Monday, April 30, 2007

Collaborative Business Model Engineering [CBME]

I think at this point it's appropriate to insert something I wrote a little while ago, which I believe to be one part of the solution:

"you only have to look to the success of open-source initiatives, such as redhat linux and mozilla firefox, to see that trends in many business models are turning towards open-source collaboration, with many individuals combining their skills, knowledge and experience to achieve one goal, and to provide the next substantial level of growth.

it seems only sensible to believe that bringing together creative ideas from many different sources could well generate the next substantial breakthrough in empowering communities, particularly in poverty-rife third world countries, to provide for themselves and better their own standard of living. to do so will require creative input from many talented people, and the critical debate and analysis to really extract and refine all suitable solutions. this collaboration of talented and creative individuals could generate business models which can realistically be implemented and which are suitably sustainable.

lets say we call it ‘collaborative business model engineering’ [cbme].

would this really work, though?

why not? just take a look at how entrepreneurs have seized opportunities provided by open-source development, such as Mark Shuttleworth with Ubuntu Linux. certainly, their are many benefits to such an idea-generating environment.

for example: in today's information age, ideas (or "intellectual capital", if you prefer) are considered to be incredibly valuable. however, it is this status that has lead to many excellent ideas being effectively wasted, as the "owners" thereof either cannot or will not action them, for a variety of reasons. these reasons include a lack of financing, a lack of skills, or simply a lack of belief in the idea. cbme could provide adequate exposure to a wide variety of skills and experience, thereby identifying and resolving problems with the idea/business model. cbme could possibly provide a forum for connecting willing entrepreneurs with willing financiers. and the discussion and analysis generated by cbme would also ensure that worthy ideas are not merely discarded before being given a fair chance.

in fact, this could be the biggest hurdle to overcome in effectively implementing cbme - namely, instilling the belief in contributors that a sharing of ideas will not result in the world coming to an abrupt end.

however, with a bit of collaboration, innovation and creativity, cbme (and possibly on an open-source basis, just to be a little more insane) could well provide substantial benefits to all participants. ideally, this could also take place in a community environment, providing a feasible method of community upliftment as well.

the question is, do you believe cbme could work?"


Anonymous said...

Cool idea - I have a similar idea of bringing entrepreneur's together to discuss and develop ideas - all with an eye towards taking advantage of each participant's unique talents.

How will you follow up on this idea?

Darren said...

Anonymous, good question. I have tried a couple of things, but the main lesson so far has been that you need to find the right people to build with [only 10% of people I approached took any action whatsoever]. Currently I am trying it in smaller form with a like-minded individual, and I hope this will spur the development in a short while.

I would like to hear more about your ideas too, so don't be a stranger.