Working “on”not “in” the business

I read an interesting book about the myths of entrepreneurship a while ago and just read one about how to create the 4 hour work week. It’s all about outsourcing your business to virtual agents/PAs anywhere in the world (eg the cheapest source market) to free you up to gallivant around the world at your leisure as you can be so much more productive and effective. Quite thought provoking and it got me thinking how many times we reinvent the wheel when there’s someone out there who’s already done stuff that they could earn money from by sharing it with others. A bit like an ebay for services like Elance or Freelancer but more trusted. I experimented with these services but was disappointed in the end and promises were not kept or services were not delivered in a timely fashion. It was missing the ebay openness so you could talk to their previous customers – always the acid test as to whether they delivered.

I’m still not sure we’ve really harnessed social media to be as effective as it could be. I will always remember the famous quote of The Cluetrain manifesto book written in the internet years stating that markets are conversations but are we really geared up for them yet? Despite Twitter and Facebook we’re still in the era of broadcast media and traditional media is struggling to reinvent itself if you read the latest Economist verdict on this topic.

We’re about to launch our business on Facebook as my friends tell me if helps them to plan trips with their friends. I’m quite excited about that and how epaper is going to change how we interact with information. My partner Dave is a bit of a gadget king and he’s just bought the latest ereader and it’s already changed how we travel – our luggage is a lot lighter for a start and I can see us unrolling our emaps and being invited to download our reviews as we exit our hotel or local restaurant or use a local ATM or use our pin number to buy something . This would definitely accelerate the amount of customer driven content on the web or wherever you want it delivered and give us food for thought as we work on new ideas for the business rather than in it.

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