Charlene Li of Forrester has an idea similar to the one I wrote about a couple of days ago. I was talking specifically about Google becoming a platform. I also only thought of technology developers being able to post their creations on the platform (although consumer-generated content, such as pictures, blogs and so on is an obvious idea and already well in place). But Charlene takes it a step further.
Consumers could also create applications, she explains. And this makes sense. Who knows my own needs better than I do?
Imagine if we could tap into the collective creativity of thousands, millions of consumers. How many times have you said to your self, “Wouldn’t be nice if I could just….” And here’s the killer part – what if some built a platform for consumers to do this, and then enabled a way to SHARE those innovations? Some of them would float to the top (thanks to ratings, tagging, etc.) and you could actually start monetizing them. Now that’s tapping into the power of consumers!
Consumer-generated applications herald a new age in usability and choice. So not only is there a long tail in music, blogs (have you visited the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles blog?), books and all the rest, but also in applications. So let me say that again: consumer-generated applications herald a new age in usability and choice.
This is fundamentally new stuff. An economist I was reading about a few months ago (sorry, my memory isn't being more helpful than that!) has a theory that social processes are fundamentally changing the nature of economies/economics and value creation, by creating, in effect, a new kind of economic system separate from the traditional system.
- This is happening partly because creation is often not linked to monetary rewards.
- Partly because of the dispersed and open nature of these creative processes.
- Partly because many of the transactors (I am deliberately not using the words "consumers" and "producers") have never participated in these areas before.
- And partly because of the long tail effect (although I sometimes think the LTE is more a matter of decreasing inefficiencies in the traditional economic system than helping to create a new system).
(Pardon the grandiose title for this post!)