I just found this via Marie Germain and Branding 2.0: video of interview with Seth Godin on George Stroumboulopoulos “Strombo”, Canada’s leading late-night talk show. Some really great soundbites here - Seth is one of the people who always, without fail, inspire me.
Check out this video interview with Seth on BehindthebrandTV - it's a very good fit with the topics above, as well.
Ross Dawson and me recently met in Sydney (where I spoke at the Google ThinkTravel event, on The Consumer of Tomorrow) to do some videos together. The first episode is now live on Youtube, on the Future of Money. I think this turned out quite well and provides some interesting brain-teasers. You?
Ross has a good summary of what we discussed:
* The world of money is opening out in a big way today * Facebook credits are becoming an important alternative currency * Cash will phase out for digital payments * The rise of Bitcoin is important in shifting transactions out of the purvey of governments * In many developing countries mobile phones are becoming the predominant banking platform * Micro-payments for content could work through social media and dominant platforms such as China’s QQ * These could flow into crowdfunding for creative endeavors * Behaviorally we are some way from micro-payments working well * Money will inevitably shift to the cloud
Via Techcrunch and the brilliant Erick Schoenfeld: "The keys to Amazon’s success are 1) the Internet imposes no limits on how much Amazon can sell; 2) its control of customer accounts and loyalty, and 3) and a growing ecosystem that is helping it cement its place in the world of digital goods as well. It’s instructive to see how Amazon has expanded over the years and moved away from its reliance on books, music, and movies. You also forget that along the way, Amazon piled up $3 billion in losses between 1995 and 2003. Now it’s got $34 billion in annual revenue, and is spitting out $1 billion a year on profits. Who says you can’t spend your way to profitability....."
Absolutely brilliant and fascinating stuff by one of my favorite thinkers (and a great influence on my own work), Kevin Kelly. This is one of his most concise talks and he really covers IT ALL in here so... be sure to spend 25 minutes on this video; it's well worth it.
Some key take-aways: "We used to be people of the book, now we are people of the screen. Now we have TV we read and books we watch. We are in the cloud, indeed, but now the cloud is looking back at us, too, and social reading results in social writing. Access not ownership is where all content is going (yes, you have heard that from me before, too:). Flows not pages. New generatives are the new value..."
Great stuff indeed. To download KK's slides go here (thanks to OReilly for making it all available, too!)
I just ran across this pretty interesting presentation by JWT Intelligence on Slideshare - take a look. There's loads of interesting stuff in here, and it's presented very nicely. On my end, I will probably not offer any particular predictions for 2011 - it seems like there are so many good ones out there, already (browse my twitter feed for some of them), so, no need to add to the flood of great input, for now. Enjoy.
Recently, I have been thinking a lot about what my position on Wikileaks i.e. Cablegate should be. Some of the best - and also most thought-provoking - insights have come from a recent, hotly contested piece on TheAtlantic.com, written by computer scientist, virtual reality pioneer and musician Jaron Lanier (who I have met once or twice in the past).
I am not sure I agree with everything that Jaron says (in fact, I don't - I hope to publish my own take on these issues soon) but he makes some very valid points about openness and the future of the Internet that I think really merit our consideration and made me think, so I figured I should share them with you (all snippets are quotes from his piece, highlights are mine):
"The Internet can and must be redesigned to reflect a more moderate and realistically human-centered philosophy...openness in itself, as the prime driver of events, doesn't lead to achievement or creativity.
A sufficiently copious flood of data creates an illusion of omniscience, and that illusion can make you stupid. Another way to put this is that a lot of information made available over the internet encourages players to think as if they had a God's eye view, looking down on the whole system.
To me, both right wing extremist leaks and Wikileaks are for the most part resurrections of old-fashioned vigilantism...vigilantism has always eroded trust and civility, but what's new online is the sterile imprimatur of a digital ideology that claims to offer automatic betterment. But if there's one lesson of history, it is that seeking power doesn't change the world. You need to change yourself along with the world. Civil disobedience is a spiritual discipline as much as anything else.
You need to have a private sphere to be a person, or for that matter for anything creative to happen in any domain. This is the principle I described as "encapsulation" in You Are Not a Gadget.
Imagine openness extrapolated to an extreme. What if we come to be able to read each other's thoughts? Then there would be no thoughts. Your head has to be different from mine if you are to be a person with something to say to me.
