View Light

95 Thesii of the glue train


          
          

  1. Markets are conversations. Conversations are markets. Markets are he as you are we and we are all together.

  2.       

  3. Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors. Demographic sectors consist
            of human beings, not markets. Human beings consist of bazillions of tiny little animalcules, all
            whirling around together.

  4.       

  5. Conversations among human beings sound like bazillions of tiny little
            animalcules, all whirling around together. They are conducted in a human voice, even if it
            is a snooty, new-age voice talking down at you.

  6.       

  7. Whether delivering information, opinions, perspectives, dissenting arguments or humorous
            asides, the human voice is typically open, natural, uncontrived.

  8.       

  9. Not ours, buddy.

  10.       

  11. The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible
            in the era of mass media. How many discussion groups on nude pictures of Pamela Anderson
            Lee could you find twenty years ago?

  12.       

  13. Use the force, Luke.

  14.       

  15. In both internetworked markets and among intranetworked employees, people
            are speaking to each other with a whole lot of italics.

  16.       

  17. These italicized conversations are enabling us to show our knowledge
            of
    HTML        SIZE="2"> tags.

  18.       

  19. Don’t run with a sharp stick, or you could poke your eye out.

  20.       

  21. People in networked markets have figured out that they get far better information and
            support from a rock than from most Linux distributors.

  22.       

  23. There are no secrets. The networked market knows more than companies do about their own
            products. So just let 'em build the damn stuff themselves, and retire on your stock
            options, OK?

  24.       

  25. What's happening to markets is also happening among employees. A metaphysical construct
            called "The Borg" is the only thing standing between the two.

  26.       

  27. Corporations do not speak in the same voice as these new networked conversations. To
            their intended online audiences, companies sound hollow, flat, literally inhuman, much
            like Al Gore.

  28.       

  29. In just a few more years, the current homogenized "voice" of business—the
            sound of mission statements and brochures—will seem as contrived and artificial as
            the language of Internet manifestos.

  30.       

  31. Already, companies that speak in the language of the pitch, the dog-and-pony show, have
            seen their IPO share price quadruple on the first day of trading.

  32.       

  33. If you use lots of really big words like "metaphysical," you can stretch four
            or five ideas into 95 theses.

  34.       

  35. Companies that don't realize their markets are now networked person-to-person, getting
            smarter as a result and deeply joined in conversation about the resonant possibilities
            inherent in online community and pools of sharing, self-organizing potentiality in a way
            that empathizes rather than setting up strict hierarchies.

  36.       

  37. Companies can now communicate with their markets directly through the Internet, as
            opposed to before, when they could only communicate indirectly, through face-to-face
            meetings.

  38.       

  39. Manifesto writers need to realize their readers are often laughing. At them.

  40.       

  41. Companies need to lighten up and take themselves less seriously. They need to get a
            sense of humor.

  42.       

  43. Getting a sense of humor does not mean big values, a little humility, straight talk, and
            a genuine point of view. It means jokes, you dopes.

  44.       

  45. Companies attempting to "position" themselves need to take a position.
            Optimally, it should relate to something their market actually cares about.

  46.       

  47. Bombastic boasts—"We are putting out a manifesto that will change human
            civilization"—do not constitute a position.

  48.       

  49. Companies need to come down from their Ivory Towers and talk to the teeming refuse of
            consumers.

  50.       

  51. Keep your restrooms open to the public. Employees must wash hands before leaving.

  52.       

  53. By speaking in language that is distant, uninviting, arrogant, you could wind up
            sounding like us.

  54.       

  55. Most marketing programs are based on sheer whimsy. Eeh-ha!

  56.       

  57. Elvis said it best: "I think I’m going to vomit."

  58.       

  59. Brand loyalty is the corporate version of going steady, but the breakup is inevitable --
            and breaking up is hard to do. Instead of breaking up I wish that we were making up again.

  60.       

  61. Networked markets can change suppliers overnight. Networked knowledge workers can
            acquire coke over lunch. Getting a few toots in us has taught us to ask the question:
            "Loyalty? What's that?"

  62.       

  63. Smart markets will find suppliers who speak Mandarin. Hey, there’s what, like 12
            billion Chinese?

  64.       

  65. Learning to speak with a human voice is not a parlor trick. It can't be "picked
            up" at some tony conference, unlike us.

  66.       

  67. To speak with a human voice, companies must share the concerns of their communities.
            Unless the company is the concern.

  68.       

  69. But first, they must belong to a community. A community with big expensive homes, flashy
            cars, and a couple of nice golf clubs.

  70.       

  71. Companies must ask themselves where their corporate cultures were fermented.

  72.       

  73. What if you find out that your company has less culture than a cup of yogurt?

  74.       

  75. Human communities are based on discourse—on human speech about human concerns. Dung
            beetle communities are based on poop.

  76.       

  77. The community of discourse is the market. And you can’t spell discourse
            without disco.

  78.       

  79. Companies that do not belong to a community of discourse will die. I guess we all gotta
            go sometime.

  80.       

  81. Companies make a religion of security, but this is largely a giant red herring. Do you
            know how tough it is to worship a giant red herring?

  82.       

  83. As with networked markets, people are also talking to each other directly inside
            the company—and not just about rules and regulations, boardroom directives, bottom
            lines, but about which secretary has the best rack.

  84.       

  85. Such conversations are taking place today on corporate intranets. But only when the
            conditions are right. Like when the boss isn’t around.

  86.       

  87. Companies typically install intranets top-down to distribute HR policies and other
            corporate information that workers are doing their best to ignore. And their best is
            pretty darn good.

  88.       

  89. Elvis said it best: "This jump suit don’t fit no more."

  90.       

