At Social Driver we like to talk about “getting with the future.” One of things that make me really excited about the future is the fact that people have great ideas, want to do really good things, and launch awesome products. With the digital web and the social web, these people are able to take those ideas and scale them up.
Sometimes people us the word disruptive to describe social media tools, websites, and mobile technology. What they really mean is that the people using these tools are messing up their plans, which they’ve spend a lot of money to build. Technology isn’t disruptive; it’s people’s habits with technology that is disruptive.
Instead of framing things in terms of technology, you should frame things in terms of people and focus on what people are doing. Here are a few emerging trends that we see:
We see this a lot in DC with Bikeshare, Zipcar, most recently Car2Go. Consumers don’t have to save vast amounts of money or take a lot of time to get what they want anymore. They can get it now, at a low cost by sharing it with other people. This is affecting a lot of different industries, not just the automotive industry. For example, people can rent time on 3D printers instead of spending $100,000 on a device. We are building the first generation of social consumers. They are consumers that are used to sharing things. It’s already affecting the car industry and it will continue to affect other industries, as the millennial generation continues to demand the ability to share products in order to have access to things they would usually have to save up to enjoy.
In the late 1990s, Alan Cooper wrote a book called The Inmates Are Running the Asylum, which talked about the idea of personas and scenarios. It said that if you are going to build a product, you should create story about your consumer and talk about how the product will fit into their everyday. In early 2000s, we saw The Cluetrain Manifesto, which posited that people are going to be leaving digital traces everywhere. As you are moving through your day, you are leaving digital cookie crumbs, which can be used to tell stories about what you do and why you do it.
Social information is creating a powerful context for decision-making. People trust their peers when it comes to decision-making. If you see Ashton Kutcher tweet something about his Nikon camera, you know that he’s getting paid by Nikon to tweet that. However, if you go to Amazon and see 5000 reviews that are 2 or 3-stars, you’ll know that Ashton is a big liar.
Digital is quickly becoming the same thing as not digital. What I mean is that if you can scale things up with digital technologies, then it’s going to be part of everything you do. There is no more e-commerce, there is just commerce. There is no more digital activism, there is just activism. There is no more electronic publishing, there is just publishing. This can go for any industry. The ones that innovate and build digital into their plans are the ones that will advance through history.
People have always had really great ideas, but the exciting thing about where we are today is that the social technology they are using and the habits that they are adopting is increasing the likelihood that you can scale your goals and outcomes, not just your reach.Back to Blog Home