Thursday, March 15, 2012

The New Decade: Social + Global

Every decade is stamped by the cultural trends driving change during the period:  the 60s were influenced by rock n roll, for instance.  It takes a few years for a new decade to take shape, for its mark to appear.  It's becoming clear that the 2010s will be moved by "the post PC era" (to use Apple's words).

To really delve into what this means, we recommend reading this Harvard Business School blog series by Nilofer Merchant (Rules for the Social Era, Social Means Freedom, Why Porter's Model No Longer Works, and Why Social Marketing Is So Hard are the first four pieces in her series).

Bottom line:  social means manufacturing for dynamically targeted groups of consumers based on their own preferences.

"When companies figure out how to shape their design, production, and manufacturing cycle from rigid planning and production systems to unique customer-driven experiences, they’ll design a way to respond in smaller bursts of more profitable cycles."

Think about how Facebook manufactures your news feed just for you, in real time.  Think how your Apple Store has the product you want even though you configure it and use it differently from anyone else.  Think about Amazon opening up a retail store near you carrying the products you want, for you to pick up post-purchase.

Merchant's series resonates with our earlier posts about the Lean Startup movement, selling in social streams and the Louis CK experiment.

At Bitmenu, we were struck by these words contained in a report put out by the Anderson School at UCLA in 2009:

"U.S. exports are the potential driver of a successful economic recovery and 'we will need to turn our shopping malls into factories.'"

This forecast seems to be coming true.  But, it will look much different than anyone could have imagined even three years ago.