April 8, 2011

Today I happened across Facebook’s Open Compute project, coincidentally the same day they made the project public – ah, the joys of the Internet, and real time news – and it reverberated inside of me like reading Macbeth does to Shakespeareans, or a Classical Music buff listening to Bach.

This here is how modern companies should be focusing on not only sharing ideas with customers, but listening from them, taking their worthwhile suggestions, and implementing them, and becoming the proverbial pane of glass.Pane of Glass

Today’s society expects, and demands such transparency. I am sure that more traditional business managers and owners would frown on such an approach, “we have developed this leading technology, we want to keep it proprietary”. Really? And loose the advantage of utilizing your greatest source of innovation (your customers) to help you steer your business to where it can improve upon?

Not only is the Open Compute project such a boon from a PR perspective, a great “give back” to the Social Media community, it is a genuinely wonderful way to spur on further development, Jonathan Heiliger even says in their intro video that he wants their ideas to be torn apart by customers, tell them where they are doing things wrong so they can improve them further. What an honest way to approach a project “I haven’t made this perfect, tell me where I can do better” – I hope he can be rewarded by some of the responses.

This act by Facebook really shows to me that they “get” Social Media – I know that sounds ironic, many would argue that they are Social Media, but in my mind they haven’t had the best background in understanding that users are your commodity, and focusing your company towards that – through unannounced (and unwanted) UI changes, a CEO that at times has presented himself in a manner that doesn’t always portray the image as being personable (although I am sure he is), and the genuine lack of community that Facebook can create, a place of centered expression, and not communal extension.


The Internet is one global community, we all need to participate in it, help ourselves and each other grow, and often by “giving back”, we can gain a whole lot more.


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