From the CD-ROM "Concepts and strategies"


Business strategy for technologists

by Peter Small


Stigmergic systems are products that might seem alien to the controlled and formulated world of corporate business. They will appear to be vague and lacking any organizational control. Results will seem to be uncertain and rely more upon faith and hope than logical reasoning. Welcome to the enlightened age of communication technology.

New projects involving communication technology and the Web are generally considered to be high risk areas, strewn with financial hazards. This reputation was acquired after the dotcom failure rate exceeded 95% and lost investors something in the order of a trillion dollars.

However, the failures and the huge losses weren't anything to do with risks. Handled properly, risks can always be allowed for and suitably discounted. The fault lay in applying totally inappropriate business strategies. What wasn't appreciated was that the usual bedrocks of business dogma - planning, cash flows, risk analysis and future projections - are completely worthless in the fast changing, highly competitive world of communication technology.

This is anathema to a corporate culture. Their business manuals teach them to avoid change and uncertainty. Yet, this is the reality of what they are faced with if they want to keep ahead in the world of communication technology. To compete and succeed, they have to learn new business strategies, which can cope with the risks, the uncertainties and constant change.

These excerpts - from the CD-ROM "Concepts and strategies" - provide a short, pragmatic guide to devising a suitable alternative business strategy. It is in the context of this enlightenment that stigmergic systems begin to make sense.