Recommend read :Generic Social Strategies: Become the Platform or Drive the Community from Futurelab

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by Karl Long on 19 January, 2010 – 22:58

Michael Porter popularized the idea and proposed generic strategies for organizations like Cost Leadership and Differentiation. Normally I’m not a fan of generic strategies as I don’t think they really lead to a sustainable advantage. IMHO most strategies should take such good use of your organizations talents, capabilities and resources that it should be virtually impossible to copy your strategy. In other words if you are worried about sharing your strategy with people because you think people might steel it, I’d suggest you find a new strategy.

That being said I’ve realized recently that there are a couple of generic digital strategies that, rather than being stolen, could help maintain focus and understand what business you are really in. The reason that I think these strategies are important is that I believe the dynamics of competition in the digital and social media space are vastly different than the economics and dynamics of business over the last 50 years or so. The two generic digital strategies I’ve been thinking about are either “Drive the Community” or “Become the platform” (I’ve added social production and data production as examples of value creation, but not limited to that).

  • “Drive the community – Social Production” – Yelp, Threadless, Foursquare
  • “Become the Platform – Data Production” – Twitter, Google, youtube, WordPress
  • stuck in the middle – Facebook, myspace

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