The Most Absurd Statement That You Will Read Today - Guaranteed

Lithium Alumni (Retired)


Ed, Lithium's SVP of Business Development and Strategic Alliances, brings more than 25 years of experience building indirect sales and global partnership channels at companies including Adobe, Salesforce and BEA.


You can follow him in the Lithosphere where he is EdVanS.



The Internet has reached its apex of innovation.  This is as good as it gets. We can all go home now.”

What an absurd statement?! To say that there will be no more innovation on the Internet is just plain crazy.  It has been a shade over 20 years since Sir Timothy drafted the initial specifications for URLs, HTTP and HTML.  And it has been an insane ride.  So, who was the fool to proclaim that innovation on the web was dead?


Er – well – uh, that would be me.


Yeah, I agree.  That statement is absurd, preposterous and some might even call it poppycock.  But something interesting has happened during our frenetic journey on the galactic interweb.  The power has shifted.  It shifted ever so slightly at first.  But now it’s a runaway freight train.  Consumers – you and I – are in control.  Corporations use to have control, but not so much anymore.  And we are now congregating and unifying in social outlets and in online tribes, fortifying and wielding our new found power.


Gone are the days where Don Draper’s mad men would seduce us with repetitive and hypnotic product jingles, eliciting us drones to wander to the store and buy something. Reach and frequency – the foundation of marketing – is dead in the world increasingly dominated by facebook, twitter and Google.  The online world is one of permission based marketing. And my oh my, isn’t it grand?! 


We can now choose to engage; choose to converse; choose to like; choose to share; chose to Yelp; and choose to friend.  Couple this new dynamic with the web’s ability to provide full price transparency in a nanosecond and you have the birth of a very powerful consumer. 


These dynamics, combined with cheap broadband access, powerful social outlets and our new found mobility, have created the perfect storm – no, sorry, bad reference, as everyone died in that movie.  Permit me to summarize again….


As far as I am concerned, the Internet has reached its apex of innovation.  It has.  I, for one, am not going to surrender this new found power and leverage as a consumer.  In fact, none of us are, and why should we?  


There is no going back – not a chance of it.  Even my wife, who is the opposite of a digital native – let’s call her a digital dinosaur – even she can glide across the web, slicing into websites to find the highest rated product at the lowest possible price, as evidenced by the daily UPS delivery from Zappos.  And this from someone who still struggles with the remote control…and don’t even get me started on her frustration with using two fingered gestures on the touchpad on her new laptop (well, she has the one finger gesture down pretty good).


But not all is lost for the poor digital marketer


You can still reach us.  Of course, it will be on our terms; it will be when we want; and the experience must be engaging.  Brands must converse with me and listen to me. 


And there are solutions on the market today to accomplish this, like the Lithium social enterprise platform (Yeah, I know. I hate product placements, too. But what did you really expect when you started reading this blog?). 


And by embracing this new permission based approach, marketers might just find a more enduring and insightful customer relationship -- one which inspires a brand advocate to radiate his affection for a product or service through his entire social graph.  And possibly, the smart digital marketer will harness the power of this high value, user generated content to increase conversion.  Particularly since as a group, we trust peer reviews and content 82% more than company created content when making a purchase decision. 


Perhaps -- just perhaps -- digital marketers might be able to employ behavioral science and game theory as the building blocks of their permission based marketing strategy to spur their advocates into action.  By harnessing the power of these new social enterprise mechanics, digital marketers might just be able to swing the pendulum of power back towards the center. 


So, I guess whoever said that innovation on the web was dead….well, he was absolutely wrong.

1 Comment
Lithium Alumni (Retired)



You made great points.  I agree innovation on the web is not dead, far from it.  The web is one of the playing field where innovation is happening.  I believe this is due to the very low cost and barriere to entry of the web technologies as well as the material it vehicules: knowledge.  Knowledge is the new frontiere of business transformation and the web is one of its critical infrastructure. (I could add that the Lithium Community Platform is one good example).  Please view this video of Gary Hamel to better grasp the context of our mission.



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‎12-01-2011 04:24 PM
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