Contradictions Abound—What Seems New Is Ancient—Sorting through the Clutter to Create Value
Digital social networks are transforming every field of human endeavor, from society and romance to politics and business. This is happening because they change the economics of how people discover, develop and maintain relationships. Although some will argue this point, we humans share with other animals the propensity to take more of something desirable when given the chance, and social networks enable us to have more relationships.
However, as I predicted in the Web 2.0 Adoption Curve, 2009-2015, there will be a significant backlash against social networks during 2009-2010 because the market’s perceived value of social networks is much higher than its skill with the tools. This will result in inflated expectations and ensuing disappointments. Most executives are distracted by social networks’ strangeness and features, and they miss the obvious, that social networks offer a quantum leap in productivity for developing and managing relationships. Much of the market will reject social networks as a fad and will sit on the sidelines during the Failure & Disappointment part of the adoption curve. However, people and companies that understand the real proposition will develop a rare competitive advantage while competitors are snoozing.