My Notes: Web 2.0 – Innovation and the new rules

Image from

I was doing a scan over the O’Reilly Radar site when I found yet another good visualization of some of the important concepts around envisioning the web as a platform. The ideas from this image map which stood out most to me were:

  • Trust your users
  • Perpetual beta
  • Rich User Experience
  • Software that gets better the more people use it
  • An Attitude, not a technology

I’m a little slow, but I’m slowly getting the idea that in this new world the experience of the end user is key. Companies that truly understand this and employ enlightened design practices will be the dogs that rise to the top of the hierarchy. More, companies which employ these practices internally and develop a more collaborative model for creating products will continue to bring to market wonderful products that blow the competition out of the water.

I look at some of the tan-colored ovals in the image above, and I realize that these are concepts that may not take hold in ‘traditional’ corporations. More, these concepts don’t read well in the ideal corporation formed from a Welchian model. There is a pretty good article from last year from Money Magazine that lists Jack Welch’s rules of the game for companies, and provides a contrasting set of new rules. I believe that the movement around 2.0 the 2.0 tech or business model embodies the newer set of rules.

New rule # 2 echoes the need for agility described in New rule #1. How can you truly “create something new” (new products, new services) and get them out into the market (sometimes in new ways or via non-traditional vehicles), if you are not agile enough to change how your company generates products or does business? Should you continue to rest your bets (with a whole lot of faith) that being the “big dog” or dominating the market will allow you to maintain your market share? Also, how can you truly be agile if you continue to look internally for solutions, rather than make connections with what is going on in the outside world? How can you develop visionary products with people who’s view of success is merely to rise through the ranks or with leaders who do not have vision and or remain incapable of communicating it to their employees?

I started to create a mind map of a fictional company that might have some of the traits described in the “New Rules.” I’m fully aware that this is of course an “Ideal State.” However, you can’t really aspire to Be the One unless you’ve at least sketched out a summary of what that means.

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of talk in the corporate ether about being ‘innovative.’ Having units with innovative teams is a good start to achieving this ideal state. In the child node of the mind-map branch “Have innovative teams” I referenced Phil McKinney’s list of innovative team players. I also divided the Parent into two roles/qualities (the people person/bridge and the process oriented person/task master). Also, I would like to note that the “Leader’s” primary job, with the help of the parent figure who acts as a bridge, is to hold this heterogeneous team together. The personalities on such a team are so diverse that conflicts are bound to arise. The book The Ten Faces of Innovation also provides a great profile of the players in an innovative group. I am planning to buy this book, and am very excited to read it.

Another way to improve your organization’s ability to be more innovative, or develop innovative products is to Foster collaboration or collaborative behavior within your org. Having a Knowledge Management system that taps into your collaboration enabled “Network IT” can boost your organization’s collaborative activities. Collaboration is a big part of what the Web 2.0 movement is all about.

Click the image to view the expanded mind-map.

Resources or Nuggets:

Money article on Old vs. New Rules of Business:

Innovative Teams – Audio MP3 (Phil McKinney’s Podcast in which he describes the typical players in innovative teams):

O’Reilly Radar article on “Web 2.0: Real Time Platforms” –

10 Faces of Innnovation (Website for the Book) – The 10 faces of innovation listed and briefly described:

The world’s most innovative companies:


3 Responses to “My Notes: Web 2.0 – Innovation and the new rules”

  1. 1 Rory January 28, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    I’m a big fan of you blog (just had to say that!); and this post is giving my lots to think about. Given that my primary industry is in the corporate learning arena, the question will always come up … “how can this be used for learning?” (This is especially true whenever I’ve introduced the potential and possibility of using 2.0 techs and platforms. One way I’ve found to be a successful mid-point is to advocate for its use by us (internally), rather than with and/or for our clients.
    I’m definitely going to think more about this … and will likely post to my blog more of my thoughts.
    Thanks for giving me lots to think about.

  2. 2 nkilkenny January 29, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    Building up use of the Web 2.0 tech internally is the way to go. I’m hoping that as we have examples to show for how we’re managing content and collaborating, we can share this information to our stakeholders, by showing ourselves as a model. There’s also the gradual education of the higher-ups and management to take care of as well, namely educating them to the value of ‘informal learning.’ However, in some cases this might need re-evaluation of the whole organization’s cultural attitudes towards sharing and collaborating… as well as redefinition of network IT services and goals.

  3. 3 shannonoz January 29, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    Very exciting post. I’m definitely going to have to chew on it some and share it with some colleagues. What are the potentials for our organization, whether that’s our company as a whole or the software/ICT unit within?

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