I was at TIBCO’s 2010 user conference this week and I in my daily reports I forgot to mention one other thought that came to me. On Tuesday I was sitting in the audience listening to an external keynote. Let’s just say it was a systems integrator. The speaker had a reasonable presentation though, being from Gartner, much of what he said as straight forward; even obvious. But one thing he said attracted my interest.
In one example of “working with a large client” he referred to an automotive firm. In this dialog he said that his firm was working to help local sales reps and marketing folks understand the real time impact of their efforts on new brand awareness programs by feeding analysis and data from remote services, like Facebook and Twitter. The purpose, he said, was to help these “empowered individuals” tune more effective their sales and marketing programs. This sounds reasonable. But then I asked myself, while sitting in that large room, “If this was meant to be a ‘big idea’, surely this is the wrong way around…”
The example presented sounded like a legacy working trying to leverage new age information sources to speed up a process that came right out of the dark ages. The example was not innovative, or new, or even that much of a challenge. It was built on the notion of “instrument everything” and “leverage insightful information” to execute according to known practices. This was a better mousetrap. It was not a new mousetrap.
What I wrote down on my PDA was the following “Why not design and build a car selling and marketing application that actually runs on Facebook?” The idea that came to me was this: If there is a new, radical process or solution waiting to be pioneered, why should that be build on yesterday’s models? Why not build the application on Facebook so that brand lives, and dies, right there, right time, every time? Could a 20th century organization succeed that way? Would they really trust their brands that much? Could they survive a real time drubbing my the collective? Probably not.
Anyway, I thought it was an interesting thought and idea. I figured that futuristic, competitive models of behavior, would be more oriented to what Jeff Woods’ calls “outside in” strategies, that has a premise of how the customer views a problem, solution, or opportunity, as opposed to the established “inside out” models. See: Key Issues for Market-Driven Business Applications: ERP, SCM and CRM, 2010