Data becomes part of the sustainability equation

Interesting story here about how Nike have just hired the inventor of wikis to do creative things with their data – specifically to make it available to whoever wants to do something with it. Their reasoning is fascinating. Its not about making promotional content even more famous than their ads. Nope. Its about sustainability. The feeling that the standard processes of innovation – anybody got a notion about how to make a cool pair of trainers that we haven't seen before… is unsustainable. And deeply wasteful. So if you want to continue to innovate then you have to give the raw materials away. The raw materials being data. It seems very far fetched but check out the first mention of the story in April.

What this is telling us is that the most visionary of companies are looking to repurpose their assets in whatever way they can to achieve competitive and sustainable advantage. And their first port of call is not copyright lawyers and security guards but data – and flinging the doors wide open. Which feels to me like a refreshing change from companies who spend most of their time killing initiatives because of all the things they're not allowed to do.  Governments as well.  

This will be proprietary data from inside the company. But look what they are doing with the data being generated by runners jogging in Nike shoes. The moral is – cast around your organisation and start to think how you can use data to create value. Sustainable value.




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