Scenarios for the downfall of Facebook and a new landscape for social networks

Today I gave the keynote on Social Media and the Future at Marcus Evans’ CIO Summit.

In question time after my keynote I was asked whether Facebook will still be the dominant social network in 5 years.

I think the degree of uncertainty on this front is too high to make a firm prediction. However given the current market landscape and trends over the last couple of years, the most likely outcome is that Facebook will still dominate.

In structured futures studies, one of the most powerful tools is trying to build plausible scenarios for how alternative outcomes to what is expected could come to pass.

In this case, we need to tell a credible story on how Facebook loses its predominant position in social networks.
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Social Media and the Future: Keynote slides at CIO Summit

This afternoon I am giving a keynote on Social Media and the Future at the Australian CIO Summit in the Gold Coast.

Here are the slides from my presentation. As always, my keynote slides are shared with the proviso that they are designed to accompany my presentation and are NOT intended to be useful on their own. However you might find them of interest.

To provide just a little context on the flow of my keynote:
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Crowdsourcing Entrepreneurs drinks in Sydney this Friday

Crowds and crowdsourcing are increasingly at the heart of entrepreneurship, represented by the burgeoning crop of crowdsourcing companies, the rise of crowd business models, and the fact that a large proportion of entrepreneurs today draw extensively on crowdsourcing in building their businesses.

Ignacio Rodriguez and Enrique Mena, CEO and COO respectively of Chile-based Spanish-language crowdsourcing platform MeritusPro (which I am an advisor to) will be in Sydney this week, so I thought it would good to organise a crowdsourcing entrepreneurs drinks for any entrepreneurs involved directly or indirectly in the crowdsourcing space, though all are welcome.

BlueChilli has kindly offered their new city space as a venue.

Here are details:
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Global insights into fear of failure, entrepreneurial activity, and gender balance in entrepreneurs

As part of my work in helping global professional services firms build strategies for entrepreneurial markets, I’ve been spending some time with the trove of data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, which is the largest study of entrepreneurship around the world.

One of the interesting issues I have been looking at is how varying fear of failure impacts entrepreneurial activity, as shown in the table below.


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Axiom Legal and the rise of virtual professional services

Back since the 1990s I have tracked the rise of virtual and distributed professional services models. They have progressed somewhat more slowly than I anticipated, but the trend is clear. Large professional firms are not in jeopardy, but significant and profitable aspects of their business are being eroded.

One of the great examples is Axiom Legal, which I first wrote about in 2002 in Living Networks:
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MegaTrends and the future of professional services – Melbourne and Sydney

Next week I will be giving the first in the First Mover series of seminars for professional services leaders organized by Beaton Research & Consulting.

See here for the seminar series overview or the brochure for full details.

The seminars will be held in Melbourne on 25 July and Sydney on 26 July, with a live webinar option also available.

For quite a few years much of my work was with professional service firms, and while I have spent more time in other sectors recently, I still see the professional services model (in an evolved form) as central to the future of the global economy.
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Why Australians unfairly pay more for software and digital entertainment

Australia’s Department of Broadband Communications and Digital Economy has just provided a submission to the government’s Inquiry into IT Pricing.

I was interviewed on ABC24 about the findings, and more generally the reasons why Australians pay more for digital goods. Click on the image to view the video of the interview.


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How collaboration is transforming the relationship between sell-side and buy-side financial markets

One of the most important dynamics in almost all industries today is how value creation is increasingly shifting to be between organizations rather than within organizations.

Most notably, the nature of client-supplier relationships have dramatically shifted over the years.

This is not new. I have spent considerable time working with the institutional financial services sector, and seen major changes over the years. I recently recalled a White Paper I wrote years ago, How Collaborative Technologies are Transforming Financial Services, in the wake of a Collaboration in Financial Services conference I co-organized and chaired in New York.

Here is an excerpt from the White Paper. The same issues are still playing out today.

At the highest level, there is no question that collaborative technologies will impact the structure of the financial services industry. The implications may take some time to be visible, however the shifts in power and value creation between industry participants are already evident.

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Impressive startups! Report from PushStart Australian accelerator Demo Day

Incubators and accelerators are blossoming all over the world, with in Australia the seed accelerator space represented most prominently by StartMate, PushStart, and Melbourne-based AngelCube. I wrote about the Australian accelerator scene when PushStart was launched.

Yeseterday afternoon I went to PushStart’s demo day for their first intake. I was very impressed by the calibre of the startups presenting. I took notes through the presentations of the 8 startups, as below, which hopefully offer a fair representation of the companies and what they said. I expect to see more from this impressive crop of incubators.
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Singularity Business Models: The link between lean startups and exponential change

Singularity University describes itself as “a vibrant innovation and impact engine that generates leaders and start-up companies with the ability to positively impact the lives of a billion people within a decade”.

Apostle of lean startups Eric Ries recently joined Singularity University as the chair of its Entrepreneurship track.

In this video Ries is interviewed by entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa about the link between startups and the Singularity, asking him about how to students at the university can scale their initiatives.


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