In recent months I’ve seen a growing interest in a topic I spoke on with my colleague Jim Richardson at the 2007 SCIP conference: applying methods of social network analysis to gain competitive intelligence insight. Part of this interest I attribute to all things “social” and part to a growing recognition of the real strategic foresight social network analysis can reveal. Last week Eric Garland of Competitive Futures interviewed me on the topic. You can find those interviews here: http://bit.ly/d4wIzd. Here is the original 2007 presentation:
As an example of using SNA to develop strategic insight, I’ve always been particularly fond of the example included in the 2007 presentation, that the relationships between Google and Apple and their shared expertise in Internet television would result in interesting cooperation. Days after I made this deck Apple and Google announced that the then still pending iPhone would include functionality to view videos on Google’s YouTube site. Likewise access to YouTube was extended to AppleTV, Apple’s set-top box.
Had I updated the slide when Google announced their entry into the smart phone OS space with Android we would have easily foreseen the departure of Eric Schmidt from the Apple board and the growth in competition between the two companies. In the telecom, IT, consumer electronics and technology industries we are seeing major players cross formerly sacred boundaries to compete with former partners. In such converging markets social network analysis provides considerable predictive insight. Using SNA organizations can see scenarios and competitor moves several steps in advance and develop their strategies accordingly.