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Are You a Member of the Tribe?

I just listened to Seth’s Godin new book, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us. Seth is an inspiring author/marketer and I find him to be one of the easiest-to-understand individuals about complex business topics today. His grasp and explanation of the complex problems facing organizations have made all of his books best sellers in the business world.

In his new book, Seth explains that Tribes are made-up of people who come together to support each other in endeavors in which they are passionate about.  He says it like this:
"A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea... A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate."  (Page 1 of Tribes)
People who make-up a Tribe do not necessarily belong to the same company, social group nor are they located in the same geographic place.  In fact these individuals are not brought together by a single short-lived recruitment effort.  Instead, they have congregated together over time by pursuing similar and/or complementary interests and creating an informal network to exchange information with each other.  Seth goes on to say that PASSION is the thing that drives people to huddle with and find commonality with others.

In my case I am extremely passionate about Mashups in the Enterprise, like everyone here at JackBe.  How else would you explain our 5+ years of effort and the many challenges we have faced and overcome?  It is this passion that has helped bring us together from different backgrounds, leaving behind different comfortable jobs to jointly pursue the larger task of helping create a new category of enterprise software.

From this somewhat unique vantage point, we have seen and continue to witness the formation of a tribe of mashup supporters.  It is this group of pioneers who started talking about Mashups before they were called “Mashups”.  These people are the ones who found a way to combine information from widespread sources so that the combination means something to the end-user. 

These people are the ones that end up explaining what a mashup is time after time, explaining the differences between a Mashup and Business Intelligence or ESB.  It is this tribe of forward-thinking, innovative visionaries who have created a software category where others said none was necessary.

Seth also talks about using Web 2.0 tools to enable your tribe to communicate.  In our case, we have found that the mashup Tribe requires a place where they can meet other tribe-members and exchange views on all things Mashup.   JackBe launched a Mashup Developer Community (MDC) a few weeks ago and we’re proud to say it has grown to almost a thousand members with members in dozens of countries including the USA, Brazil, Israel, Netherlands, Italy, France, Korea, Russia, Mexico, and India.  The one thing – the ONLY thing – that is common to all of these people is their passion for Mashups and their desire to see Mashups fulfill the potential they hold.

Like any tribe, ours has its more prominent members.  It is with great pride and pleasure that I can call out and recognize some of the “mashters” (mashup masters) of the Mashup tribe.  They all deserve recognition for their work.  Although I am sure, as Seth says in his book, few of them are in the tribe for the publicity:

Analysts and pundits like Anthony Bradley (Gartner), Oliver Young (Forrester), Dion Hinchcliffe (Web 2.0 strategist), David Linthicum (technology pundit, as he likes to say), Joe McKendrick (ZDNet, among other places), Lorraine Lawson (IT Business Edge), and the guys at Zapthink.

 

Thought leaders and authors like Larry Bowden, Dan Gisolfi, and David Boloker at IBM, Mike Ogrinz (author of the upcoming Mashup Patterns), Chris Thomas (Intel), Dan Woods (Evolved Media), Andy Mulholland (CapGemini and co-author of Mashup Corporations), Niall Cook (author of Enterprise 2.0), and Vince Cazares (Oracle).

 

Early adopters and supporters like Rich Barton (founder of Zillow), Bryan Wilson and Tony Lucia at Thomson Reuters, Baltazar Rodríguez (Servicio de Administracion Tributaria), the organizers of Mashup Camp, Bob Gourley, Steve Willett, Bob Ware, and the rest of the Overwatch team at the DIA, Alejandro Vargas (Banamex Accival), Vivek Kundra (CTO of the District of Columbia), every submitter to the Apps for Democracy contest, Tim Hall and Marie-Paule Cellini-Odelier at HP, Abe Elias (Ext JS), John Muller (Programmable Web), the guys in the CTO Office at EMC, Rigoberto Saenz (BBVA), the sharp-as-a-razor Kelly Shaw, and the organizers of the CSC Leading Edge Forum.


Of course I could never get to them all.  The tribe is just too large to mention everyone.  To the rest of you, and you know who you are, thank you.  It is a tribe I am very proud to be part of.

Finally, I’d like to mention that you can download the Tribes audio book for free here and “The Tribe Casebook” from Seth's blog.  If you are a reader instead of a listener, I’ll gladly send you a copy of Tribes (I have about 20 at my disposal); just send me a quick note at [email protected].  I believe in the premises of the book and in my own tribe so much that I truly want to share them with everyone.

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