Last month at Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, Dion Hinchcliffe gave a 3 hour presentation called What is Web 2.0: The Rules for Creating Successful Online Products In The 21st Century. Several hundred people sat through the session in its entirety on a sunny Sunday afternoon. It was the first session I attended and it was a terrific kick-off for the conference. Whereas some of the conference sessions had me thinking "this has got to be a bubble," I kept thinking back to Dion's workshop and realized that regardless of what happens in the venture capital world, there's plenty of very useful technology being developed very inexpensively that a lot of people can use.
The best place to get more of Dion is his blog at ZDNET. His most recent post is Enterprise 2.0 as a Corporate Culture Catalyst. (Sadly, there was no EBIC this spring but had there been, I am sure this topic would have been discussed repeatedly.) Corporate culture can be an obstacle or lubricant for the adoption of new technologies and Dion cites Tom Davenport's skeptical post Why Enterprise 2.0 Won't Transform Organizations to point out the obstacles. But I'm with Dion - the ease of use (and many other features) of the newer tools makes adoption easy without the permission or power struggles commonly required in a large organization. And Davenport ends his post with (to my mind) the most important piece of the puzzle:
"I freely admit, however, to one key uncertainty. It's going to be very interesting to see what happens when the young bucks and buckettes of today's wired world hit the adult work force. Will they freely submit to such structured information environments as those provided by SAP and Oracle, content and knowledge management systems, and communication by email? Or will they overthrow the computational and communicational status quo with MySpace, MyBlog, and MyWiki?"
Youth will be served.