What's next for the Enterprise?

The conversation around Enterprise 2.0 is getting more and more operational these days. As bigger and bigger companies are jumping in the game, the conversation is getting pulled in a lot of directions. That’s to be expected, but I also expect to fight it to the best of my ability.What’s really next for the enterprise?

Is the next big shift in how people work together really as simple as a cheaper, prettier, version of Lotus Notes? Or a bigger more mashable of your old CRM tool?Is the next wave of Enterprise Computing really going to be all about moving more information, faster, to more people? Some think it is.

I get a feeling in my stomach that tells me no.

Our Quixotic Adventure

don-quixote-sancho-panza.jpg

The search for greatness is nothing new, and it might follow, on some level, that when we have a great idea, we want it’s impact to be as wide and deep as possible.

It seems to me though, the more I look at it, that the most interesting new things are happening on a smaller and smaller level.

Our attempts to put on a suit of low cost armor to do the same job of the knights of old is a sad, timid affair. Instead of going off to play by the rules of the old knights, is it possible we could accomplish must more by instead working by a new set of rules? Or simply: can we accept our obvious and sometimes less glorious role?

The Power of Less Expectation

Enterprise 2.0 has been describe in a lot of ways, old terms and other new terms are now being piled on to the Enterprise 2.0 brand, SOA, KM and others are all now all used in the same brush stroke to talk about the evolution in software delivery and information management.

What if, instead of expecting new software to do it all, we simply expected the software to do very few things, and we started to let the people who use the software make the decisions again?

Instead of giving people an amazing new online spreadsheet application, why not give them a place to talk about the latest numbers in their job, and what those numbers really mean? Sure, the finance department sees that the trend is towards flatter sales, but it’s your front line people who have the power to change that — why not let them find out sooner, and in a more meaningful way?

Wouldn’t that change more, can’t we do that through using less?

Rather than asking everyone to use a document repository to turn out the same old documents, what if a radical social presence tool instead let your employees find out who was working on the same ideas, so that they could share in whatever way they were most comfortable with? It could be a group blog, or a wiki, or it might just be emailing Word Documents.

The possibilities for less are endless, and we need to start thinking more about taking down barriers, rather than just redesigning, redeveloping and recreating old barriers again.

The next great pieces of software will be those that let the user control their own world and manipulate the world in the ways which mean the most to them.

Are you thinking about how to give that control to people, or are you thinking about how to direct their destiny with your own hand?


This post was written for the FASTForward Blog, don’t forget to follow the discussion over there.

Blogs and clowning on the campaign trail

This post is related to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, refers to local politics and personalities, and will most likely bore the vast majority of my readers. Skip this one if you feel the need.


Campbell Webster thinks that it is best to hide and obscure your convictions and ideas in the name of politics. Taking shots at Cynthia Dunsford and Nils Ling.As a crackerjack columnist in the local newspaper on PEI, and this being his second (at least) attempt to take a swipe at the blogging community, it seems that Campbell just doesn’t have enough interesting and original things to say. Campbell seems to like to regurgitate old ideas in weird semi-pompus language in the local news rag alongside Contract Bridge and advertisements for the local tractor pull.

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enterprise2rave.com

The Enterprise 2.0 Rave will bring together leading thinkers in the areas of collaboration, knowledge management, e-learning, and social media with practitioners from a variety of industries – your peers – for an intense 24 -hour brainstorming session on the challenges and opportunities related to Enterprise 2.0 deployments.

I will be there, helping facilitate a few discussions and just generally hanging out. If you are going to be there, or in New York the week of May 21, drop me a note.

Venture Law Lines: Last Call: Friends, Family and Angels Financing: How to Structure, Sell and Paper the Deal

Venture Law Lines: Last Call: Friends, Family and Angels Financing: How to Structure, Sell and Paper the Deal.

Enrollment for next Wednesday’s breakfast seminar has been brisk, but there are still a few spots available. The deadline for registering (and our catering order) is Friday. After that, you can still show up, but I’m not sharing my bagel with you. Also attending will be the folks from Entrepreneur TV and some other press, looking for entrepreneurs to interview. THEY will get bagels, because they’ve already registered. You, maybe not so much.

For information and a registration form, email info@venturelawassociates.com.

Clothing not from China

Discollection has a Suicide Girls branded dress for sale.

Discollection is the sort of store that you could once find on Queen Street West here in Toronto. Kim, who owns Discollection, actually made these dresses by hand, and they are selling at only 150$ each. Kim also happens to be Kris Krug‘s girlfriend.

I have a feeling this post won’t convince hordes of trendenistas to jump at these dresses, but I am thinking all you middle-aged men in khaki’s will have a niece or someone who needs a birthday gift soon.

Shaping the future of secure Ajax mashups

Shaping the future of secure Ajax mashups.

Brent Ashley is one of those guys who comes out to a lot of tech events in TO and each time I have to get over the fact that such a cool guy, and one of the guys I have followed for so long, just comes to hang out.

That’s what’s great about Toronto’s tech community these days, it’s full of cool guys and gals who just want to share neat stuff. Sure, there are a few pompus assholes who drop in and out or keep trying to make a big splash, but people really don’t notice them very much.