I used to think that an open world would favor the honest and the true, and disfavor the schemers and the scammers. In moderation this idea has some value, but if privacy were to be vanquished, people would initially become dull, then incompetent, and then cease to exist. Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people.
I bring this up to say that asking whether secrets in the abstract are good or bad is ridiculous. A huge flow of data that one doesn't know how to interpret in context is either useless or worse than useless, if you let it impress you too much. A contextualized flow of data that answers a question you know how to ask can be invaluable. If we want to understand all the sides of an argument, we have to do more than copy files.
Random leaking is no substitute for focused digging. The "everything must be free and open" ideal has nearly bankrupted the overseas news bureaus.
Anarchy and dictatorship are entwined in eternal resonance. One never exists for long without turning to the other, and then back again. The only way out is structure, also known as democracy.
We sanction secretive spheres in order to have our civilian sphere. We furthermore structure democracy so that the secretive spheres are contained and accountable to the civilian sphere, though that's not easy.
There is certainly an ever-present danger of betrayal. Too much power can accrue to those we have sanctioned to hold confidences, and thus we find that keeping a democracy alive is hard, imperfect, and infuriating work. The flip side of responsibly held secrets, however, is trust.
A perfectly open world, without secrets, would be a world without the need for trust, and therefore a world without trust. What a sad sterile place that would be: A perfect world for machines"
"Lanier thus conflates the right to privacy of persons with the privilege of non-disclosure that states may sometimes exercise. Raising personhood in this context is irrelevant and dangerous.
"I give you private information about corporations for free," SNL's Assange quipped, "And I'm a villain. Mark Zuckerberg gives your private information to corporations for money and he's the Man of the Year."
In my talk about Wikileaks at the Personal Democracy Forum recently, I emphasized that we should not see information by itself as a change agent and that a glut of information, especially without context and political leverage, may not result in meaningful change. That, however, is not an argument for less information.
During these past weeks, rather than a nerd takeover, I saw the crumbling of the facade of a flat, equal, open Internet and the revelation of an Internet which has corporate power occupying its key crossroads, ever-so-sensitive to any whiff of displeasure by the state. I saw an Internet in danger of becoming merely an interactive version of the television in terms of effective freedom of speech. Remember, the Internet did not create freedom of speech; in theory, we always had freedom of speech--it's just that it often went along with the freedom to be ignored. People had no access to the infrastructure to be heard. Until the Internet, the right to be heard was in most cases reserved to the governments, deep pockets, and corporate media. Before the Internet, trees fell in lonely forests.
The real cause for concern is the emergence of an Internet in which arbitrary Terms-of-Service can be selectively employed by large corporations to boot content they dislike. What is worrisome is an Internet in which it is very easy to marginalize and choke information.
What the Wikileaks furor shows us is that a dissent tax is emerging on the Internet.
I reiterate that one does not need to be a fan of Wikileaks to reject the notion that rather than demand increased transparency and disclosure from institutions with power, we should trust them because trust is a human value. Going back to my starting point, it appears that Lanier is once again conflating human-to-human relations and human-institution relations and suggesting that the same principles should apply to them. A world in which humans don't trust each other is indeed cold and inhumane. A world in which we trust powerful institutions merely on principle is one where we abdicate our responsibilities as citizens and human beings..."
The garbage bin makes a sound when you throw something in, and the amount of garbage collected doubles - make something fun and it will work better is the lesson. Powerful thought. Thanks to Julian Treasure at TheSoundAgency for posting this video.
Since I get so many clients asking me why in the world they should blog - here's the answer, in a nutshell (couldn't have said it better myself). This is also why I will start blogging a lot more, again, very soon. Stay tuned.
Clay's presentation at GoogleTalks is well worth watching.
"The author of the breakout hit 'Here Comes Everybody' reveals how new
technology is changing us from consumers to collaborators, unleashing a
torrent of creative production that will transform our world. For
decades, technology encouraged people to squander their time and
intellect as passive consumers. Today, tech has finally caught up with
human potential. In his latest book 'Cognitive Surplus' Clay Shirky
forecasts the thrilling changes we will all enjoy as new digital
technology puts our untapped resources of talent and goodwill to use at
last. Since we Americans were suburbanized and educated by the postwar
boom, we've had a surfeit of intellect, energy, and time-what Shirky
calls a cognitive surplus. But this abundance had little impact on the
common good because television consumed the lion's share of it-and we
consume TV passively, in isolation from one another. Now, for the first
time, people are embracing new media that allow us to pool our efforts
at vanishingly low cost. The results of this aggregated effort range
from mind expanding-reference tools like Wikipedia-to lifesaving-such as
Ushahidi.com, which has allowed Kenyans to sidestep government
censorship and report on acts of violence in real time..."
