Wednesday, April 26, 2006

What Web2.0 has in common with the invention of electric motors

From the Harvard Business School blog comes Digital Motors, Digital Factories: IT and the Internalization of Complements

So now I remember why I didn’t go to Harvard, but this post from Andrew McAfee is fabulous. You absolutely MUST read the entire article but here are some money quotes.

“Network IT platforms like blogs, wikis, Wikipedia, flickr,, prediction markets, etc. also internalize the complements listed above, but they do so in a very interesting way…They don’t impose new workflows or decision rights up front; they instead let them emerge over time as a result of interdependencies and preferences among users.”

“an ERP system is not great for eliciting tacit knowledge, and a wiki is a lousy way to ensure Sarbanes Oxley compliance.”

It’s fascinating to read about Web2.0 with historical perspective and gaining a greater understanding of McAfee calls complementarities.

It’s a great little historical perspective on what McAfee calls Function IT, Enterprise IT, and Network IT. Since I am a big proponent of all the goodness of all the 2.0 stuff going around I found the build to Network IT well worth the wait at the end of the post. This may be a great way to start the Learning2.0 conversation within your organization’s IT department. It doesn’t hurt that it comes from Harvard either.

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