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The Nanocorp Primer #4
Shamrocks and Nanocorps
Bridging the Digital Divide with 'Small is Good' Business Webs
Business Webs, B-Webs: Buzzword du Jour or Big Idea?
Don Tapscott has become the latest Management Guru to grab the collars of business executives and shake them up with a near flood of books on the reasons for, and implications of, the New Economy and its impact on business.
Tapscott's latest, with co-authors David Ticoll and Alex Lowy, is Digital Capital: Harnessing the Power of Business Webs. This excellent book makes a powerful case for why today's entrepreneurs and managers should be 'Thinking web'. Business web, that is, or b-web, the latest in the evolution of the corporate organization.
Tapscott and his Digital 4Sight cohorts describe the 'lifecycle' of the corporation in three phases. The first phase, Industrial Age Corporation is all familiar with its notions of vertical integration and scale. The second phase is that of the extended but tightly-coupled Virtual Corporation. But, say Tapscott and company, what we are seeing now is the emergence of a qualitatively new and different industrial environment... the Business Web with its lattice of Internetworked enterprises, the b-web.
Digital Capital is full of important ideas which directly apply to our 'Small is Good' approach to business. Don't pay too much attention to on-line 'reader reviewers' who pooh-pooh this title because some of the example companies cited as innovators have failed or stumbled. Failing case examples don't invalidate the b-web ideas. Failed cases say more about the extent of lame business visions propped up by too much venture capital. Bad business vision cannot be saved by creative organization design.
B-Webs in Your Nanocorp's
|"The new economy is a molecular economy. The old corporation is being disaggregated, and replaced by dynamic molecules and clusters of individuals and entities that form the basis of new economic activity."|
in The Malaysia Star
If you are planning to be a 'portfolio person', a nanocorp, you'll need to understand the dynamics of collaborative business relations. Digital Capital is full of important ideas and insights appropriate to your nanocorp-based lifestyle. It should be on your 'Small Business Revolutionary' bookshelf.
Digital Capital is all about a class of Web-based business models which the authors call Business-Webs. But there are all kinds of Internet-based business models, many of which may be fruitfully developed using 'Small is Good' dynamics.
One of the world's leading authorities on web business models can be found a few miles from the dojo's headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina. He's Michael Rappa, the force behind the NC State eCommerce program. If you want to know more about web business models check out this on-line Rappa resource, Business Models on the Web.
Shamrocks and Nanocorps: Business Webs of 'Small is Good' partners working together can bridge the Digital Divide.
Resilient, nimble elastic networks of entrepreneurial free agents and innovative small businesses can succeed where others fail.