We leave all kind of different trails online of our live. What websites we visit. Which Facebook pages we like. Clicks on emails we get. That is a online trail we are making without noticing.
Sometimes we have such a passion for things we like. We want to express it. We want to share it with the world. We make a trail on purpore. That is exactly what Amazon is after. For them that is really interesting information.
So they bought both GoodReads and Shelfari. Book / library apps where you can show your current list of books you have read. But not only that. also can also add your wishlist of ‘want to read’.
Offtopic: I had a discussion about the best online tool to show off your offline library in a digital world. I once made the mistake of taking the wrong tool. Both owned by amazon but I had to switch from Shelfari to GoodReads app. Better alignment with the Amazon database and a greater community. Although the desktop version is not a beautiful as the Shelfari website.
Amazon did buy these tools. And it got a reason to do so. This TechCrunch article of the takeover of GoodRead sums it al up
The company also shared an interesting stat, which might have sealed the deal for Amazon:
In the last 90 days, Goodreads members have added more than four books per second to the “want to read” shelves on Goodreads.
With over 16 million users? You do the math.
It is so much more easy to convince your customers what to buy if they already indicated what they want. Surprised that Bol.com and Amazon both have a wish list for you?
Which other signals are there to pick up on? So obvious as sharing our next books to read? Some other items i can think about;
- Which countries to travel?
- Which movies to watch?
But probably a lot more.
Sometimes marketing and sales is really easy. Just ask the consumer what he/she wants to have. These are just obvious hits for these kind of companies to chase you on.
(And this kind of data is really valuable: could be a separate business model for startups)
I just finished this book, Birth of the Chaordic Age, from the founder of VISA. Dee Hock is actually telling the same principles as what we now like to call a social business in many ways. This book has been written in 1999 and the principles go back to even the founding years of VISA, which is the beginning of the 70’s. The world changes from an industrial age to a information age. But we still have the old paradigm of hierarchy and management by control. Dee Hock describes in this book what kind of opportunities and energy is lost by leading your organization in this way.
I am pretty amazed by the fact that wikipedia got almost nothing so say about Chaordic, except this:
The portmanteau chaordic refers to a system of organization that blends characteristics of chaos and order. The term was coined by Dee Hock, the founder and former CEO of the VISA credit card association.
The mix of chaos and order is often described as a harmonious coexistence displaying characteristics of both, with neither chaotic nor ordered behavior dominating. Some hold that nature is largely organized in such a manner; in particular, living organisms and the evolutionary process by which they arose are often described as chaordic in nature. The chaordic principles have also been used as guidelines for creating human organizations — business, nonprofit, government and hybrids—that would be neither centralized nor anarchical networks.
And the NGO that was set up is not to find on the internet: www.chaordic.org is down. Really weird that nothing has come from this. No movement or anything else. (or it has another name). And that surprises me because everything comes together right now. The world is flat. The internet is a network that is a perfect foundation for this chaordic way of working. But somehow old methods stay in power.
This book is a must read. Trust an principles are key for the organization. Not the road to travel. It describes quite a lot about what a social business holds for me. Although the principles were written without internet existing. But it only made it more easy to organize now we have such a communication platform that connects almost everyone.
It is naieve to think we must organize our institutions in a different way?