This week I re-read #SocialEra by Nilofer Merchant. Reading this book is a rite of passage to work at thinkspace. I was actually given the book before I accepted the job here (probably to make sure I aligned with the community’s core values…which I do). The book outlines everything thinkspace strives to be – a connected community of entrepreneurs that create value for each other – and it was definitely a worthwhile re-read. Fast Company calls it one of the best business books of 2012.
What is the social era all about? Connections. Today, in a post-industrial era, connections are what create value. “If the industrial era was about building things, the social era is about connecting things, people, and ideas,” she writes. “Networks of connected people with shared interests and goals create ways that can produce returns for any company that serves their needs.”
The book lays to rest the ideas from the industrial era – where organizations were encouraged to be unique and set apart from competition – and raises up community, collaboration, and consumers as co-creators. This book is a tool and resource that all entrepreneurs should consult as well as put into practice. Reading (and re-reading) the book opened my eyes to the continued need for openness – “It’s the difference between holding our ideas in a tight,closed fist or holding our hand, open to what happen next. We might imagine that if we hold an idea tight enough, we’ll end up with a diamond. But when we hold open an idea as if in an open hand, we are unlocking the vault of limitless human capabilities to create new and better ideas that are owned together.”