“How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable.”
– Seth Godin
This article was previously published on the MITX Blog on January 30, 2015 –http://blog.mitx.org/Blog/bid/104790/Collaborative-Connections-Get-Beyond-the-Static
One promise of the internet has always been its potential as a disintermediating technology – a way to remove the middleman and directly connect buyer to seller. And while there have been successes with well-known entities like eBay and Craigslist, it is the rise of social media that has truly enabled this across a whole range of businesses and industries.
Social media makes connections that would otherwise be impossible, possible. These connections can be as obviously mundane as reconnecting with your high school flame – 20 years later and 11 time zones away – or as strange as having a Twitter fight with former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling in a debate about evolution (that really happened – http://bit.ly/1DaEJWq).
The Rise of the Social Business
But now social media has moved beyond just connecting via the sharing of “media” to connecting via the sharing of “physical goods”. These collaborative connections have prompted the rise of social business (also known as the collaborative economy). Social business has caused disintermediation across the board, upsetting traditional industries that at one point seemed beyond the reach of the internet. Uber now directly connects passenger to driver; Airbnb directly connects traveler to host; GoFundMe directly connects people with a need or a dream to micro-providers of the financing necessary to realize those aspirations.
In fact, social business, to borrow from Seth Godin, is making it easy for people to be remarkable. Well, maybe not every Uber driver or Airbnb host is remarkable. But in other venues, it’s a little different.
The Collaborative Economy Facilitates Going on Your Own
Not too long ago, the idea of working on your own was fairly terrifying. Sure, the trappings of independence, of being your own boss, have always been appealing. But actually doing it? Well, unless you were independently wealthy, it was not a particularly sane thing to do.
But today? It’s not only sane, but increasingly easy. The whole collaborative economy is predicated around making it easy – easy for you to work on your own and in some cases, easier for you to be remarkable.
Why? Because talent can now bubble up to the surface without having to be part of a large entity. In our world of digital marketing, this means that it’s easier for folks with niche talents in web design, digital strategy or content marketing to stand out and be accessed without being part of a big agency. And by enabling the virtual collaboration of multiple talent niches – remarkable teams can be built that are significantly greater than the sum of their parts.
That’s the concept behind Digaboom. We think that a collaborative community marketplace developed exclusively for people passionate about digital marketing, design, and technology will spawn something remarkable – in fact, a whole bunch of remarkables.
In some ways, elements of this already exist. LinkedIn is loaded with digital marketers – myself included – all networking and making the world smaller. But in ways that feel impersonal and individualistic.
“We” is Better
What we’re building is a community that truly gives you the ability to be bigger than you are on your own. To collaborate on the fly with a team of collaborators independent of geography – a team built on expertise rather than a common W-2. To augment your capabilities by aligning with others who offer complementary expertise. To form teams and go after projects that you couldn’t win on your own and wouldn’t have even imagined pursuing independently. To attract projects, not just tasks, because we have built an infrastructure that facilitates remarkable (collaboration).
At Digaboom, we like to say that we is better. As in “we” is better than “I”. Social media doesn’t just enable “we” – it’s innately “we”. And with collaborative connections, “we” can be remarkable.