Business as ‘social’?

Young people interacting within society.
Image via Wikipedia

A few months ago, a journalist friend asked for my view on What would motivate technopreneurs to consider building businesses around social technologies?”

My answer …

Building businesses around social technologies is like attempting to achieve the ideals of Communism using the methods of Capitalism. Look at the open source movement. It is not hard to guess why it has gained the status of a movement. The clues to countering the monolithic tendencies of technology builders are evidenced by the success of the open source philosophy. What it clearly shows is that power centres can and will be dismantled, it will be

less by the hunger for the power to own and more by the willingness to belong;

less by the striving for independence and more for the mutual value of interdependence;

less by the aggression of competition and more by the power of collaboration.

Golaiths beware the Davids are here to stay. The proof is Web 2.0. Here’s to the new wine and to the new bottle as well. 

There’s little value in prefixing the word ‘Social’ to media, networking, technologies, welfare or any other word. Wordplay sounds nice, looks good in a presentation and creates great news hooks. ‘Social’ has to do with society – a particular society. And society is shaped by people that have passion, conviction and a sense of urgency.

Technology is merely a toolbox for social change and technopreneurs must take it as their duty to identify the value that their ‘products’ will provide to those who will use them to positively transform and sustainably impact society as a whole.

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