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Living Networks: Leading Your Company, Customers, and Partners in the Hyper-Connected Economy

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Living Networks: Leading Your Company, Customers, and Partners in the Hyper-Connected Economy


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  • Copyright 2003
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-035333-7
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-035333-7

Billions of humans and machines are linking as tightly as neurons in a brain, generating and exchanging ideas at unprecedented speed. Living Networks shows leaders how to build organizations that leverage living networks to deepen relationships, promote innovation, and accelerate product/service delivery. It also shows how individuals can plug into living networks to liberate themselves from conventional organizations, earn more money, and achieve greater personal fulfillment.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapters

Living Networks: Changing Your Business and Your Life

Using Networks to Harness the Flow of Marketing, Customer Feedback, and Employee Knowledge

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Click here for a sample chapter for this book: 0130353337.pdf

Table of Contents



1. The Networks Come Alive: What the Changing Flow of Information and Ideas Means for Business.

How Connectivity Shrinks Our World. Micromessages Make Communication Fluid. The Making of the Global Brain. The Sexual Life of Ideas. Collaborative Filtering Saves Humanity! We, the Media. The Limits of the Networks. Shock! Horror! Globalization! Vital Connections: Chapter 1.

2. Emerging Technologies: How Standards and Integration Are Driving Business Strategy.

The Language of the Networks: XML and Web Services. This Standard Is Built on XML. The Promise of Web Services. Peer-to-Peer Pressure. The Interfaces that Merge People and Technology. Networks Bringing People Together. Standards and Network Strategy. The Essentials of Standards and Network Strategy. Vital Connections: Chapter 2.


3. The New Organization: Leadership Across Blurring Boundaries.

The Boundaries Are Blurring. Creating the New Organization. Boldly Showing the Way Forward. Leadership in a Collaborative World. Implementing Information Standards. Creating Collaborative Processes. From Linear Chains to Living Networks. Embracing the Networks. Vital Connections: Chapter 3.

4. Relationship Rules: Building Trust and Attention in the Tangled web.

Developing Trust in the Living Networks. Trust in a Transparent World. Accelerating Trust Development. The Power of Aligning Technology. Sticky Relationships in the Attention Economy. Precision Personalization. Integrating Human and Digital Relationships. Vital Connections: Chapter 4.

5. Distributed Innovation: Intellectual Property in a Collaborative World.

The Brave New World of Intellectual Property. The Copyright Battlefield. Patents Run Amok. Innovation and Collaboration in the Networks. The Different Modes of Innovation. How the Networks Change Innovation. The Open Source Generation. How and Why Open Source Works. Commercial Open Source Software. Applying Open Source Lessons to Other Fields. Implementing Distributed Innovation and Shared Value. How Hollywood Does It. Vital Connections: Chapter 5.

6. Network Presence: Harnessing the Flow of Marketing, Customer Feedback, and Knowledge.

Marketing in the Networks. Building Customer Feedback Loops. The Flow of Work and Knowledge. Vital Connections: Chapter 6.


7. The Flow Economy: Opportunities and Risks in the New Convergence.

The Convergence of Convergence. Device Convergence. Communications Convergence. Industry Convergence. The New Convergence. The Six Elements of the Flow Economy. The Power of Standards. Relationships Rule. Connecting the World. Our Interfaces to the Networks. The Magic of Content. The Services That Surround Us. Strategic Positioning in the Flow Economy. Creating Participative Strategy. Vital Connections: Chapter 7.

8. Next Generation Content Distribution: Creating Value When Digital Products Flow Freely.

Rights, Rules, and Balance. The Yin and Yang of Content Marketing. The Evolving Landscape of Content Distribution. Applying the Flow Economy Framework. Vital Connections: Chapter 8.

9. The Flow of Services: Reframing Digital and Professional Services.

Services Go Online. Outsourcing Business Processes. The New Modular World of Business. Web Services and the Flow Economy. The Evolution of Professional Services. The New Professional Services Strategy. The Rise of Professional Networks. Success Factors for Professional Networks Vital Connections: Chapter 9.

10. Liberating Individuals: Network Strategy for Free Agents.

Positioning in the Networks. Intellectual Property Strategy for Free Agents. Vital Connections: Chapter 10.


11. Future Networks: The Evolution of Business.

Connected to the Future.





When I was a child, I had a powerful vision of the immense web created by the worldUs telephone lines. Anyone, anywhere, who had this little plastic box with a cord going into the wall could repeatedly spin a dial, create a connection with any other similar plastic box you chose on the globe, and have a conversation with whoever picked up the receiver. In those days, a long international telephone call could easily cost $100 or more, so it hardly created fluid connections between people. However, the sheer scope and potential of this pervasive global network inspired in me a deep sense of awe.

Today, the networks that connect us have progressed several stages beyond this. Close to one billion people and businesses comprise a global community that can exchange information and ideas in almost any form, easily, cheaply, and instantaneously. New emerging technologies such as peer-to-peer and web services are now building on the fundamental transformational power of the Internet to unleash the true power of this connectivity. Together, the planetUs population and the technologies that connect them create a vast, vibrant network. The networks are literally coming to life, demonstrating all of the complexity and unpredictable behaviors of a living system. This is the most exciting time in the history of humanity to be alive, as we witness and participate in the birth of a new higher order lifeform.

This book is designed to be a practical business book, providing useful guidance in these swiftly changing times. It examines how the current surge in connectivity is transforming the flow of information and ideas that underpins the economy. It goes on to present the full scope of the implications for business and provides clear recommendations for businesspeople on what they must do to prosper as the networks come alive. Whether you are a company executive, an entrepreneur, or a free agent, the core message is the same. The world is rapidly evolving, and new ways of working, new business models, and new attitudes are required. You must provide effective leadership on how to shift into this new world both within your firm, and to your customers and partners. Those who do this well will reap the richest rewards. Throughout this book, you will find straightforward advice and practical prescriptions on how to achieve this.

The primary audience for this book is those who are already actively engaged in leading their organizations and business partners in this rapidly changing world. This includes not just senior executives, independent workers, and innovators, but everyone in the workforce. You have the personal responsibility of leadership, and this book is intended to give you the tools to lead more effectively in our connected economy. I believe that business students will also find the book valuable in gaining insight into the impact of technology on business and linking that to successful management practices. I also think that people who are interested in the broader social implications of connectivity will find the book relevant and useful.

This book is divided into four parts: Evolving Networks, Evolving Organizations, Evolving Strategy, and Future Networks. Part 1 examines the Evolving Networks. Chapter 1 covers how connectivity is changing society and business, while Chapter 2 looks at the emerging technologies taking the networks to the next phase. Part 2 is about Evolving Organizations. Chapter 3 looks at leadership in a world of blurring boundaries, while Chapter 4 goes on to examine how relationships are changing. Chapter 5 discusses how intellectual property changes as innovation increasingly takes place across organizational boundaries. In Chapter 6 I cover how firms can build their presence in the networks. Part 3 goes on to look at Evolving Strategy. An overview of the flow economy and new approaches to strategy are presented in Chapter 7. Chapter 8 goes into more detail on the world of content, while Chapter 9 discusses digital and professional services. Chapter 10 wraps up by looking at the free agentUs perspective on the issues presented through the book. Part 4, on Future Networks, offers a glimpse into what lies ahead for us, providing 10 predictions for how business will evolve in the networks.


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