Cluetrain and social software and digital markets

People have sometimes asked me why I was so interested in Cluetrain when I was meant to be working in technology in an investment bank. So I’m going to do something that people who know me well dread my doing. Let you get inside my head -)

It’s simple.

0. Without information there are no markets period.

1. Without trust there is no banking, there are no capital markets. How did the word “bankrupt” enter the vocabulary, apparently sometime around 1550? Look here. Sounds like people met to have conversations while sitting on benches, and when someone broke their word, the rest broke his bench. The first Latin words that wannabe City gents learnt after doing various things to a table were Dictum Meum Pactum. My word is my bond. And reputation became collateral.

2. Without conversation there are no markets either. As per Cluetrain. Enough said.

3. Conversations are more about social than transactional, as both John Seely Brown and Doc Searls have pointed out in different ways.

4. Cyberspace is somewhere with different rules, allowing all of us an opportunity to redefine trust, make markets more open and transparent, yet prevent misuse and corruption. Larry Lessig had a lot to do with setting me right on all this.

5. All this was happening at a time when markets were losing faith with capital markets institutions, in one form or the other.

6. And usable social software was arriving on the scene.

And there I was working with talented people in a bank whose culture allowed us to try these things out. Serendipity.

Let me know what you think

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