Variations on a theme

Fractals create fascinating pictures. On the one hand they look very structured and symmetrical but when you look closer you see that the pattern is repeated in a different way on every level. There is order and there is chaos simultaneously. The math behind fractals is surprisingly simple. The trick is that the factors in the equation repeat themselves in a recursive way (meaning that the formula calls itself withing the formula).
For example, the formula for the fractal on the right is “(1 − z3 / 6) / (z − z2 / 2)2 + c” (for more info on these fractals go to: Many of natures most beautiful expressions are based in Fractals, e.g. leafs , trees and flowers. Here the relatively simple codes in the DNA create fascinating structures in the organism.
The mechanism is similar with the effects of new technology on our way of living and working. At the moment we see many fields of business changing in very profound and different ways. Often due to wide spread implementations of new developments like Cloud technologies (that impacts how business interact) and Social Media (that impacts how people interact).
However, the driving forces behind this change are relative simple. The basic variables that are impacted by this change in technology are:

  • Unlimited Scalability: Technology and processes become scalable. IT costs become a variable costs. This means that a company can start small and grow evolutionary. Communities can be scaled up from a few to hundred thousands of people in a short period. This flexibility gives rise to new competitors and new services that had not been possible before.
  • Ubiquitous Communication: (Social) Technology makes it possible to find the person with the right knowledge instantaneously. Communication channels are easy to access for broadcasting to targeted audiences as well as direct interaction.
  • Seamless Cooperation: We have now been given the freedom to work and cooperate everywhere. Where in the past closed systems made it difficult to work together it is now made possible by standardized tools in the cloud. Sharing data, sharing tools and sharing contacts is now possible.
  • Anytime, Anywhere: Instead of real-time communication in a specific place we are now free to interact wherever and whenever. Many of our tools support direct communication (chat) as well as a-synchronous communication (e-mail). Changes made in an online document are always seen directly by all so they can be reacted upon. In many ways we overcome the limitations that a physical world imposes on us
  • Maximum Transparency: With the use of Cloud technology information can be visible to all and often is.  In the past systems were closed by default since databases could be accessed only from a few places. Now all you need is an Internet connection and a browser. Also by sharing much of our thoughts, activities and trivialities a sometimes unexpected amount of transparency is achieved, though sometimes accidentally.

All these themes create tremendous opportunity but also unexpected risks and consequences. As society and as businesses we have to learn how to optimize these themes to create good and sustainable outcomes. The differences between MySpace and Facebook were small at the start …

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