Mikael Eriksson Björling

About digital transformation, design, creativity and lifestyle in the Networked Society.


The Game Changers

The world turned upside down

There will be many differences between the Industrial Society logic we are now leaving and the logic of the Networked Society that is now emerging. One of the differences is how we look at customers – whether they are consumers or clients and where we find them in the value chain.

In the Industrial Era logic that we are leaving (but which still dominates many businesses), the consumer or the client is the endpoint of the value chain, the final destination for the product or service, and the address for the invoice. These days, however, this logic is being turned upside-down. The consumers and clients are not the endpoint any longer, but are becoming a core asset for the creation of new products and services.

It’s worth remembering that classical value chains were not created with the customer in mind. Instead, they reflect the priorities of the Industrial Era and are defined by the logical steps of production and distribution. Every part of the chain is arranged in waterfall order, from the initial ideas in laboratories and R&D departments to production, distribution and marketing. Although many companies have brought in user-centric design methodologies to put more focus on the user experience, they are still essentially operating within the same value-chain logic. The customer is not part of the value-creation process. Read the rest of my post at the Networked Society Blog.

Connected communities are driving a new do-ocracy

I wrote earlier about the game changers and how creative people no longer practice their hobbies in the private sphere but rather in networks and communities. The ‘maker culture’ is growing stronger and we see a growing ‘do-culture’ covering more and more areas in society.

Easy access to information about almost anything is fundamentally changing our possibilities to do things ourselves. For do-it-yourself (DIY) people, it is much easier to find information and much easier to link up with people who share the same interests. This, together with affordable technologies, tools and services are lowering the barriers to nearly a zero cost in many areas.

Another driving factor is that people feel the need to connect with the outcome of their work. It is hard to see the importance of creating yet another PowerPoint file when you can’t see the final result of your efforts.

How and where things are produced is also becoming important and many people have started producing and experimenting with their own productions. We have seen this in food preparation for some years now with sourdough baking, homemade sausages and advanced barbecuing as just a few examples of what people are doing.

The ‘maker culture’ is now reaching a critical mass. There are new hackerspaces starting every day with a lot of people engaging in millions of ongoing projects. All these communities are sharing information and have new sources for funding such as Kickstarter. Things that use to be really complex, and that only a couple of years ago could be done by big corporations or academic researchers, are now being done in a growing number of hackerspaces, meetups, basements, garages and lofts. Topics such as 3D printing, robotics and DNA projects are now common.

A couple of weeks ago I visited Hack Manhattan, a hackerspace in New York City, to get a feeling for the area. One of the members had built his own 3D printer and when I was there he printed gear wheels for a robot that would participate in a robot soccer league while other members had bee-keeping projects or were growing organic vegetables on rooftops.  All this everyday doing and all the passion it contains will affect the more traditional businesses and business structures. This mentality is likely to trickle down into big organizations.  The DIY-approach stifles passive moaning and encourages workers to take a constructive stance in their working environment. This will make organizations less hierarchical in the future and help employees take greater responsibility for defining and completing their own tasks.

Easy access to information about almost anything is fundamentally changing our possibilities to do things ourselves. For do-it-yourself (DIY) people, it is much easier to find information and much easier to link up with people who share the same interests. This, together with affordable technologies, tools and services are lowering the barriers to nearly a zero cost in many areas.

Read more at the Networked Society blog >>>

Föreläsning på ATEA Boot Camp


I slutet på maj kommer jag föreläsa på temat “Nätverksamhället – om uppkopplade individer och en förändrad värld” Vilka är trenderna som formar det framväxande nätverkssamhället? Hur kommer företag och organisationer påverkas? Vilka möjligheter erbjuder det nya nätverkssamhället?

The Network is the organization


wrote earlier about how creative people use tools and resources found on the web to realize their ideas. We call them the Game Changers, and we found out that they organize their work using ten different networked organizational forms (see image).

