Collaborative Technologies Conference
Out at the Collaborative Technologies Conference this week (speaking Thursday morning) and it’s been a great event thus far. Hats off to Jennifer Pahlka and crew who’ve pulled it off while making it seem effortless. What is down below is certainly no recap (the other three speakers were quite good) but the first person hit me since I view the world from a more global, holistic viewpoint and appreciated the first speaker’s perspective most.
This morning’s first speaker was John Seely Brown. His central theme was the macro nature of computer mediated networks and their effects but he, like many speakers today, clearly emphasized the fact that humans are the collaborators and it’s not just about technology.
What was amazing was his story of Li & Fung. This firm has a loosely coupled network of 7,500 suppliers. It’s a collaborative, relationship-based, feedback-looped network that’s provided them with one helluva competitive advantage (even thinking about managing such a network and its interconnections made my eyes glaze over).
- The world may becoming flat…but it’s actually “spiky”. The competitive future is to those that can identify unique differentiators by partners and embrace them.
- Tools: must be simple! People need simple. Can’t be any extra work.
- THE most important element in videoconferencing is *eye contact*. People need to see that others are engaged with them and it’s eye contact that does it.
- It is possible now to have virtual connections be better than being there in person
- Meetings are just part of collaboration.
- Web 2.0 is a participatory medium (damn…that’s one of my slides for Thursday!)
- Discussed Second Life. You talkin’ collaboration? What’s more collaborative than being in an immersive environment?
- An Accelerating Confluence. Brown said we’re on the cusp of a 100 fold change in “punctuated evolution” disrupting Moore’s Law! Mainly due to commodization of hardware and software.
I was also delighted to connect up with the guys from Foldera (Richard Lusk, Oliver Starr, Jnan Dash and a new addition to the team, Marc Orchant). Finally got a full, hour long demo of the product from Marc and it’s everything I’d hoped it would be. Looks like I’ll be getting credentials in the next several days and plan on *really* putting it through its paces.
After meeting with Marc, I felt like I’d known him for years. Same with Richard though 20 years seems like a better description. Though it’s all about the product, this team’s intensity, passion, enthusiasm and overwhelming interest and desire to engage with *anyone* makes it seem almost as thought they’re willing Foldera toward success. Any investor will tell you that the hallmark of a winning leadership team is full engagement, willingness to listen (yet still overcoming objections), being open to modification and course changes, and constantly scanning for opportunities. These folks have this in spades.
As always happens to me, events like these energize me. Hearing people like Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps from NetAge talk collaboration, networking and virtual teaming — and realizing that they’re the people I’ve been looking for as I’m exploring in all my social/clustering/teaming posts written previously — is why venues like these are so important…virtual worlds, collaboration or not.
About Steve Borsch
SiteGround is 'The One'
Connecting the Dots Podcast
Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.