Polymorph: Hacking Business Models

Zak Greant’s Polymorph Blog has an amazing, and thought provoking post about his plans to help organize an Open Business Model.

This is a rough draft model, but it has many of the core qualities that we’ve defined at Open Business Model, and some interesting new ones. Particularly the “Methods” section:

Concrete tools for helping us live according to our principles, including:
* Consensus-based decision making.
* Corporate transparency – any information or process that can be made open,
should be made open.
* Licensing that helps benefit our company, our staff, our customers, our
partners and society at large.
* Profit-sharing with staff, contributors and worthy causes.
* Don’t try to change people. Focus on getting the best from their strengths.
Develop ways to work around their weaknesses.
* Prefer to work with people who share our values.
* Work against patents and other legislation that harms individual rights.

Monty’s amendments:
* Subscribe to the Open Source philosophy and support the Open Source community.
* Be a virtual company, networking with others.
* The company or its individual business units should not grow until they are
unmanagable by the chosen methods. If this happens, then the company needs to
be split up or re-organized into largely independent business units.

I’ve copied this model to Open Business Models Wiki Hive:FooAssociatesModel in the hopes that people in that community might offer some useful feedback.

I’ve also added a comment there that I think it ConsensusPolling could be a useful application in the Foo Associates model. It’s proven process that grew from actual use in decision making over spendingmoney in the Omidyar Net community.

Don’t try to change people. Focus on getting the best from their strengths. Develop ways to work around their weaknesses.” this really caught my eye. It addresses some core realities about human nature, mainly that you cannot force people to change.

This social element is sorely missing from traditional business models, and forcing people (employees and customers) is a key reason why many businesses fail.

Zak Greant states that he will be posting the model to his blog as it evolves, please offer feedback on this if you’re interested.

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