Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
umair haque  


Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Edge Principles: Open Beats Closed

You know, in 2008, we really should not be talking about Digg. At all.

That said...

Scott and Mathew think an open social network isn't viable. I'm not sure why, since Myspace (Mixi, blah, blah, blah) certainly is/are.

Here's an edge principle: open beats closed.

The converse is: you only have to close when your DNA isn't quite there yet; when the way you manage things still kind of sucks.

More to the point: closure is a sign of strategic failure in the edgeconomy.

Now, that doesn't mean everyone can do everything everywhere. Consider Wikipedia - it's remained open, anyone can edit stuff - though it manages edits very differently than ever before.

But Digg is different. The reason I don't think we should be talking about Digg is that it's frozen, paralyzed, as caught in strategy decay as Time Warner or Yahoo.

Kevin, Jay, and the kru haven't evolved the Digg concept at all (but for tiny, incremental tweaks to the same algorithm) in like 3 years.

More to the point, I'm not sure how serious they are about co-creating value with their community - Jay's comments are oddly reminiscent of the kind of waffling you hear from big media boardrooms ("it wasn't a revolt" --> "consumers love brands!!").

That's fine, they have their own reasons. But perhaps we would be better be discussing (really) revolutionary stuff.

-- umair // 2:19 PM // 5 comments


What would co-creating with the community look like?
// Blogger Ed Cotton // 6:02 PM

"perhaps we would be better be discussing (really) revolutionary stuff."

Agreed... got some examples?
// Blogger Rafi // 7:12 PM

ed, one thing it would look like, less dispensations from on high communication style, a lot more we, inclusiveness

i don't think the owners are users anymore, certainly have become celebrities, always something to avoid if possible

get your users to write your specs, or at least, involved...

what do you think it might look like?
// Blogger gregory // 4:14 AM

I'll toss two words for you: peer governance. It looks logical for me that when it is the users who mostly create the value then they should be included in the decision making. It's begging for trouble when the leaders don't see that. And I would not agree with you in giving wikipedia as the positive example here:
, another link about digg:, and one additional case:
// Blogger zby // 6:43 PM

I criticize "open beats closed" and other Internet "truths" such as disintermediation in my essay "Internet truths that are often wrong":
// Anonymous Ranjit Mathoda // 11:02 PM
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