Friday, August 24, 2007

Enormous Reach and Power

Nancy White, whose blog I follow, got me thinking with her quote "Yahoogroups has enormous reach and power."

Very few technology companies systematically deploy their assets in support of social change. Yahoo and Google have amazing technology assets. Do they systematically deploy yahoo groups? Do they make specific partnerships to deploy Google Aps to small groups? Do they hire a couple of head counts to do the marketing and outreach? Do they designate social change groups as a targeted vertical in their product organizations?

Based on conversations with main line product management folks, it seems like they don't think this way. From their actions in the aftermath of Katrina and the rapid innovation it spawned, my conclusion is that these companies haven't gone about deploying their assets in a systematic way in support of social change.

On the other side are companies like that have actively created a delivery system and ecology for deploying their asset in support of social change. Oddly enough, the investment required would be very insignificant for these much larger corporations.

My next job, which I start next week is about deploying the core competencies of a technology company (product, services and people) in support of social change. I'll be asking a lot of questions about how to craft a delivery system and ecology.

The one big question I already have is why bother creating company-specific ecologies? Wouldn't it be far more efficient to use an existing ecology and methodology to deliver the assets of technology companies in support of social change (i.e. people, products, services)?