Take Me to Your Weirdo Platform Builder!

The intrepid explorer bumps into an unknown tribe of weird people. They surround him with what appear to be weapons in hand. He calmly raises his hand as a sign of friendship and says “take me to your …”

We all know how this line ends, right? The intrepid explorer wants to be taken to the LEADER so that he or she can work out how to relate. Leaders are supposed to make that kind of decision.  Just for fun, it might look something like this

But welcome to the 21st century, my friend. I am told again and again these days that we are moving into a world of “distributed leadership”. In other words, people in power positions are not necessarily the folks who move things forward.

Before you reject this outrageous idea out of hand, consider that we have a historic precedent for this. Kings and queens. They used to get stuff done. But does anyone think that Queen Elizabeth II “rules” Great Britain?

No way. She keeps the title but doesn’t do that heavy lifting. Other folks do.

What I am hearing is that we are expanding our application of this concept and we are doing it in a radical way. Who moves things forward these days? Folks who come up with “new value propositions”. And we don’t find these folks in traditional leadership positions like board rooms of big corporate behemoths.

They are starting up new entities to apply new ways of doing stuff.

And where do they come up with that? They are coming up with great stuff via platforming. So he and she who understand how to build platforms that actually work, will rule the planet. These folks will get to meet the aliens and other intrepid explorers (like angel investors and venture capitalists) who are looking for the folks who get things done.

So here is the trillion dollar question – how do you do that? Well, we are starting to figure out. Platforms don’t just happen. They come together on the web given the right conditions. And 3 of those conditions are

  • offering the right reward sets
  • building frequency of use
  • bringing together loyal community of users

How do I know this valuable information? Nir Eyal told me so. Check out his post. Oh! You might also read Alex Pentland’s piece on why start ups should hire weirdo’s. It has to do with something called “idea flow”.

It boils down to this — we used to think of “knowledge” as a noun. It is more clear now that it is a verb. When ideas flow, we see what we call knowledge. But that is just a glimpse of a larger flow over time.


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