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August 6, 2002

Ray Ozzie: Why Collaborate?

It's sure to be widely noted, but Ray Ozzie's essay about Why Collaborate is brilliant.  He codifies several things that I've observed but haven't really recognized.

...  over the years in watching human behavior in work environments, I came to the specific conclusion that in order to create a comfortable environment that naturally entices people to do real work with others online, it simply won't work if they feel as though they're working in a fishbowl. (Mental exercise: how would you use eMail if your inbox was published on the Intranet?) And empirically this is being proven out: people are drawn to Groove for their interactions because it "just works" and they don't have to think about issues of confidentiality or random observers.   ...

Of course, blogs are (and the theory behind klogs is, I believe) at the complete opposite end of the spectrum - being "make public by default". By choosing to work "in the open", others surely can benefit from work that "should" be published.  And let there be no doubt: if you can get people to work in the open, it can be quite valuable to others so long as people broadly understand what should be shared and what shouldn't.

[Ray Ozzie's Weblog]