The internet used to thought of as “cyberspace”. Being online simply meant being an anonymous consumer of information. But that was then! The internet of today is identity-centric and social. Internet users create blogs, upload their information to social networking sites, share ideas and contents, and they do it from their computers, iPhones, cellphones, etc. This is what I refer to as “worldwide web” moving to “social web”.
There is a generational element to this as well: Web 2.0 (i.e. social web) is still hard to fathom for some baby boomers, but at the same time, there are larger and larger groups of baby boomers starting to post photos, opinions, etc. on the Facebook, for example. They’re beginning to see how social the internet can be.
People in (or using) Web 2.0 have already internalized what doesn’t yet seem as a business practice by others. Unfortunately maturing industries like EDA and semiconductor look at Web 2.0 as “social”, and hence constantly raise the question “why do we want to socialize with our customers” or “why would our customers socialize amongst themselves?” — They take the word “social” quite literally.
It’s not necessarily common business wisdom to bring customer experience into aggregators (such as Digg, Yelp, Ning, Xuropa, evenFacebook, etc.). With these aggregators, even though things happen far away from a company’s destination site, it’s the engine of social discovery that generates astronomically more awareness than the destination site would ever create, and yes, it also generates huge volumes of traffic to the company’s destination site.
A simple example: Netflix opened up their database through an API last October. Through this API other companies (e.g. aggregators) can access titles, ratings, queues, etc. information from Netflix. By “socializing” the Netflix experience, Netflix now gets 20+M film ratings every single day. Does it really doesn’t matter where (which website) these titles are rated?! It all benefits Netflix.
It’s time for EDA and semiconductor companies to see how they can benefit from Business 2.0. EDA and semiconductor technology is the most advanced ones and those industries solve the most difficult challenges on the technical side. Yet, they have totally missed the boat on what other industries have already accepted as common business wisdom. They need to “socialize” their user-experience, create awareness, and turn that into revenue.
This post was written by Michael Sanie on February 16, 2009