Podgorny – Head of Community, Mindcandy

10:00 – 11:00: Session 1 /Turning to the Crowd: Ideas and Contest Sites
How can you generate great ideas and enthusiasm for your organization at low cost?
Session Lead: Anil Rathi, Idea Crossing
Session Lead: Ryan Wilson, XPrize

11:00 – 11:30: Break

11:30 – 12:30: Session 2 / What You Need to Know About the Mobile Communities Revolution
As mobile usage explodes, the importance of mobile communities is increasing dramatically. We’ll review experiences from Obama to Armani to the American Cancer Society and demonstrate the coming wave of change that will impact your organization.
Session Lead: Kevin Bertram, Distributive Networks
Session Lead: Miles Orkin, America Cancer Society

12:30 – 1:30: Lunch

1:30 – 2:30: Session 3 / Social Marketing & Advertising
Communities and traditional forms of marketing and advertising have historically acted like oil and water. Progress is being made by innovative organizations that involve the community in feedback, permission-based programs and even advertising creation.
Session Lead: Paul Levine, Current.com
Session Lead: Bruce Smith, Answers.com

2:30 – 3:30: Session 4 / Break Out Sessions

3:30 – 4:00: Break

4:00 – 5:00: Session 5 / News Communities
While the importance of PR and marketing hasnʼt changed, the ways to influence major news sites has transformed radically. Weʼll discuss the news landscape and what it means for your organization.
Session Lead: Lila King – CNN.com
Session Lead: Chris Tolles – Topix.net

Friday, October 9th

8:00 – 9:00: Registration / Breakfast

8:00 – 9:00: Community and Good Ideas Demos (open podium)

9:00: Introductions

9:00 – 10:00: Session 6 / Social “ME”dia: Employees as Advocates
How does an organization combine employee passion with social media tools to meet organization goals?
Session Lead: Erika Kuhl, Salesforce.com
Session Lead: Lucia Willow – Pandora.com

10:00 – 11:00: Session 7: / Break Out Sessions

11:00 – 11:30: Break

11:30 – 12:30: Session 8: Operationalizing Social Media – Reshaping the Organization
As social media and community programs move form short term, tactical engagements to longer-term business strategies, organizations must transform to take full advantage of the possibilities. Hear about the topography of the “social organization” from our panel of experts leading the charge to transform their organizations via social media.
Moderator: Rachel Makool, Makool Consulting
Panelist: Larry Blumenthal, Robert Wood Johnson
Panelist: Dawn Lacallade, Solar Winds
Panelist: Jordan Williams, REI

12:30 – 1:00 Conference Close and Wrap up

Some of the current attendees include community and social media practitioners from leading companies including: Apple, GlobalGiving, Autodesk, Inc., Leadership Corps, Moshi Monsters, Edutopia, LinkedIn, American Legacy Foundation, SEGA of America, Time Inc. Lifestyle Digital, WestEd, TripAdvisor, Dell, Inc., Answers Corporation, Executive Networks, Inc., Microsoft, REI, Care2.com, Stupski Foundation, and The MathWorks, Inc.

Online Community Summit: A report back

The sixth Online Community Summit was held last Thursday and Friday, October 4th and 5th in Sonoma, CA. We had a really great group of folks this year (as usual), ranging from small startups and non-profits, to large software, online and media companies.

The size of the Summit is small and feels really intimate. Because we limit the number of attendees, you actually have the opportunity to get to know everyone over the course of the 2 days. The smaller groups size also allows for real conversations during the sessions, as opposed to the traditional “talking head” sessions that make up most conferences.

Peter Cohen of Amazon Mechanical Turk
I found one of the most thought-provoking sessions to be Peter Cohen’s session on crowdsourcing. Peter runs Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service.

Peter started off with a bang by saying “The Internet reduces the cost of getting things done to almost nothing”.

Amazon started the “Mechanical Turk” service because they had / have data-oriented problems that benefit from interaction with large scale human interactions. They quickly decided that they could extend the model to go from “solving Amazon’s problems to everyone’s” Amazon’s belief was that there was power in online communities if you can only bring the people together for a coherent goal.

Amazon is using the service to:
– Cataloging content
– Deduplicate items (defy a machines ability)

Other companies are using the service to:
– Search companies get people to judge relevance. Search gives you results. User must pattern match to get answers
– Geospatial: UK – people drive around and take pictures of infrastructure
– Castingworks: Transcription / editing
– Catalog building
– Media Monitoring: uses MT to determine tone in popular press and social media
– Local shopping sits: product reviews

What’s Next Session
I had the pleasure of assisting David Forrest from The Motley Fool in the closing “What’s Next” session. Josh Ledgard has a really good synopsis of the session on his blog. Kim Bayne captured some of the session on blog tv here.

I’ve also added my slides here.

Other folks blogging about the event:
Joi Podgorny – http://joipodgorny.wordpress.com/2007/10/05/day-2-ocs-2007-notes/
Josh Ledgard’s Blog – http://ledgards.com/blogs/josh/archive/2007/10/05/ocs-2007-now-what.aspx
Dr Fuzzy – http://drfuzzy.wordpress.com/2007/10/04/online-community-summit-2007/