In How to Make Your Big Idea Really Happen, John Hagel III and John Seely Brown write about the need to build platforms, critical mass, ensure mutual benefit, etc. From the piece:
Thanks to the ubiquity of online communities, the virtual ties we form today are often as strong as those we create in-person. World of Warcraft guilds, for example, are extremely committed online groups that work collectively to solve complex problems. Creating a virtual gathering spot can help people who want to contribute but may not be able to meet at a specific time and place. It also provides a way to keep people engaged and contributing in between the meetings held in physical space. As with platforms in shaping strategies for companies, the key is to be creative about helping to reduce barriers to interaction and significantly reduce the investment required to participate as well as accelerating and amplifying the rewards of participation.
It’s a good article, but I have one fundamental criticism: Aren’t these necessary but insufficient conditions for success? What about luck?
Platforms guarantee nothing. Ditto critical mass and the authors’ other recommendations. These things all help but they merely serve to increase the odds of success.
What say you?