I’ve been thinking today about the curve on which people adopt innovation. Out in front, you have people who are innovation junkies. They are so far ahead of the curve, always knowing what’s in development long before it ever hits the street. By the time the latest software or mobile device or Internet innovation is actually available, it’s already old news to this group. They’re looking ahead to what’s next.
If you can imagine innovation like a wave turning under the surface of the water, the junkies are the ones who are pushed forward far ahead of any visible wave.
Then there are the innovation surfers who zip in and out of the curl, enjoying the thrill of a new toy or a new trick.
Behind them are the folks who miss the first wave, but still manage to catch the next one.
And then there are the people who think they can’t swim, so they stand on the beach and every so often get their toes wet.
When a lot of people hear the words Web 2.0, they start to feel like one of those beach sitters. They’re not quite sure what Web 2.0 is. They think it has something to do with blogs and MySpace. It sounds like a lot of work. So they spread out their beach towels and pull out their romance novels.
Learning new technology can be daunting. But the beauty of Web 2.0 is that it boils down to making things easier and – key for business – more efficient.
Instead of playing phone tag, technology and the web have allowed us to email. Web 2.0 takes it a step farther and allows you to meet in cyberspace – either at the same time or at different times, so everyone is always on the same page.
Web 2.0 allows you to not only reach out to your consumers, but allows them to find you. It allows you to have a conversation – a real relationship.
And relationships are increasingly the driver of consumer decisions.
Not every organization or business needs to use every single Web 2.0 application. You have to be smart about it. Look at your overall goals, look at what gets in the way of meeting them, and then look to the Web for the solutions that will make your life easier, make your goals easier to reach and make your time more efficient.