Friday, June 10, 2011

if the kids are united #connectedness

Every business is a hub surrounded by it's network of customers, partners, suppliers, employees and fans/followers.

That's a given.

There's massive value to be got by connecting those people with each other.
That's another given, however it's one that I'd been finding hard to get across on some occasions.

Until the penny dropped with this equation, the juxtaposition these two laws, and the serendipitous moment of clarity that was revealed unto me when itunes on shuffle threw up Jimmy Pursey and the boys circa 1978.

The two laws.

Metcalfe's Law
was the law of the networked age.
If I have a telephone, a connecting device, it offers me no value until there are other telephones to connect to.
As each new telephone is added to the network the value of the network to me grows.
Think of this like an email list. I can communicate on a one-to-one basis with all the members of the list.
This is quite good but limited.

Reed's Law is the law of the connected age.
If I'm connected to David and also to Mark then thats good (in a network age sense), however if all 3 of us are connected to each other then the value of that connection is exponentially greater.

In fact the more that each node in a network is directly connected to another node, the more valuable the ENTIRE network is to everyone in it.

In simple terms this is why something like Twitter, that is open, is infinitely more valuable as a communication platform than either the Television, the telephone network or an email list.

Because of it's inherent shared value properties.

They say it must have been a strong wind on the day that the sound of Bow Bells wafted down to Hersham in Surrey, but that wind imbued wisdom on the young James Pursey esquire as he scribbled the lyrics to If The Kids are United on the back of a packet of Embassy.

'Just take a look around you
What do you see
Kids with feelings like you and me
Understand him, he'll understand you
For you are him, and he is you'

Connectedness has been the great disruptor.
Connectedness has changed everything.

If the kids are united then we'll never be divided.

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