Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The mind, stretched...

The mind, stretched to a new dimension, never goes back

More recently, Don Tapscott had these remarks about the open (or opening) world we live in:
1. Collaboration This is openness in the sense that boundaries of firms are becoming more porous, fluid and open. Tapscott tells the story of Rob McEwen, a man he knows not because he scoured the world for case studies but because the two men are neighbors. McEwen headed up Goldcorp, where he did a radical thing: publishing his geological data to see if anyone in the world could find gold in his lands. Submissions came in from all over the world, and for $500,000 he found $3.4 billion worth of gold. The company’s market cap went from $90 million to $10 billion. “As my neighbor, I can tell you he’s a happy camper,” adds Tapscott. Yet here’s the real moral of the story: some of the best submissions didn’t even come from geologists. The winning submission came from a computer graphics company. This marks a huge change in the way we can think about how to innovate to create goods and services, and public value.

2. Transparency “Here we’re talking about the communication of pertinent information to stakeholders,” he says. People might be bent out of shape by Wikileaks, “but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.” After all, it’s not only Julian Assange who has information on our institutions. Companies have to be naked and transparent, and frankly, if you’re going to be naked, “fitness is no longer optional. You better get buff.” Companies better have value — and they’d better have values. And, he adds, this is good, not bad! “Sunlight is the best disinfectant. We need a lot of sunlight in this troubled world.”

3. Sharing Sharing is about giving up assets or international property. Conventional wisdom said that you developed your own IP, and if someone infringed it, you sued them. But that doesn’t seem to have worked so well for the record industry, he adds. The industry that brought us Elvis and the Beatles is now suing children. The pharmaceutical industry, too, is in trouble, about to fall off the so-called patent cliff. Pharma needs to start sharing pre-competitive research, to share all sorts of clinical data, and provide the rising tide that will lift all boats.

4. Empowerment In the Tunisian revolution, the new media didn’t cause the revolution, social media didn’t create the revolution — it was created by the young generation that wanted hope and jobs. But just as the Internet drops collaboration costs in business, it drops the cost of rebellion and insurrection in ways people didn’t initially understand. In the Tunisian revolution, snipers were killing unarmed kids. In return, kids were taking pictures and sending them to friendly soldiers who’d then come and take out the snipers. “You think social media is about hooking up online? It’s a military tool for self-defense,” says Tapscott. Looking at the ongoing unrest in Syria, he says: “Three months ago, you’d be injured, go to hospital with a broken leg and come out with a bullet in the head.” Now young people have used social media to improvise and create an alternative healthcare system