If necessity is the mother of invention, then perhaps imagination is the source of innovation.
In December 2010, I was given the opportunity to write the cover story for Entrepreneur Magazine. The article, “Change: Lessons on What’s Next,” explored the innovation behind three (well four) companies — Foursquare, Square + Twitter, and Zappos. Throughout the years, I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with Dennis Crowley, Jack Dorsey and Tony Hsieh. And over that time, I’ve observed inherent traits that I believe represent the future of business and how companies engage with customers to create a more adaptive and connected infrastructure to compete for the future.
Five years ago today, Twitter’s @Jack published the very first Tweet, the first of billions of Tweets that would eventually change the way millions of people share, learn, and communicate. While other news media (Twitter included) report that Jack’s first Tweet simply stated, “inviting coworkers” – the first tweet on record by @jack actually read, “just setting up my twttr.” That same Tweet was published by allemployees at a time when Twitter was actually known as Twttr.
You’ll soon learn why I’m posting shorter, but more frequent posts…In the mean time, I wanted to share with you something I’ve been thinking quite a bit about these days.
Think about the generation or two before us. A significant portion of free time was spent consuming media. From print to broadcast, everyday people simply digested information and content presented to them. But then, everything changed. We were gifted with the ability to share what we think, feel, and experience, on demand. The democratization of information was finally upon us and we the people would ensure that our voices would be heard and felt. This was our time, quite literally as Time Magazine named “us” as the person of the year.
The socialization of media is the undercurrent for the Industrial Revolution of our time. Yet, here we are today, forcing social media into the aging paradigms that the social revolution set out to upset in the first place.
Listening is only the beginning. Engagement is the beginning of the end of business as usual. Once we hear, truly hear our customers and the people who influence our decisions, effective engagement is inspired by the empathy that develops simply by being human.
We start to see things through the eyes of our consumers.
We feel their pains, frustrations, and also happiness.
We sense what it takes to encourage positive sentiment.
Welcome to the fourth episode of (R)evolution, a new series that connects you to the people, trends, and ideas defining the future of business, marketing, and media. My guest in episode 4 is Charline Li, founding partner of Altimeter Group, author of the new book, Open Leadership and also my dear friend.
The premise of “open leadership” sets the stage for executives to embrace social technology to transform the way they lead. In our discussion, we also review how social behavior and activity demand that leaders not only embrace open leadership, but also open engagement.
We live in amazing times. Perhaps what makes it so special is that the present is rewriting the future for so many things held sacred over the years. So many industries, processes, politics, beliefs and myths clouded or seized our responsibility and capacity to force innovation and ultimately the change that is needed and long overdue. At the root of this however, is what fuels evolution and revolution…
An important reminder that you are on the right path…
Social Media marketing is not new nor is it widely established or even understood. However in 2010, it will completely transform the way businesses attract customers and the way consumers find the businesses and services that matter to them. And like that, an overnight landmark, which really is over a decade in the making, will challenge business owners, more so than today, as they now compete for the future, right now.
Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What's the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.