One of the futurists I was following tweeted something that spurred me to write this little bitty, so bare with me. There is much confusion about Social Media / Networks, and saying that the future of business is Social Networks only adds to that confusion. For some unknown reason, there are far too many who seem to think that Social Media is the answer, the messiah, the silver bullet to all their business problems. STOP IT! This is far from the truth, and is sheer stupidity on the part of those who say it is.
I’ve talked about the next generation a few times now, GEN C, they are the under 20 somethings and they are starting to figure out what they want, and it’s not what business owners want. In fact, the generation that comes behind them will never know what a Tower or laptop is or was. imagine a generation that only knows wireless handheld devices, may never know what a Newspaper was, let alone a fax machine. They will all be things placed in a Smithsonian in some major cities if they can afford to have the show in town.
If you are paying attention to these social networks, and those who have built them, they are shifting and flowing, not because they work well, but because the people in those environments are looking for something. The future of business will be dependant on a couple of things, social networks are one of the tools to obtain those things, but not the end all. Being tagged will be paramount to being found in the future, your brand / product or service will live and die by being found. That being found will need to be everywhere, not just in social networks!
To found on the Internet will be one of the many challenges to deal with in the next 2 – 3 years. As with everything, the cream will rise to the top, the have’s over the have nots will continue as it does in the bricks & mortar business world. The big difference will be the tools or mediums you use, and how you use them that will matter, and should be well thought out. In the bricks & mortar we just yelled, and the loudest business got the attention, not so in the future, and social networks will play a minor role. Attention is the new currency, data is the new oil, and the combination of those two will present a whole new way of doing business in the near future. The problem is, the data is not fully understood, the technology we need is still not ready, it’s not ready because we don’t know what problem needs solving yet. Much of what we are relying on in social networks, hasn’t happened yet.
The future of business will be social, and it will most definitely be mobile, but it won’t be social networks that are the future. The real future of business is because we are connected, on the move, regrouping on the fly, unable to be controlled by anything or anyone, including social networks. A connected world cannot be controlled, it might be seduced, but only temporarily, and that is what big business and corporations are afraid of, they can’t control you & I.
Consider this, there will be another 3 Billion users of the Internet in the next 2 – 3 year, 5 at the most, are you in a position to get they’re attention online? Do you have a strategy or a plan to capture .01 % of that potential revenue? I can’t wait to see what new ways of increasing the new currency of attention, I’m ready, I’m more than ready, I’m down right excited. But if you’re still trying to figure out how to use social media networks, how to use a blog or a website, you better hire someone tomorrow to help you see whats coming. They can at least help you see the tidal wave and show you how to ride that wave rather than get wiped out by it.
That’s what we do here, we show you the future, and then help you create ideas to adopt what we show you. We are in the beginning of an upsetting industrial shift, a paradigm shift, and it’s very painful for some. Also keep in mind, much of what I am talking about is not about skill set, it’s more about how you think, to look at the world of business as it really is or will be.