Abstract conceptual models
Abstract conceptual models
This part of the book deals with the most hazardous area of the Information Age: the vast amount of changing technological knowledge and information. This causes knowledge gaps, which impair the ability to use logical reasoning. It leads to fashions and trends where the blind are leading the blind. The only way of coping with this difficulty is to work within abstract conceptual models that can override all the technicalities that cloud strategic decision making - making it possible to maintain a firm grip on the fundaments.
Chapter four looks at the way in which entrepreneurs explore opportunities. It explains why ideas are of much lesser importance than the means to implement them. It describes how business opportunities can emerge as a consequence of exploring the unknown.
In a world of too much knowledge and too much change, it is not what you know, but who you know that is important. Chapter four also looks at the conceptual models necessary to create a personal community of useful contacts and to form strategic associations with people who can take care of situations outside of your own areas of specialty knowledge.
To avoid the trap of getting bogged down with too much technological detail, Web presence is viewed in the light of a useful mental model of the Internet.
Chapter five visualises the Web as a system of interacting objects, where a Web site is seen as a tool that provides an efficient interface to the Internet. It deals with the difficulty of getting noticed on the Web, providing a conceptual framework that sees the environment of the Internet as a system of interacting portals and vortals. It stresses the need to be part of a system, describing the world of e-business as a self organising environment that is driven by constant competitive pressures.
Chapter six gives an even more abstract view of the e-business environment. Instead of seeing e-businesses in terms of structured forms, fixed physical locations, managed organisation and definable assets, it sees them as more nebulous entities: as functions within a rapidly changing, universal dynamic system. From this perspective, it becomes apparent that the most likely route to creating successful e-businesses isn't through adapting new technology to established business practices, but, to use the communication environment to produce solutions that have no parallel in the everyday world.
Visualising activity within a space - a system space, or an information space - helps devise novel strategies of communication, organisation and control to provide low cost, highly flexible systems that can survive and prosper in highly competitive situations during volatile economic conditions.