Occupy The Enterprise
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Iran’s Green Movement was hailed as the Twitter Revolution . Egypt’s uprising was branded the Facebook Revolution . Will we remember Occupy Wall Street as the Tumblr Revolution? Pundits have tended to fawn over the tools of any movement, rather than the people using them, but the explosion of grassroots protests across the world is indisputably linked to the rise of social technology. Every recent mass street movement has been planned, accelerated, or magnified by online activists. Tumblr, the mixed-media microblogging platform, has a tiny user base compared to Facebook and Twitter, yet it has emerged as the defining protest tool of Occupy Wall Street, uniting disaffected Americans through a series of handwritten signs telling tales of woe.
by Hari Bapuji and Suhaib Riaz | 8:27 AM October 14, 2011 With the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations spreading from New York to other U.S. cities this week, business leaders beyond the stock exchanges are wondering what exactly is going on: Is this truly the American version of the Arab spring? What do the demonstrators want? What outcome can be expected? Should businesses respond to the Wall Street protests, and if so, how?
Why? Because, to paraphrase the Columbia University economist Jagdish Bhagwati, Wall Street, which was originally designed to finance “creative destruction” (the creation of new industries and products to replace old ones), fell into the habit in the last decade of financing too much “destructive creation” (inventing leveraged financial products with no more societal value than betting on whether Lindy’s sold more cheesecake than strudel). When those products blew up, they almost took the whole economy with them.
Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff has a knack for taking what is happening on the consumer web and applying it to business. He even spins #OccupyWallStreet as a something businesses should learn from and emulate. He makes his case in the video above, which I shot yesterday in New York with my iPhone (sorry for the bad lighting). His point is that if protesters can use Twitter and Facebook to #OccupyOakland, why can’t companies use the same social tools to organize themselves and motivate their customers? “Facebook is really eating the Web,” he says, echoing Marc Andreessen’s notion of software eating the world . Benioff points to the fact that people are spending 4 hours a day on the social network.