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The Beginning of the Relationship Economy

June 28, 2011

“The first wave of the internet was based on TCP/IP to form the foundation, the second wave was based on HTML that helped bring us the Web 2.0, and this third wave is a new kind of Internet, not for packets but for people… and could very well lead to the conclusion of the Information Revolution and the beginning of the Relationship Economy.”

This quote comes from an article in Psychology Today, by Moses Ma, a partner at Nextgen Ventures. The observation regarding ‘the relationship economy’ lies at the heart of much of the  thinking in this blog and at IACCM. It is good to see such similar sentiments starting to come from the venture capital community. For example, take this quote (which is very reminiscent of much of the behavior in contracting and negotiation): “In the past, when I worked with large venture firms, the typical process was based on mistrust and combative.  Investors aimed to transfer as much equity as possible from the founders, especially as punishment when expectations weren’t met. I just couldn’t do that anymore, and have been looking for a new way to invest – a way that is a partnership, a collaboration, a mentorship – that can help founders grow teams that can build a large company successfully, instead of marginalizing them and replacing them as soon as possible.”

Ma goes on to suggest that the networked world will continue to drive down cycle times and transform the road to innovation. And he concludes with this reminder of the words of Charles Darwin: “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

And that is why IACCM has its current initiative to look at the future of contracting (see also Does Contracting Have A Future?), so that it can guide its community in ways that will make it more responsive to change than others – and thereby to enable survival. This work culminates in an Executive Workshop at the IACCM Global Forum in October.

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