Incubate 2.0 and the networked enterprise

October 28th, 2010

As many of you know the No Straight Lines project is picking up apace (sxsw keynote) (Do Lecture) (Latin America tour – to come). As a consequence of the work I have been doing with a small team, we have identified that the connected and networked world presents a design challenge to existing companies but also to entrepreneurs – how business and entrepreneurship is taught and how it can be accelerated. The rise of networked platforms like GrowVC which are designed to unleash innovation via crowdfunding is but one example. Another is Local Motors, or indeed mobile developer communities which are bringing a different type of rocket fuel to the party. (also see dotOpen)

On 17th November I will give a keynote on No Straight Lines at Incubate 2.0 on business creation and organization – as what is clear to me, that the networked world must be addressed not through social media per se, but a much deeper and broader understanding of the networked and its implications. For example, how does one leverage open social systems, global connectivity, open innovation and its implications from a skills, tools, process and legal frameworks, and, lightweight (green) business practices to create companies in the future? We need to design and build smart organisations, and understand mutuality as a business model.

The benefits of designing the smart organisation, coupled with the smart business model – purpose built for the needs of 21st Century culture and commerce gets us to ask these types of questions:

  1. How does a company decrease the cost to build a car 100 fold whilst also halving the time in development?
  2. How does a company perfectly match supply and demand?
  3. How does a company use its employees to achieve business and commercial success greater than a $billion ad campaign?
  4. How does a fashion retailer make €83m from mobile phone sales?
  5. How does a company achieve a 29%+ response rate to its marketing with the subsequent uplift in sales?
  6. How does a company spend $60,000 and get a $45m return?
  7. How does a hybrid business model of [1] Freemium [2] Subscription [3] micropayment work to generate significant revenues?

From an incubation perspective – incubation has been done traditionally within a space and mostly as a real estate play or an economic development play. Now there are virtual groups allowing and enabling rapid flows of information to be created and shared – networking simultaneously with the creation of multinational micro-corporation, with funding provided by crowds. I argue, the way to start a business today is by being networked, and the way to run these businesses is networked (which is more efficiently done when it was conceived in a networked environment than when you have to transition from a straight line business).

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