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Ray Lane on the Inter-personal Enterprise

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Ray Lane gave a great opening keynote that I’m sure will be covered elsewhere.

The first half of it he has said before, but then it got really damn interesting. What was new is a call to Re-think the software industry, encouraging greater risk taking in changing their business model. Overcome challenges for access, evaluation cycles, integration, installability, value creation, business model ($) and renewal. Leverage opportunities such as white space, low effort improvement, free now (and pay later) and individual value. “The enterprise software industry made one big mistate in the late 90s, we focused on the buyer instead of the user.” He thinks there are three characteristics of a software company going forward:

1. Low Resistance: clear value to users, immeadiate value and short decision-cycle

2. TCO (viral): Low cost barrier for adoption, encourages viral spread

3. Instability (viral): Easy to install and use, increased installation increases personal value, viral effect

His examples of virality (e.g. iPods) were actually word of mouth, but the point is web-enabled capabilities that we experience as consumers will be drawn into the enterprise. He gets explicit with “Web 2.0″ as easier and friendlier. Project ahead in five years and it will be so easy and so secure that enterprises will gobble it up. We built enterprise software before for transactions, today it is about collaboration (I swear Ray must read my blog). He used a wiki and ideas were flowing, “you get on at midnight and share ideas!”

Speaks of Bill Joy’s Six Webs, where different modalities, plus relationship, personal and location will drive Enterprise 2.0 He describes the mobile device as social, soon to get 50Gs and leveraging the social network as a filter. Wiki, blog and podcast — the world is becoming about user generated content. It used to be information blasted at us, but guess what, all the information is here and you can interrogate the web, understand your social network. Why is MySpace that huge? People want to be a part of their social network, get their information that way and be valued for what they contribute. We will get new web-driven capabilities such as personal activity recording, physical world alive, electronic room designs and contextual awareness.

Names this thing the Inter-personal enterprise — people collaborating with a better personal experience so people adopt consumer web facing web applications that become interesting enough for the enterprise. Individuals get personal access to information. Fluid interaction more organic, more wiki-ed, more modular. Individual value, integrated communication (every app in this category individuals should brag about). Pull model: user, not buyer. Quality and relevancy increase as contributed back to the enteprise.

Wikipedia is great because people correct it, it requires a social network to correct its accuracy. A forecast for the quarter starts with a salesman in Germany and works up the chain 6 steps, how many times do you think it was massaged on the way, but if I could look at the data myself, or better yet have experts who is used to seeing optimists and pestimists and submit their contributions, 50 people guessing as experts, the term tacit-interaction — what could be better?

The eight laws:

1. Serves individual need

2. Viral/organic adoption

3. Contextual personalized information

4. No data entry or training required

5. Delivers instantaneous value

6. Delivers instant value

7. Utilizes community, social relationships

8. Minimum IT footprint

Making top down committee-based decisions is a thing of the past. It’s already started: WebEs, Skype, IM, RIM, Google Desktop, SFDC and Visible Path. With Visible Path he describes a model where anyone can download, get started in two minutes as a network as one, then has incentives to get others to participate.

Good thing Ray got out of Oracle and into VC, the future he sees could only be seen with such a social network. He always gets it, it’s just that now he’s got it.

UPDATE: Also covered by Dan Farber

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Ross Mayfield is CEO and co-founder of Socialtext, an emerging provider of Enterprise Social Software that dramatically increases group productivity and develops a group memory.

He also writes Ross Mayfield’s Weblog which focuses on markets, technology and musings.

Ray Lane on the Inter-personal Enterprise
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