Monday, July 09, 2007

The Ideas Marketplace

In this post 'Content sucks - if that's all you sell' I discussed the lessons we might learn from the collapse of content vendors in the music business.
In considering their dilemma (and the media industry's) I thought about how digital communities have better replicated the marketplace experience than bricks and mortar stores have chosen to.
And that made me question how ideas are 'exchanged' in corporations, in particular.
The mass industrialised mindset of Corporations tends towards hierarchy and the silo effect.
And that emerges (in corporate idea-exchange models) in the propensity towards broadcast of information: Centralised, one-to-many flows. eg "I'm here today to tell you about my great idea" echoing around an aircraft hangar...
I believe ideas are improved by more intimate two-way flows - conversations and challenges.
As Alan Moore likes to say "People embrace what they create". Confucius has effectively been saying something similar for 2500 years: “Tell Me and I Will Forget; Show Me and I May Remember; Involve Me, I Will Understand.” (Confucius, 450 BC).
So I'd like to see how ideas might evolve and new ones emerge by applying the model of the marketplace, rather than that of broadcast.
A traditional marketplace does three things:
1. Allows people to buy (AND sell)
2. Allows the exchange of information
3. Entertains
How might we take those elements to create an ideas marketplace within a corporation?
I have some vague ideas about literally allowing people to set up their marketstalls in a selected venue, putting on some related entertainment, and inviting everyone to just wander in and wander around, having conversations (ie not being broadcast at) with people with ideas/information to 'sell'.
It could be how someone wants to change how your IT department works, or loves a book they've read they want to market to their peers, or has a plan for a fantastic new digital play but no one in his/her silo has wanted to know...
But this is a first draft - an early iteration.
I'm bringing the idea to the digital version of the marketplace. Let's talk?


The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?