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Michael Idinopulos
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Aaron, thanks for your comment. Absolutely! We're seeing quite a few clients hitting 95% when you count both active contributors and their colleagues who are lurking but not contributing.
Toggle Commented Mar 14, 2011 on Companies aren't communities at Transparent Office
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Mar 15, 2010
Chris, thanks for your comments. I have a lot of respect for Thought Farmer and for your blog. I'm happy to be having this conversation with you. Once you understand Socialtext's business model, you see that my no-pilot recommendation is not at all self-serving. Socialtext is a SaaS (Software as a Service) company. Our up-front fees are lower than traditional software vendors, and our revenue comes disproportionately from customer renewals beyond the initial contract period. A customer who buys and fails is actually worse for us than a customer who doesn't buy in the first place. So it's not at all in Socialtext's interest to sell a new customer based on an approach that won't deliver long-term success. My objection to pilots comes from years of E2.0 implementations, first inside McKinsey & Co, and subsequently with hundreds of Socialtext implementations. Like you, I used to recommend small-scale initial pilots. But over time I noticed that our most successful customers consistently launched on a larger scale than our less successful ones. That led me to question why small-scale pilots weren't yielding better results. We could argue over the details of Metcalf's law and the precise shape of the curve that describes the relationship between scale and value--logarithmic, exponential, whatever. But it doesn't matter. The point here is that a group of 50 and a group of 5,000 will adopt the tools in completely different ways. The 50-member group will focus on "closure" activities across strong-tie relationships (e.g., meeting notes, document co-creation, etc.) The 5,000-member group will focus on "brokerage" activities (social networking, micromessaging, expertise location) across "loose tie" relationships. (For more on Brokerage and Closure, see my post http://michaeli.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/12/brokerage-and-closure.html) It's silly to think that a 5,000-person rollout is just a 50-person pilot expanded 100x. I think most people would agree. And yet many companies base go/no-go decisions on small-scale pilots. As I've argued (see link above), brokerage and closure activities are both important. They're also mutually reinforcing. If you just focus on small-scale collaboration, you're missing more than half the picture.
Toggle Commented Aug 31, 2009 on Enterprise 2.0: Skip the Pilot at Transparent Office
Thanks for the catch, Allen. I've fixed the title.
Fine posts indeed, Mark. Thank you! Reading Daniel Ariely's post made me think of another way to frame my position: Successful contests run on spice, not on incentives.
Toggle Commented May 22, 2009 on The Winner is... at Transparent Office