Users and Communities Take Control

Quotation of the day (ok from a couple days ago): “We have 100 designers in-house,” says Lego Vice-President for Interactive Experiences Lizbeth Pallesen. “Maybe we should have 300,000 designers who don’t work for Lego.” CEO Laursen goes even further: “The company should be run by consumers,” he says.

As I read about the Lego Factory in this week’s Business Week, I couldn’t help but smile. What a concept! The company should be run by consumers. Sounds a little bit like the eBay model. As Bill Cobb, president of eBay North America said in an Economist interview in June, “We enable, we listen, we respond. Generally in a company the employees know the most about the business. In eBay, our community knows more than we do.” Meg Whitman, eBay’s CEO added “We make a small number of rules and get the heck out of the way, because the entrepreneurial talents of our users will solve a lot of the problems.”

Lego Factory, eBay, Amazon/Google/Yahoo! APIs, Judy’s Book, Linden Labs’ Second Life, MySpace, it’s all about the users or community taking control.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what a community run (eBay infused) might look like…yes, Epinions reviews are a start, but I think there’s more that can be done. As a merchant on (and the other comparison engines), I definitely don’t feel like I’m part of a community.

I was hoping to do a more in-depth post today with my thoughts, but I was just asked to do a Leukopheresis donation for a 3 yr old boy. 3 hrs of blood cell collection has my mind wondering a bit, but look out for a post on this topic very soon.

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