At Epic we’re introducing Epicredits as a currency to help you reward and accomplish what matters to you. You can signup now to start collecting and get notified when it’s live later this year.
For those who want to learn more, read on…
Epic is based on the realization that more and more of what we do produces a signal in the cloud. Whether it’s a tweet, a document update, a blog post or a bookmark there’s a record of it somewhere. In fact, when someone is trying to get your attention, even if it’s a simple as clicking a link, it’s a share of your activity that they want.
Of course, not all activity is of equal value. We believe it’s most valuable when it helps accomplish something that matters or when it leads to more activity in the future. In other words, it’s most valuable when it helps build a better future, sooner.
Epicredits wrap those two threads into a single currency, like this: 1) As you do your work on the web, you’ll collect Epicredits for your activity; 2) You’ll earn more for activity that’s related to something that matters or leads to more activity in the future; and 3) You’ll get to use your Epicredits to reward and encourage others to accomplish what matters to you.
While we’re still in development, if you are interested, you can get a headstart building your currency at http://makeitepic.com. We’ll also notify you when the currency goes live later this year.
Our activity is our currency. Let’s invest it in building a better future sooner. Let’s make it epic!
“If you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long.” ~ Matt Mullenweg
On Tuesday evening, James, Alan, and I linked arms, cringed a bit, and hit send. The first batch of invites to the Epic.io private alpha were out.
Already we’re learning a lot. As ’embarrassing’ as some of the things we see are, what we’re gaining from real-world usage is worth it. Feedback has been real and is helping us prioritize what needs attention most.
At the same time, the gulf between what we are tackling and what we are showing is huge. The messaging of Epic.io is, well, pretty epic. It’s big and bold and ambitious. It’s risky too. Is it setting the expectations too high? Does it create too much dissonance between the promise and the user experience? Maybe.
But I’d rather be bold and be out there. Vulnerable in our ambition. Inviting in our mission.
Purpose is at the heart of all initiative, organization, and systems. If we succeed in making purpose the platform we succeed in making that reality actionable and useful to people every day. And that should bring less noise, more meaning, and ultimately, fulfilment of what matters to each of us in our work and in our lives.
Life is too short for bullshit. We don’t know where this will go, but we do know why we’re doing it. So if that resonates why not signup, see what it means for you, and tell us how it can make purpose the platform.
Organization is one of our most potent social technologies. In a world where chaos, connectivity, and creativity have risen to new heights, increased attention on the topic is both natural and welcomed. Quite simply, if our civilization is set to pivot, getting better at it will help us realize a better future, sooner.
My three favourite books on the topic are (reading recommendations at the bottom of this post):
I recently revisited them side-by-side to see what they had in common. What stood out for me were the themes conditioning, humanity, networks, and social technology.
Conditioning trumps control
Already back in Heart, Beer recognized the role of management as attending to cohesion, sensing for incipient instability and making the minimum of intervention. In both Future and Pull the authors are more critical of the dehumanizing effect of command and control driven organizations and zero-sum management practices. They all argue that control restrains the creativity, humanity and innovation needed for any organization to thrive and adapt in complex and dynamic environments. Designing and managing organizations is increasingly about creating and conditioning spaces for passionate people to pursue a common purpose.
Organizations are human first
In Heart, Beer talked about the ultimate manager being someone who achieved enlightenment – someone who was fully alive and aware of who they were. Similarly he saw the optimal organization as one ‘exploding into self-consciousness’. Future and Pull more simply recognize that people are at their best when they are free to pursue what matters to them, in short, when they are treated as human beings, not production resources. Where Pull dives into the shift from transactions to relationships and the role of trust, Future summons the moral imperatives of beauty, truth, love, service, wisdom, justice, freedom, and compassion.
System dynamics dominate
Information flow is at the heart of Beer’s Viable System Model and Heart excels at driving the rigor of design around information sensing, amplification and attenuation. Its purpose is primarily for being able to sense for incipient instabilities and opportunities within and around the system in focus. This systems perspective is more fully fleshed out in Future through a case illustrating the power of prediction markets in achieving more accurate forecasts than the best analysts. Pull goes further drawing from examples of how sharing, production and collaboration through social media foster natural innovation and illustrate how these dynamics lead to increasing returns. In fact, they argue, that the real value of an organization lies in its networks of long-term relationships.
Social technology playing a pivotal role
Before Beer wrote Heart, he led a Star Trek-esque roject using telex machines in Chile to manage a centrally planned economy. It’s hard not to have a chuckle at first glance, but the core principles of the design are at the core of the opportunity in the emerging ecosystem of social technologies we have at our disposal today. In Future, written at the start of Web 2.0, Hamel boldly declares “Argue with me if you like, but I’m willing to bet that Management 2.0 is going to look a lot more like Web 2.0”. While the novelty of Web 2.0 had worn off a bit by the time Pull came out, the examples of how social technology is enabling people to pursue their passion, connect, and create value are foundational to how organization actually happens today. It is of course about more than the technology, it is about the technology having reached a point where it nurtures, enables and is compatible with the other three themes above. It seems, these technologies are instrumental in allowing organization to happen more naturally, and of course with over 4 billion people connected, at a scale never before imaginable.
In summary, it seems that the technology of organization is undergoing a transformation, enabled by our social technologies, and powered by passionate people. It seems that we naturally are drawn to collaborate around purpose to create a better future, sooner, however that looks to us individually. It seems, even, like a rennaissance of humanity. Whatever it is though, it is on the upswing.
I’m looking forward to seeing what the great thinkers and writers discover next. I’m also, of course, looking forward to seeing what I can contribute to the game with things like Epic.io.
These are fun times to be alive and engaged.
>>> for those who haven’t yet read the above books… here’s my quick take on which is best for whom
Heart of Enterprise: A beast of a read but the most accruate understanding of what an organization actually is. Best for those who really really want to get their geek on… or those who are somewhat sadistic.
Future of Management: A powerfully passionate case for reinventing management. Best for those who are in management and in need of serious rehab from convention… if you don’t what I’m talking about, that’s you.
Power of Pull: A well researched and articulate understanding of how ‘organization’ is fundamentally changing. Best for those who want to understand what is going on right now and why… and those who are working to innovate for good right now.