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Ian Thomas

John, I have to say that I was cheering your thoughts on your inability to be brief. I find that the clamour for sound bites is an increasing problem where people not only refuse to engage in considered thought because it's too complex but also see it as a failing in people who do as it's 'academic' or not 'commercial'. Sadly, however, I find that this attitude often (always) leads people to miss the significance of how many small things are just components of larger and more fundamental trends, leading them to just see the trees. For me broad strategic thinking and a quest to connect seemingly disparate ideas has never been more important than in our accelerating world and so I'm glad to see someone of your standing defend taking the time "to below surface events and explore deep structures"!

Keep up with the long posts - you are one of the few bloggers to really write considered and rounded pieces you can get your teeth into!


All good resolutions John! I look forward to reading your blog this year!

Marc Resnick

Please forgive me if I plug your book here, but these ideas seem very well matched to your idea of the "process network." Stability of the performance fabric allows individual network participants to focus their capability building where they have a specific advantage. The orchestrator facilitates deeper relationships than would be possible in the bazaar model.

Thanks for getting back into your blog. I look forward to reading more.



Thanks for getting back to blogging with such a thoughtful list! While I agree with most of it, I particularly endorse the notion that advertising conveys diminishing value.

Broadcast-style media - including online display ads - relies on impression-based communication to build awareness and preference. Today, though - and especially, on the Internet today - there are simply too many sources of input to make this a successful "stand-alone" technique. As we are increasingly besieged by requests for attention, our ability to retain any individual message is decreased. Eventually, we tune out advertising messages altogether, through use of ad blockers, or simply by ignoring the banners on the screen.

This isn't to say that traditional impression-based communication is dead or dying. But if you view the return on spending as following a slope from "each new dollar reaches a new person" to "this new dollar had no impact", I think it's clear that over time, the slope is becoming steeper, and the associated cost of influencing behavior through impressions alone is getting higher.

I believe that marketers are coming to understand that they need to supplement "broadcast" techniques with interaction - dialogues involving customers, prospective customers, influencers, and potentially, competitors as well. Most marketing executives aren't comfortable with this "un-controllable" communication. But through time, they are realizing that with or without their participation, conversations are happening around their products, involving these customers, prospects, influencers, and competitors. The question isn't "do we prefer interactive media to more controllable broadcast models?" - it's "how do we establish an authentic voice in the online discussion, and how do we balance our focus and spending across interactive and broadcast options?"

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