1220HSL | Lecture Two – Is Traditional Business Dead?
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Lecture Two – Is Traditional Business Dead?

At the end of the Lecture One slides sat a question, ‘Could you give me a decent academic argument for how internet-based technological convergence has forever changed business?’. And I pointed you towards two influential figures – Philip Evans and Don Tapscott. There are two lectures below. Delivered by Evans and Tapscott. Both put technology’s impact on business at the forefront. I also give you a third. Delivered by Seth Godin. Your role for this week is to check out all three lectures before we meet and and begin to craft your own opinion on them. When you do this also keep in mind your second (but first major) assignment - ‘This Is Where I Stand’ – is anything here useful to you – does anything here align itself with your version of the truth?

The first lecture delivered by Philip Evans is titled, ‘How data will transform business’ (any dramas with the video embed, just click here to watch on the TED website). The blurb on the TED site associated with this talk is as follows, ‘What does the future of business look like? In an informative talk, Philip Evans gives a quick primer on two long-standing theories in strategy — and explains why he thinks they are essentially invalid.’  I think you should watch this or read the transcript because of the insight Evans offers on the two huge influences technology (in particular the internet) has had business strategy, reduced communication costs and reduced transaction costs. And importantly, his idea that the two predominant ideas inherent in business strategy, specifically that of ‘increasing returns’ (Henderson) and that of the ‘value chain’ (Porter) are now largely being invalidated and what used to be a vertically integrated process is now becoming a horizontal one. Evans uses the demise of the Encyclopedia business model and the rise of Wikipedia as one pertinent example concludes by offering a call to action – specifically ‘we need to work out how to accommodate collaboration  and competition simultaneously’ – a philosophical and pragmatic ideal that becomes increasingly common the more you read into this area.



Lecture Two Slides (ppt)

Lecture Two Slides (pdf)

Philip Evans Breakdown (pdf)

Don Tapscott Breakdown (pdf)




Could you combine Evans and Tapscott’s thinking in a short two to three sentence argument for how internet-based technological convergence has forever changed business  / humanity …

The second lecture delivered by Don Tapscott is titled, ‘Four Principles for the Open World’ (any dramas with vide embed, just click here to watch on the TED website). The blurb on the TED site associated with this talk is as follows, ‘The recent generations have been bathed in connecting technology from birth, says futurist Don Tapscott, and as a result the world is transforming into one that is far more open and transparent. In this inspiring talk, he lists the four core principles that show how this open world can be a far better place. Don Tapscott can see the future coming and works to identify the new concepts we need to understand in a world transformed by the Internet.’ I think you should watch this because the optimistic viewpoint Don has on technology and the manner in which it can radically open up and enhance business practice, often via unexpected means, is fantastic. I enjoy his angle. Primarily as it is not a standpoint business has historically been quick to embrace and implement and more often than not this is through a fear of losing control. Don focuses on technology’s impact on the concept of ‘openness’ and walks you through four things he believes give the concept of openness meaning – specifically collaboration, transparency, sharing, and empowerment. Listen closely for the Gold Mine story Don narrates for a powerful example of openness in action. This is one of my favourite TED talks on the potential of technology and in particular the Internet to positively transform business.



Philip Evans

“The internet as a noun has become the internet as a verb. It has become a set of conversations. An era in which user-generated content and social networks became the dominant phenomenon”


Don Tapscott

“There is no more powerful force to change every institution than the first generation of digital natives. The world, including business, will hinge on a new set of principles”

The third lecture is delivered by Seth Godin is titled, ‘How to get your ideas to spread’  (any dramas with the video embed, just click here to watch on the TED website). The blurb on the TED site associated with this talk is as follows,  ‘In a world of too many options and too little time, our obvious choice is to just ignore the ordinary stuff. Marketing guru Seth Godin spells out why, when it comes to getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones.’ I think you should watch Seth Godin’s lecture because it is a great example of a powerful presentation for a start. Further, Godin’s message on marketing ideas is also powerful. And pragmatic. It could potentially become a component of your overall philosophy on technology, humanity, and business – specifically, it could become one component of your efforts to overcome the invisibility and anonymity generated by the churn and burn nature of a technologically converged world – where a user’s latest status update, 140 character tweet, blog post or uploaded video, is consumed, discarded, and forgotten within 24 hours. A potential way around the issues associated with a virtual world more often than not comprised of relentless and unimportant noise.

Something From Seth Godin


“The issue here is that consumers today have way more choice than they used to, and way less time. And in a world where [consumers] have too many choices and too little time, the obvious thing to do is ignore stuff”


“The thing that is going to decide what gets talked about, what gets done, what gets changed, what gets purchased, what gets built, is … is it remarkable”




Where does the real digital revolution lie guys …