THE RISE OF THE ENTERPRISE TRIBE
An Entrepreneur’s Field Guide for the 21st Century
Kevin Koym, with Marla Dial
A Business Guide and Vision
This is a book about a world in motion.
In writing about the impact of social networks on business models, I am by definition shooting at a moving target: Social networks are not going to change the way work is done in industrialized and semi-industrialized economies; they already are changing the way work is done. But the shift toward new models of work, labor and business is not yet well understood. Indeed, some of the core principles at work have been, to date, only half-articulated by scattered handfuls of business thinkers, writers and bloggers; more often, the paradigmatic shift that is under way is discussed in terms of dispensing management advice to traditional corporations struggling to understand and integrate the new “Gen Y” or Millennial employee into their work force. Nowhere have I found an authoritative study on the more profound issue of how these Millennials – and more particularly, their understanding and use of technology – is changing and will continue to change the way businesses are formed, how workers are organized, and how products come into being in the 21st century.
So I have set out to write such a book. And though I have the advantage of drawing on the work of many others in this field, this project probably has had more in common with high-speed sports photography than most writing efforts — at least in the sense of trying to create a cohesive picture amid a blur of nonstop motion. Daily, the paradigm I am studying both redefines itself and gathers speed.
The book is divided into the three parts — and I don’t mean merely “a beginning, a middle, and an end.”
1. Part 1: The Conceptual Stuff (or, “Why Do I Need an Ecosystem?”)
This section lays out the core arguments upon which all other aspects of the book will be based.
It draws upon considerable research and extensive reading on business management and evolutionary theories, leading to a discussion of four key conceptual shifts that are unraveling as we speak. These shifts are borne out by demographic, social, cultural and global phenomena, but are heavily rooted in observations about the “Millennial” generation that is entering and rapidly coming to dominate the work force, as well as technologies empowering the “Internet 2.0” construct.
In detail, the shifts examined in Part 1 are:
(a) Super-Empowerment of the Individual – Examining business modalities that enable entrepreneurs or groups of people acting individually to achieve significant revenues and impacts.
(b)The Shift Toward a Knowledge Ecosystem — This, as opposed to the “Knowledge Economy” of the Internet 1.0 era, places an emphasis on involving customers, employees, partners and others in mutually productive and satisfying mechanisms through use of Internet 2.0 technologies.
(c) New Attitudes Toward Work – Again, building on observations of the emerging “Millenial” demographic, this shift involves the changing expectations that workers have of employers, changes in commitments that employers are willing to make toward their workers, and the upside in what otherwise could be a wrenching change.
(d) Social Superconductivity – The use of virtual communities in getting work done. What does it mean when a demographic that has never been bound by walls or geography starts to enter the work force — with their vastly different expectations of how employers and marketers will communicate with them — and even more significantly, begin to form companies of their own? Innovators (or idea conduits) doing business around the world, and with different expectations and personal investment, will achieve results much faster than would be expected in the traditional org-chart, employee-employer-department setup.
2. Part Two: The Practical Stuff (or, “What Does This Mean For Me?”)
This section involves an examination of “best practices” as determined to date, along with a series of thought-provoking questions designed to help business thinkers and entrepreneurs develop effective strategies for forming beneficial ecologies around their own companies.
3. Part Three: The Visionary Stuff (or, “What Does It All Add Up To?”)
The final section is, like Part Two, drawn partly from original thinking and partly from exchanges through the Enterprise Teaming and Exponential Entrepreneurship blog – ultimately culminating in a forecast of how successful businesses will think about their models and conduct themselves in the coming decade and beyond. We expect that this structure will contribute to meaningful discussions with readers beyond the publication of the book, as well as lead to business opportunities in the future.