It has been a great Christmas for my family, and I hope for yours too. What was great about ours? It is hard to put a finger on that magic one thing. But it relates to how our family group interacted. BTW, it was not just that we did interact. I thought about this for a while and here is my best shot at explaining what I mean.
Often times we find ourselves in groups where we don’t feel comfortable. There could be a million causes, but somehow something blocks us from feeling happy as part of the group. An example - perhaps someone puts you down in front of everyone. The feeling sticks and you just can’t get into the fun. Instead you just want to get out of there. But other times, you can “synch”. You plug in. And that plugging in is a “magic moment”. In order to plug in, however, you need to feel confident in yourself and in your group role. That does not happen automatically. And making it happen is a key skill in building out networks and platforms.
Hmmm … What’s the difference between a network and a platform? Not much really. The key metric in a network is people. The key metric in a platform is participation by people in something shared. Ok - back to the point. Fred Wilson posted the other day about the importance of providing “single person utility” in building a platform. He means that a web based platform has to please users individually - not just as part of a group.
But of course.
BTW, I think the above captures the dynamic in Dave Logan’s levelingmodel pretty well. Dave argues that we need to fit into groups but that we can’t fit into just any one. We fit into groups best that mimic how we feel most comfortable about ourselves So skinheads (level 1) synch with other skinheads and so on. But something special happens when we get the chance to move up from level 3 to level 4. When we experience what it is like to be part of a level 4 group, we are ready to start learning how to build level 4 groups. Not before.