Tendências emergentes, factos e dados reveladores da evolução dos media, cultura, economia e sociedade. Impacto social, económico e cultural da tecnologia.


segunda-feira, maio 02, 2005

The Support Economy

There's a centuries-old pattern here: A business model has hit its stride, and its success produces rigidity and resistance to change. But society continues to evolve. People move on, taking a potential marketplace of unfulfilled needs with them. In the mainstream economy, businesses can no longer extract high margins for their products and services. This leaves everyone to fight over a shrinking pie in a downward spiral of cost reduction and commoditization. These are precisely the conditions that have driven so many CIOs into the sewers.But there is good news too. Capitalism is a book of many chapters. In the past, these downward spirals set the stage for new competitors to emerge with business models that reconnect with people, releasing the economic value concealed in their unmet needs. The last time this occurred was a century ago. Then, a growing mass of people was hungry for goods, but products were in short supply and expensive, still produced in custom workshops and small factories. Henry Ford was among the first pioneers to perceive the yearnings of these new mass consumers, and he invented a whole new approach—mass production—to meet their needs. Ford's economic revolution, like others before it, arose from a perfect storm of three converging forces: new markets of unmet needs, technologies capable of meeting those needs and a new enterprise logic that linked people and technologies in a new pattern. Today, we find ourselves in the gathering winds of just such a storm. We have new markets of individuals whose very alienation and mistrust is the opportunity for vast innovation and immense wealth creation. We have the kinds of technologies that can meet these new needs—a digital medium that can handle the complexity of individualized support. This will become the ultimate purpose of the many exciting new technical developments: wireless mobile networks, on-demand computing, peer-to-peer and media convergence just to name a few. Don't assume that the race between telco, satellite and cable companies to wire the home is simply an opportunity to funnel more gadgets and entertainment into each living room. This will be the interactive medium through which individualized support bundles—including home health care, education, travel, financial services, product acquisition and much more—will be piped to each family and each person at a price they can afford.

Finally, we are just beginning to see the emergence of that third force, a new enterprise logic of "distributed capitalism" that knits technologies and people together in a wholly new pattern. It shifts the game from the adversarial transaction economics of mass production to a new advocacy-based relationship economics capable of reigniting long-term prosperity and growth.

The Personalized Economy - ECONOMIC TRENDS - CIO Magazine Apr 1,2005:


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