January 11, 2010

2010 predictions & recommendations for Web 2.0 and social networks

How mass collaboration is transforming company and culture

2010_PredictChristopher RollysonAs chronicled in the just-published Decade in Review 2000-2009, the 21st century is proving to be volatile and disruptive in every way, and 2010 will continue the trend. Three disruptive forces are converging: the relative value of the Industrial Economy continues to fall as overproduction reigns. Globalization is replete with extras that people at the head table didn’t order. Most imperceptibly yet poignantly, the emerging Knowledge Economy is digitizing communications and changing the economics of knowledge and relationships.

Web 2.0 and social networks drive down the cost of communication, which accelerates volatility because when people talk, ideas change and lead to action, and digital conversations happens faster and less expensively. Social networks are rapidly making the Web human, thereby attracting an ever-larger portion of all human communications online. In 2009, adoption reached critical mass, ramping strongly among consumers, so many enterprises are following. The Web 1.0 adoption rhythm is very instructive.

Pervasive Web 2.0 also means reexamination or disruption of most areas of life, culture, society, government and business because social networks alter how many and what kind of relationships people have. The impact is similar to Ford’s production line, except it is more powerful: it scales relationships. Large organizations will remain in a profound state of turmoil because they were not built with withstand the volatility these forces are unleashing. Many Fortune 500 companies will be confronted with their survival, and some will not make it. Entire industries will consolidate over the next several years (automotive, airlines, banking, hotels, food, consumer goods…). Web communications mean we consume novelty far more quickly, which curtails product life cycles and leads to ultra-fast commoditization. Companies will require unprecedented innovation to even stay in place. New entrants around the world compete for customers and leverage their lower costs and better innovation processes. And Web 2.0 is still in the early stages of adoption.

This dynamism elevates opportunity and threat for executives and their organizations, so our focus here is to lay out probable milestones for 2010 to assist executives in business strategy and career planning for 2010 and beyond. First, I will lay out predictions, on which I’ll build for my 2010 recommendations. By the way, this follows Year in Review—2009/Social Networking Gains Legs on Heavy Seas and Decade in Review 2000-2009/The Rise of Web 2.0, the New Pervasive Human Space. Continue reading

April 18, 2009

Web 2.0 Adoption Curve, 2009-2015

A blueprint for social networking investments

Christopher S. RollysonWeb 2.0 and social networks have gained perceptible mindshare during the first quarter of 2009, and conversations with clients, fellow speakers at conferences and online conversations are clearly showing the reappearance of a familiar adoption curve. Here I’ll discuss the Adoption Curve for Web 2.0 and Social Networks and provide rough milestones, so you can use it to gauge your investments in Web 2.0. You can avoid some of the extremes that the majority of the market will experience.

In addition, I will also show how Web 2.0 provides a rare opportunity to develop competitive advantage ahead of the market.

Having been on the front lines of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting’s E-Business Strategy practice during Web 1.0 (the Internet bubble), I am not surprised to see the familiar bubble pattern developing, so this is a rare opportunity to recognize it and produce tremendous value by avoiding some of the mistakes most companies make when adopting disruptive technology.

What I want to draw your attention to is not the disruptive technology itself, but rather the market’s perception of the technology. The Web 1.0 bubble was caused by distorted perceptions of the technology, what it could do, and when it could produce value. Companies’ perceptions of the value it could deliver were unrealistic. However, the Internet has produced fantastic value; it just took longer than most people thought. Therefore, a rare opportunity presents itself: What if executives could understand the Web 2.0 Adoption Curve and make more realistic investments?

Continue reading