Peter Spellman is a friend and long-time colleague who works at my Alma Mater, Berklee College if Music, in Boston, and also runs his own company, Music Business Solution. He has written a couple of really powerful and highly recommended books geared towards musicians that want to use the web to propel their career (see below). Peter just send me a PDF with his latest work, a 'psycho-spiritual-musical manifesto' (see image on the left) and I really liked it so I figured I should pass it on to everyone, via this blog: Download Musician 2.0, 3.0, 4.0...Spellman (PDF, 2MB)
Peter Spellman, M.A. M.Ed., helps musicians apply their entrepreneurial instincts to create success. He is Director of the Career Development Center at Berklee College of Music, and founder of Music Business Solutions (mbsolutions.com), a training resource for music entrepreneurs. He has worked as a booking agent, label director, music editor, artist manager and producer, and performs as percussionist with the ambient-jazz ensemble, Underwater Airport. His newest book, INDIE BUSINESS POWER: A Step-By-Step Guide for 21st Century Music Entrepreneurs, and his other business-building books, are used in over a dozen colleges and universities across the U.S and Canada. More at www.mbsolutions.com/books
PS: another great source of "Music / Musician 2.0" information is the blog of my co-writer David Kusek, here, as well as the BerkleeShares.com site, and the amazing online education platform, BerkleeMusic.com. And then there is my own book, Music 2.0, of course - read the free mobile version here.
Another brilliant post by Umair Haque via the Harvard Business Review - he spells out a lot of stuff that keeps coming up in my presentations, as well; so here's a bit of a remix of this juicy post, my comments are [...]
"On one side is the old high ground of the industrial era capitalism; on the other, the new high(er) ground of next-generation capitalism. The yawning chasm in between them is the gap between the 20th century and the 21st" [I call this the EGOSystem vs the ECOsystem, see more here and here]
"Currency intervention, breaking Copenhagen, crackdowns , collusion, corruption, coercion, and censorship: China's ongoing bad behavior as global citizen is, when we connect the dots, the gigantic elephant in the world's boardroom. What's driving it? The quest for monopoly, monopsony, and control" [I wrote about something quite similar in my 2007/2008 blog-book "The End of Control", check out the free online chapters here, and a related presentation, here]
"That's yesterday's high ground, and China's focused like a laser beam on it. China's moves are the textbook stuff of b-school's blackest arts. Through larger distribution, fiercer litigation, greater exclusivity, cheaper and faster production, a bigger cash pile, advantage is gained. But the high ground has shifted. The new high ground is an ethical edge. It's
not about having more; it's about doing better. It's not about
protecting exports, pressuring buyers and suppliers, price
discriminating against the powerless, and programming consumers to buy,
buy, buy — it's about making people, communities, and society
authentically better off. It's not about caring less — but caring more.
It's not about ruthlessness. It's about mindfulness" [Couldn't have said it better, myself; here are just a few things I would add: in this new ecosystem that Umair is describing, we will need to develop web-native economic models and entirely new metrics for evaluating them, friction will indeed be fiction (to a very large degree) and the importance of control will be utterly eroded by the steadily increasing power of trust, engagement and transparency]
"The old high ground was built for 20th century economics: sell more
junk, earn more profit, "grow" — and then crash. An ethical edge
operates at a higher economic level. It is concerned with what we sell, how profits are earned, and which authentic, human benefits "grow." It's a concept built for the economics of an interdependent world" [A key term, imo: an interdependent world, i.e. not a broadcast world but a connected and networked world]
"An ethical edge just might be the ultimate cause of advantage.It's
how better distribution, production, marketing, and pricing — all just
proximate causes of advantage — ultimately happen. Jim Chanos's
investment thesis says: without an ethical edge, new value cannot be
created — old value can only be shuffled around (hi, Wall Street)....So here's the single question everyone should be asking. The old high
ground is the new low ground. Yesterday's mountain is today's valley.
Are you ascending to the new high ground?"