Blogging was where we began, and how we built our company so we have preserved this archive to show how our thinking developed over a decade of developing the use of social technology inside organisations

On being espresso, not cappuccino, in 2008


Hope! Change! Recession! Pick any two. A belated welcome to 2008, which is shaping up to be an interesting year already here at Headshift towers and in the world at large
To say we are often too busy here to blog is an understatement. Our team ended 2007 with an heroic push that saw us achieve some impressive end of years results, but January has continued in much the same vein. In eleven years doing this kind of thing, I have never worked with a more talented and positive bunch of people. They are what makes us special
We have lots to share about work we have done and will do, the evolution of the so-called enterprise 2.0 (or enterprise social computing) field, where this will go in 2008 and how Headshift plan to continue working away as the part of the strong espresso under the frothy cappuccino that is our marketplace, which, incidentally, is getting beyond frothy – it is positively Starbucks
‘Startup’ has become some kind of ridiculous sport, where an event like DEMO can “make or break a startup”, given that the purpose of the business is simply to raise finance, which in turn is invested purely to flip the business by selling it on to somebody higher up the food chain. The startup scene reminds me more and more of the famous South Park underpants gnomes episode, and at one of the various startup demos, I swear I have seen Tweek himself onstage pitching a.n.other Twitter clone/mashup with video messaging on Rails in a high pitched voice. Where is the ambition? Where is the innovation? Where is the value? It makes me feel positively outdated, being part of a money-making business that is dutifully working away to achieve behaviour change in our chosen areas of practice
So, clever clogs, where does Headshift go from here? Well, … watch this space, as they say. Five years ago, when we started out, I wrote a paper setting out our vision for enterprise social computing. Looking back at it now, I think we are on the right track but nowhere near completion. Achieving real change inside large companies takes years, not months, and a great deal of patience. It takes a little discipline not to flock to the newest ideas and buzzwords when we have not yet implemented the first wave of enterprise social computing tools and ideas. But the payback when real people, in real businesses feel the empowerment and (dare I say) joy of using social tools to get things done makes it all worthwhile. Can a business be boring and sexy both at the same time? We think so ;-
More on our ideas for a hybrid business model for consulting, services and products later..
So, lots more to share this year if we can raise our heads above our monitors for long enough, and needless to say we are hiring like mad, so if you want to join us in finding practical applications for social computing (as a developer, consultant, project manager or communicator) then please email jobs at headshift dot com with a CV and some links.

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