Ray Kurzweil’s analysis in the “Singularity is Near” predicts that technology capabilities grow at an exponential rate. Long periods of preparation and solving many small problems set the stage for the ability to combine those smaller solutions together and solve bigger problems. Moore’s Law is used as the canonical case, but my favorite example is the rate of progress in mapping the Human Genome, which followed this pattern.
What has become known as Social Business is now at the elbow of such a curve, in my opinion. From basic telephony, to email, to centralized forms of collaboration such as forums, wikis, and blogs, we have come to an integrated suite of capabilities served up to us through Jive Software, Lotus Connections, Salesforce Chatter, Yammer, and in many other products.
It is possible to see these suites as the end of the road, as the culmination of a set of capabilities into a product category that will last for 30 or 40 years like ERP or CRM. I reject that view and instead assert that the culmination of Social Business will instead be a new paradigm that changes how knowledge is captured, how processes are designed, how applications are created, and how work gets done. Consider the rest of this article a manifesto for completing this transformation.