  91. A healthy intranet organizes workers in many meanings of the word. Its effect is
            more radical than a chili pepper enema.

  92.       

  93. While this scares companies witless, they also depend heavily on open intranets to find
            the troublemakers. And make them pay.

  94.       

  95. When corporate intranets are not constrained by fear and legalistic rules, the type of
            conversation they encourage sounds remarkably like the squealing of pigs at a hog market.

  96.       

  97. Org charts worked in an older economy where plans could be fully understood. Today, most
            workers produce plans that are about as understandable as a
    NATO war plan.

  98.       

  99. Today, the org chart is hyperlinked, not hierarchical. Just try to find out who you have
            to make your vacation request to.

  100.       

  101. Command-and-control management styles both derive from and reinforce bureaucracy, and
            are really fun when practiced with leather and manacles.

  102.       

  103. Paranoia kills conversation. Conversation kills independent thought. Independent thought
            kills paranoia. One-two-three!

  104.       

  105. Always get Boardwalk and Park Place as soon as you can.

  106.       

  107. I’m not feeling very well. Almost invariably, this can be traced to obsolete
            expiration dates on the egg salad I had for lunch.

  108.       

  109. As a snack, these salads are poisonous. As slug repellent, they are excellent.

  110.       

  111. Elvis said it best: "I need some more uppers."

  112.       

  113. Smart companies will get out of the way and let us have the run of the place as
            high-priced "vision consultants."

  114.       

  115. If willingness to get out of the way is taken as a measure of IQ, then opossums are
            geniuses.

  116.       

  117. However subliminally at the moment, millions of people now online wish they were naked
            with us.

  118.       

  119. This is suicidal. We look terrible naked.

  120.       

  121. Sadly, the part of the company a networked market wants to talk to is usually in the
            bathroom when they call.

  122.       

  123. Markets do not want to talk to flacks and hucksters. They want just want to have fun.
            Oh-ho, they want to have fun.

  124.       

  125. De-cloaking, getting personal: Are you free Friday night?

  126.       

  127. We want access to your corporate information, to your plans and strategies, your best
            thinking, your genuine knowledge. That’s because we have an IPO for a major rival
            coming out next week.

  128.       

  129. We're also the workers who make your companies go. We want to talk to customers directly
            in our own voices, not in platitudes written into a rambling manifesto.

  130.       

  131. As markets, as workers, both of us are sick to death of getting our information by
            remote control. Why do we need faceless annual reports and third-hand market research
            studies when we can easily bore each other to death without them?

  132.       

  133. As markets, as workers, we wonder why you're not listening. You seem to be speaking a
            different language. Hey, you, you, I’m talking to you.

  134.       

  135. The inflated self-important jargon you sling around—that’s for us to sling
            around, OK?

  136.       

  137. Maybe you're impressing your investors. Maybe you're impressing Wall Street. You're
            certainly not impressing that tall blonde at the VC firm.

  138.       

  139. If you don't impress us, your investors are going to take a bath. After reading this,
            you’ll want one.

  140.       

  141. Your tired notions of "the market" make our eyes glaze over. We don't
            recognize ourselves in your projections—perhaps because we wouldn’t recognize
            ourselves in a police line-up.

  142.       

  143. We like this new marketplace much better. Unfortunately, you cannot describe the matrix
            -- the matrix has to be seen.

  144.       

  145. You're invited, but it's our world. Take your shoes off at the door, heathens. If you
            want to barter with us, bring us a camel!

  146.       

  147. We are immune to your consultations. We’re quite aware what
            we’re going through. Ch-ch-ch-changes.

  148.       

  149. Never put the tying run in scoring position.

  150.       

  151. We've got some ideas for you too. Um, like you could, like, um, have really big free
            concerts, and stuff.

  152.       

  153. You're too busy "doing business" to answer our email? Good. We’ll spam
            you till the cows come home.

  154.       

  155. You want us to pay? We want you to pay.

  156.       

  157. We want you to drop your trip, come out of your neurotic self-involvement, and get into
            ours.

  158.       

  159. Don't worry, you can still make money. Just ask us first.

  160.       

  161. Have you noticed that, in itself, money is kind of one-dimensional and boring? So why
            not give us yours?

  162.       

  163. Your product broke. Why? Because you’re jerks?

  164.       

  165. We want you to take 50 million of us as seriously as we take one reporter from The
            Utne Reader.


  166.       

  167. We know some people from your company. They're real jerks, just like you.

  168.       

  169. When we have questions we turn to each other for answers. It’s not that we’re
            gay or anything -- if you didn't have such a tight rein on "your people," maybe
            they'd be a bit more open to other ways of expressing their sexuality, too.

  170.       

  171. When we're not busy being your "target market," we’re out buggering your
            wife. So there!

  172.       

  173. We'd like it if you got what's going on here. That'd be real nice. Because if you do
            find out, you could tell us.

  174.       

  175. I thought my razor was dull until I re-read this page.

  176.       

  177. We have real power and we know it, clap our hands. We have real power and we know it,
            clap our hands. We have real power and we know it, and we really want to show it.

  178.       

  179. Even at its worst, our newfound conversation is more interesting than you are, you
            jerks.

  180.       

  181. Our allegiance is to ourselves—not you, you jerks.

  182.       

  183. Don’t run with scissors.

  184.       

  185. We're both inside companies and outside them. We gnaw rock, eat mountains, outlast
            trees. What are we?

  186.       

  187. To traditional corporations, networked conversations may appear confused, may sound
            confusing. But once they pay us a whole heap o’ consulting fees, we’ll learn
            ‘em what they mean.

  188.       

  189. Soylent Green is people!

  190.     
Reply
Replies:
Comfortably Anonymous
3/22/2000 9:38:03 AM
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml . If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.