These ways of organizing work is used within any field of creativity; from fashion startups and charity, to journalism and music creation. If we look at music and the DJ community they have for a long time employed remixing as a way to create music; like in the Jamaican dance hall culture of the late 60s or the disco culture of the 70s. Modern DJ’s are also remixing, borrowing, copying, reusing, interacting, contributing and creating new tunes and beats to create new music. Remixing is a snowballing organizational process of production escalating throughout a network were one individual takes the project as far as she feels like and shares it online. The next individual takes the project and remixes further to alter or improve it.  At the moment the Swedish DJ Avicii is driving a global music collaboration aiming to create a new Avicii single with our help. You and me, using crowdsourcing as organizational form. Crowdsourcing is a derivate of outsourcing, but to the crowd instead of to commercial organizations. In Avicii’s project, almost 13,000 sounds have been generated from a crowd of 4,000 people from more than 100 countries around the globe. Today am going to vote on the best break and be part of the crowd. How about you?

Read the rest of the article at the Networked Society blog

Marknadsundersökningens dag

Den 14/3 står Janne från Augur och jag på scenen under Marknadsundersökningens dag och pratar om förra årets “The Game Changers” projekt. Nu under rubriken “Den förändrade spelplanen”


Synopsis Internet förändrar världen på flera sätt. Augurs djupintervjuer i Sverige, Ryssland och USA visar hur entreprenörer i olika länder använder digitala verktyg för att jobba ihop och nå kunder utom räckhåll för företag med traditionell produktion och distribution av produkter och tjänster. Det har alltid funnits kreativa individer med en passion som de ägnat sig åt privat, på hobbynivå. Den dramatiska skillnaden är att de idag når ut betydligt bredare än till grannar och vänner – och det är inte svårt, i synnerhet inte för Digital Natives med internet som modersmål. Så skrivandet, musikintresset, fotograferandet, matlagningen eller datahackandet blir på riktigt, dvs en professionell verksamhet: dataspelaren blir app-entreprenör, bloggaren ger ut böcker eller blir nyhetsreporter medan hobbymusikern hamnar på topplistorna. En viktig skillnad från traditionellt företagande är att de nya entreprenörerna bygger sin verksamhet på nära relationer med sina målgrupper: de får direkt och ärlig utvärdering av sina erbjudanden och kan plocka upp nya idéer genom kontakterna med personer som gillar det de gör.

Hela programmet och anmälan kan göras på:

Profiling the producers in the open marketplace

Lately, I have written a number of posts about creative individuals whose product, talent and service innovations are turning the traditional market logic upside down. Previously, homegrown innovators and artists never reached beyond their friends and family. Today, however, they are competing with corporation heavyweights and entertainment superstars by simply being recommended and pushed forward by social media, recommendation engines and widgets.

So, who are these people and what drives them? First, individuals who produce and innovate are jacks-of-many-trades and often have several skills and competencies.

These skills and competencies are often self-taught, by means of different internet resources, as well as through interaction with people that have the same interests. They also tend to have active social lives.

When creating and producing output (ideas, products, content), they are primarily driven by self-fulfillment and the desire to build up their image within their networks. Usually, money only comes as a bonus.

The most successful individuals who produce digital output combine their interests and skills with social and digital capital, and a marketing mind. While some are spontaneous, others are strategic when choosing projects to work on. However, most strive to be able to work with and make a living out of the things they enjoy doing. Read more about the Game Changers at the Networked Society blog

The rise of the network-driven economy

In a post I published last week, I wrote about the game changers – the innovative individuals who are creating their own products and services, and placing them online.

Consumers that embrace social innovation and entrepreneurship are now taking the lead in determining what is interesting and what is not when it comes to the latest goods and services. This is creating an open marketplace that is changing the relation between established corporations, brands and consumers. This adjustment in the marketplace is being driven by three change agents… Read the full article on the Ericsson Networked Society blog

The Game Changers på Telekomnätverket

Nästa vecka 15/2 kommer jag att prata “The Networked Society” och visa en del material från en nyss genomförd studie “The Game Changers – How Digitally Producing individuals are changing business making” på Telekomnätverket. Tidigare idag var det 90 personer anmälda. Om du är intresserad av att delta är det dags att du hör av dig till Telekomnyheterna.

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