“The fact that I say something like this is worth noting.”
“Reciprocity is the currency of the cloud,” claims Bob Johansen, distinguished fellow at The Institute for the Future. “IBM is the best example of this. They practically give away the software and then sell consulting at high margins.”
Johansen is so impressed with reciprocity he calls it Bob’s Biggest Forecast, claiming it will drive more innovation than any other opportunity in history.
“I make ten year forecasts, so I’m usually understated,” he insists with a smile. “The fact that I say something like this is worth noting.”
He points to TEDx as testament of reciprocity’s power to add value while ceding control. Organizers of the popular TED conferences “give away” the TED talk concept to independently organized events such as TEDxBoston, and in return the original TED has become more elite and higher priced.
“You have to ask, can I protect this product anyway?” he says, using the Microsoft Kinect rollout as an example of what he calls Involuntary Reciprocity-Based Innovation, in which third party developers adapted the technology for purposes other than the original product intent.