I am the first to admit that I am a product of the old guard. What do I mean by this? Well, when I started running a business in 2001, when the internet provided unbridled commercial opportunities and there was a scarcity of talent to develop for them, there was a certain modus operandi: keep your cards close to your chest. Shedding this behavioural axiom feels like the equivalent of standing up naked, in front of a live TV audience, promising them you really are still going to the gym and it’s all a work in progress. You can expect mixed reactions.
But in the last thirteen years, a lot has changed. We have seen the meteoric rise of internet-enabled devices and the framework, especially via social networking, for people to express themselves more freely. In fact, not just “more” freely, but FREELY, period. With this certain stream-of-consciousness we have also seen how businesses, once the “big blue”s of this world – hidden behind glass and steel, dictating the new world order – have become much more bottom-up, and even grassroots in appearance, if not in total nature.
I would argue that smaller teams in larger businesses will become more fashionable, because they tend to get things done more efficiently. The challenge has become less about the big wins, and more about how the small, inter-connected wins can be made to work well together. This, after all, was the original spirit of Web 2.0 (remember that?!). What Web 2.0 represented was the idea that instead of developing a monolithic web site or business platform which covered all functionality, you could actually interact with other sites and use them too. And they could use you and your services/data.
This is very much the case today. How many web sites do you visit where you can log in using credentials from another service/site? This flexibility and openness is not necessarily less secure, though some might argue against global logins – and there are good reasons to be cautious of this.
But, authentication is one of many possible services available on the web, and exploring this loosely-coupled architecture is becomming faster and easier than ever. Through a much greater spirit of discovery, we are bearing witness to an age of more open experimentation, more open discussion, and more open engagement amongst interested parties. Clients, friends, rivals, competitors. Finally, we can also celebrate the “failures” too. The increasingly scientific nature of modern thinking allows egos to be left at the door, and the excitement and joy of new adventures in technology to be more fully appreciated.
Many of us are into technology because of this excitement and enlightenment, myself included. It’s childlike and, IMHO, a desirable quality in a person. When you accept you are but one person, you accept a universal truth shared by everyone – and in so doing, acknowledge that while your time is precious, sharing whatever you can from it is a great investment.
On that basis, I am intending to up my blogging rate ten-fold, to try to document the events of my days and weeks and the challenges I face in them. My experiment will be to see if in doing this – i.e. openly blogging much more of what’s going on in my microbusiness, there is a positive effect on people around, the interest in my business services and, ultimately I suppose, a positive effect on me.
And I will be open about the result. Stay tuned!