People Empowered By Web, Not Business

Business does not drive the web, people do.

Most businesses miss this, and in part, what I believe, contributed to the Dot.com implosion. Companies saw the web only as a new marketing opportunity to sell more widgets.

While companies were pushing out their brochure-ware, the people – not customers or consumers, but the people saw the opportunity to connect, talk, create, complain and do more than read brochures, mission statements or digital versions of printed catalogs.

While businesses shoveled money into a “new marketing media”, individuals and small groups were turning their personal computers into web servers, building websites and creating groups.

While these small projects attracted real people and open-source projects spawned creativity, the pompous corporate websites with their bloated strategies were ripe for exposure – the people did it.

Now it’s 2007 – many businesses learned the lessons. Some, tragically, did not. I truly hope that businesses finally learn that creativity is vital to success on the web.

There still seems to be a separation between creativity and business.

Creativity belongs to “artists” – it’s personal work outside of business. Too many companies view art as the antitheses of work, it’s emotional while business is ruled by reason.

Yes, work is the antonym to play, just as reason is to emotion but can’t we agree that both are needed to make sense of life?

If creativity weren’t so important then those individuals and small groups I mentioned that found the webs’ “achilles heal” wouldn’t have been motivated to begin.

No, business shouldn’t abandon reason but they shouldn’t be run under the tyranny of reason either. They should balance reason and emotion, chaos and logic.

They need to connect with the people – not their consumers.