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The Nanocorp Primer #4

Shamrocks and Nanocorps

Bridging the Digital Divide with 'Small is Good' Business Webs

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Nanocorp Ideas and Resources at Sohodojo

We coined the word 'nanocorp' to represent the idea of convergence of 'worker' and 'business'. When you consider all the exhortations and prognostications of the 'Business Process Reengineering' gurus, it seemed pretty clear... one of the greatest simplifying assumptions that a business could make would be to 'get rid of employees' and turn everything into 'business-to-business' relations.

It was also apparent to us that the 'social contract' between employer and employee was a worthless myth in today's 'spreadsheet management' culture where you, the individual employee, are nothing but a 'tick' in some manager's latest spreadsheet model geared to making analysts and shareholders happy.

As we thought about it, it was clear that just 'thinking like a business' was not all that was needed. Running 'you as a company' is not simply a 'regular company' writ small. While the nanocorp is a unary business (the smallest firm... one person, one business), it is qualitatively different in terms of the strategies, tactics and 'weapons' needed to compete in the larger world of Business.

If a nanocorp is a qualitatively different form of 'business organization', it followed by our way of thinking that the ideas for strategies and the technologies we needed to compete would be qualitatively different than those of larger, conventional businesses. Only we nanocorps can see the world through our eyes. We won't get the products and services we need by sitting around waiting for Fat Cat corporate types to invent product and service offerings to shove down our throats.

That's why we started Sohodojo, the self-organizing, self-managing applied Research and Development Lab by, for and about nanocorps... the emerging group of Entrepreneurial Free Agents and owner/operators of Dejobbed Small Businesses.

You'll find all kinds of 'Small is Good' information here at Sohodojo, but here are some particularly relevant links:

Nanocorp-related Ideas and Resources on the Net

One of the things that makes Sohodojo different than other 'soloist' and 'one-person-business' sites on the net is our hard-core tech R&D agenda. We are pursuing our vision for a better workplace and better World through a combined technology and strategy agenda which you see being developed within our TechSIG and LegalSIG activities.

This software research and development agenda can be a bit 'deep weeds' for some folks. And the 'answers' we are pursuing are admittedly a bit medium- and long-term, so you may not find a lot of quick, simple, immediate answers to your basic business questions about starting and running a home-based or similar small business.

There are a number of excellent resources on the net and in print that address the 'me as a company' perspective. Here are some of our favorites:

  • The Fast Company website and magazine - Lots of 'New Economy New Media' publications are so full of hype and 'me and my in-crowd of happening folks within 10 miles of the Valley' that they are nearly worthless for us 'mere mortals'. Fast Company is pleasantly different. Sure, there's all that 'Valley is God' crud, but there is consistently more practical and helpful information than the other new media sites and publications. Check out the 'Going Solo' section and the 'Reinvent yourself' sections of the FC website.
  • The Tom Peters website - The absolute King of Upbeat Can-do Spirit, you will find a lot of highly energizing and helpful 'Brand You' and 'Wow Project' information.
  • We sure wish that Charles Handy had his own, interactive website. If he had one it would be our homepage, we suspect, since Handy is arguably the most approachable and profound thinker about the changes reshaping the business organization and our lives in the workplace. We will all have to make due with reading Handy's incredible books, particularly The Age of Unreason. We've gathered some of the web's best 'Handy Links' on our bookstore page for his Age of... books.
  • William Bridges, of JobShift fame, has an uncanny ability to see the implications of change in organization structure and management philosphies as they will effect our everyday lives. Bridges single-handedly popularized the term 'dejobbed' as characterizing the workplace of the late 20th and emerging 21st Centuries. His consulting firm, Bridges and Associates, specializes in high-ticket services for corporate clients. However they do run public seminars for individuals seeking assistance with transitioning into the 'dejobbed' world of work. You'll find good on-line articles and helpful free self-assessment tools at the Bridges and Associates website.
  • Judith McQuown has certainly made a name for herself by extolling the virtues of incorporation for just about anybody in her near-classic book Inc. Yourself. She apparently does not have a personal website. But here is a somewhat dated but interesting on-line print and audio interview, Think Inc at the CNNfn website.

Slide text

In a Shamrocking world, nanocorps represent the convergence of 'employee' and 'business' coming together as the 'unary business'.

  • Fast Company calls it .the 'Unit of One'
  • - Tom Peters, 'Brand You'
  • Charles Handy, 'Portfolio Life'
  • Jim Schneider, ''
  • William Bridges, 'You & Co.'
  • Judith McQuown, 'Inc. Yourself'

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