flowing motion

Social media is a river of social purpose undermining old companies

Posted on: January 31, 2010

The challenge of social media

I’ve recently been given two independent but related challenges.

Joe Tooman of BizLink asks:  Which of the FTSE100 companies will use social media in the next 3 years and what for?

Tom Morris, warrior geek philosopher set this formal philosophical test:  Which business in the world will not benefit from social media?

My Answers

I painstakingly looked up each of the FTSE100 companies and sorted them into piles. I found myself thinking about the purpose of the company, rather than its raw materials, processes or customers, and that led me to what has been my chief insight.

Competition between businesses will not matter very much. Once social media kicks in within a sector, the sector will change so much that we will effectively have a new segment.  Now the Boeing 787 has flown, who will seriously ever try to build a plane from start to finish (yeah, I know, AirBus).

Old strategic models matter less than our social purpose.  What is it that we want to do?  And what are the different ways of achieving our purpose.  Hence the title:

Social media is a river of social purpose undermining the foundations of old companies.

As for Tom’s question, I think it is excellent.  When I first began thinking about business models and social media, I thought there might be some businesses, like mining and the army, which would be scarcely affected by social media, but his question sharpened my appreciation.

Social media is like the telephone and the penny post. It is such a radical change in communication that it affects everyone and everything.   The only question will be how and when.

A new question

So that is the question.  How and when will social media affect any particular business?

Let the party begin!

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