The Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston kicked off this morning with talks from David Weinberger (author of the Cluetrain Manifesto) and Andrew McAfee (Harvard University). The conference is about how the use of Web 2.0 technologies is changing business — the structure of business as opposed to the mechanics of business. Common themes:
- consumer technologies are making their way into business. Each of the four speakers this morning has referenced Facebook, for instance. Cisco's Marthin de Beer cited the example of the 21 year old college student who uses Facebook, Flickr, IM and GMail at school and is taking these tools into the enterprise.
- the model is shifting from top-down control to mass collaboration. Social networking is becoming a force in business because knowledge, and by extension business, is social. McAfee commented that the IQ of a crowd is far more powerful than the IQ of individuals.
- web sites are now created by users. Weinberger wondered what the business network would be like if, for instance, every viewer on the intranet could put Wikipedia style comments on the pages.
Heady stuff. My favorite quote was David Weinberger saying that we, the customers, are the business.