We will learn that it is the quality of the relationships we build over time with our customer partners, formerly called 'consumers', that determines the value difference we create - the brand equity we build. This collaboratively created value is the only sustainable advantage when everything else is an interchangeable commodity.[With thanks to Esther Dyson]
This process also builds community - the essential precursor for the creation of knowledge. Knowledge, after all, is the product of dialog within community. Thus community becomes a critical element of the emerging knowledge economy, where the basic question has transformed from the rate of capital formation to the rate of knowledge formation.
Now we have come full circle: In the beginning, in a few offices, there were many people working. Then, in 1994 or so, computers were repurposed as multi-media communications devices and nothing was ever the same again. In particular, the hierarchical command and control model was forever changed as once tightly held information became widely dispersed and out of control.
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