Responsibilities in the Connection Economy

by David Mills on November 5, 2014

Operating Finance in the CloudSeth Godin captured my attention in his blog post this morning as he often does. It resonated on a couple major levels for me; 1) the information management SaaS company we are building and 2) the dependency we have on many other information and communication tools and service providers that are part of the infrastructure and backbone of our company. In fact, regarding the second we had a fairly significant issue yesterday with one of the leading online meeting services that aborted an important development team meeting. As a result I posted the blog to our emerging LinkedIn group, Corporate Real Estate InTouch. Robin Riehl is a member of the group and immediately posted what I thought was a very profound observation. Here is the Seth’s post and Robin’s comment.

Digital is slippery

When you build a building, it stays around for a long time.

When you invest and staff a factory, it’s something significant, and it lasts.

When Heinz gets shelf space at the supermarket, the status quo is powerful and that shelf space might last a generation or two.

Today, the smart money is investing in digital assets, and legions of entrepreneurs are trying to build long-term value online, where it just seems so easy. 100,000 downloads of your new app, or a quick rise to #1 for your new eBook or a million ‘hits’ to a new website.

Easy come, easy go.

The digital asset that matters is trust. Awareness first, then interaction, and maybe a habit, but all three mean nothing if they don’t lead to permission and trust. The privilege of connection.

Everything else is slippery.

Robin’s comment

It a fact that the digital is affecting the way we do things, and has been for some time. I think for the better because of the extremely enhanced connectivity. The thing to ask is what is it that we own online? What is the asset?

I happen to think that what we own is our identity, and our relationships. These are things that existed before the digital era, and have always been tools in business. The effect and longevity of our presence or brand, and also of our relationships always has depended on how we maintain them and what we put into them and also perception. This continues to be the case.

The change comes in the uber-connectedness that exists through the internet, and the ability, once information is out there to be lost to ourselves. Online, people can be knowledgeable of us without us knowing, and this means that our “staying power” has a life of its own. This might not always be a good thing. But it can be.

Digital existence changes the way that we have to be responsible for ourselves. In my opinion the substance of the asset remains the same.

Robin and Seth, you have both made my day much richer and I hope that by this posting others will be as well!

Categories: Age Shift, Cloud, Industry Segments, Infrastructure, Investors, Perspective, Relevance, SaaS, Software, Stewardship, Subject Matter Expertise, Sustainability, Technology
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