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Jeremiah Owyang – The Collaborative Economy

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You’ve referred to the social media era as the customer experience phase of the Internet, where there was a fundamental shift from brand-owned channels during Web 1.0 that required a certain level of expertise and resources to create and maintain a website, to a “many- to-many” model where everyone could express their own unique voice and share experiences through access to blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and social channels.

Now, with the Collaborative Economy, this “many-to-many” model is be- ing extended to, and layered on top of, ownership and access to goods and services. Can you tell us a bit about how this signifies an evolution of social business, and how you see the buyer-seller relationship being redefined in the Collaborative Economy?

At a broader level, there are three phases:

First, the early Internet, or Web 1.0, was when very few people could publish because you had to have some technical skills. I refer to that as the Brand Era, because the brand could say, “I talk, you listen.”

Next, the second phase or Web 2.0 came along, and we call that the Social Media Era. This is when the customer got what they needed because they controlled the media using social tools–the democratization of ideas.

This is the most radical change in business we’ve seen—social media is nothing compared to this. Social media is just ideas, but take that disruption of ideas and watch it as people don’t buy products as much. Many corporations will be extinct because of this next movement. People can buy products once and share them many times with each other—they don’t have to buy again and again.

The third phase is using these same technologies—Internet + social— together in what we call the Collaborative Economy Era. This is when people use those same tools and share ideas, but now they can get products, goods and services from each other rather than from corporations, We’re seeing the democratization of business. This means that people can get what they want from the crowd rather than turning to a large company. It also means corporations that do not adopt this business model are disintermediated.

This is the most radical change in business we’ve seen—social media is nothing compared to this. Social media is just ideas, but take that disruption of ideas and watch it as people don’t buy products as much. Many corporations will be extinct because of this next movement. People can buy products once and share them many times with each other—they don’t have to buy again and again.

Secondly, in the next phase of the Collaborative Economy, we are seeing people build their own products and services. Look at what you’ve done with this book, or Wikispeed when they built their own car, or the Maker Movement—people are coming together and acting like corporations. This is the biggest shift we’ve ever seen in business—the power is shifting to the people.

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Jeremiah Owyang – Partner at Altimeter Group

Jeremiah Owyang is Chief Catalyst of Crowd Companies, a company he founded in October 2013 to help big companies with the Collaborative Economy.

Previously, he was an industry analyst and Partner at Altimeter Group, located in Silicon Valley. His research focuses on the present and future relationship between companies and their customers. His blog, “Web Strategy,” shares insights from his research and what they mean for businesses to stay relevant in the future. Jeremiah is often quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today and is a frequent keynote speaker at business and technology conferences around the world. Time named Jeremiah’s Twitter feed one of the best in 2011, calling him a “strategist on the front lines of revolution.”

Jeremiah and his Customer Strategy focus have published numerous research reports focused on social business and the collaborative economy. He has focused on topics like how products, services, and markets have changed with the collaborative economy; how businesses manage complex, scaled social media programs; and the career path of the new social strategist. As with the rest of Altimeter Group, Jeremiah and his team make his research findings free to the public. Find more of his research reports here.

Jeremiah previously worked at Forrester Research as a Senior Analyst focused on Social Computing for the Interactive Marketer. Before that, he was an active pioneer of web technologies on the brand side, launching and managing Hitachi Data Systems’ Social Media programs in 2005-2007. He also served as the Intranet Architect at World Savings (now Wells Fargo) and was a user experience professional at Exodus Communications after receiving his Marketing bachelor’s degree at SFSU. He recently participated in the Innovation Roundtable at the Aspen Institute, a global think tank that shapes policy.

He’s continually surprised that his small, white, furry dog, Rumba, is active on Twitter.