One aspect of succes during the industrial economy was that typically the smartest company won – hence mammoth research and development budgets.
In the new connected economy it’s not necessarily the smartest company that wins but often the company with the smartest customers – who are connected.
Why should you invest thousands, possibly millions of dollars to develop a website where customers can swap rumors and make a lot of noise? Why invest energy in social media, chat rooms, and forums. Why have a comment section on a blog and run the risk of a barrage of negative comments. Because it allows you to become the fly on the wall.
Connect your customers, listen to them and they will teach you faster than you can learn any other way.