The incomparable Umair Haque

Umair HaqueI’ve sung the praises of London Business School grad and new media economist Umair Haque here before. The guy is on a serious roll lately, and I thought a few little snippets of his recent thinking might open eyes to the economics of the media disruption. Haque is simply an original thinker, and I’m finding his terms in many other places these days.

I won’t go into all of them, because it isn’t necessary. Just read this and ponder the genius of this remarkable contemporary mind.

  • Trust is at the heart of value creation in the edgeconomy.

    Microsoft is playing massconomy games in an edgeconomy. Coercion doesn’t work; closure doesn’t work; and, most definitely of all, evil doesn’t work.

  • Light beats heavy.
    Open beats closed.
    Free beats paid.
    Good beats evil.
  • Here’s another key principle of the edgeconomy. One of the tremendously cool things cheap interaction does is free us from the costs and risk of yesterday’s industrial assets.
    Lightweight business models are possible because interaction is cheap — and in most markets, they utterly and totally dominate heavyweight business models.
  • See, the thing is: there’s a difference between planning and strategy.
    Plans aren’t worth so much — especially in the edgeconomy.
    Strategies, on the other hand, are.
    Unfortunately, planning riddles the DNA of most incumbents like an error sequence gone out of control. And it blinds them to the larger point: plans without a coherent strategy are about as useful as a bike without wheels.
  • Open beats closed, Look — this isn’t about subscriptions, really. It’s about tremendous economic pressures for atomization and unbundling — and the fact that context is king.
  • And between Apple and Google’s full on onslaught of radical economic innovation, mobile operators — still stuck in a world of where lamer = better — stand no chance at all of survival.
  • Second — real innovators, or the guys that wanna change the world, rather than take it over, remember — don’t often need or want massive valuations so early in the game, because it makes really changing things that much harder, by the weight of expectations.
  • Note to Coke — forget about widgets. They’re irrelevant for you. Focus on the bigger picture: rethinking marketing. Because marketing is really the only reason you exist at all anymore. And if the returns to marketing continue to get vaporized — so will you.
  • Like I keep telling you, markets, networks, and communities…
    Like I keep telling you, changing the world — for the better.
  • Lots of you guys keep asking me for strategies and business models. I don’t have (unfortunately) time to talk to all of you.
    But I’ve already told you a big part of the answer for the last couple of years: markets, networks, and communities.
  • So if you wanna think radically — here’s a (really) easy way. Take the dominant business model/strategy in your market space, and use a market, network, or community to invert it…like Wikipedia, Google, Myspace, Facebook, etc.
    This doesn’t mean do something superficial, like a social net for hairdryers. Rather, it means using markets, networks, and communities to shift resources and capabilities from core to edge.
  • Connected consumers want firms to be citizens of their microcultures.
    It means means accepting, deep, in the very essence of your DNA, that the fundamental premise of orthodox marketing and branding — that we could fool consumers into thinking almost exactly the same goods were really, truly different by “positioning” them on a spectrum of imaginary psychological benefits — isn’t just utterly, totally, almost incomprehensibly ludicrous; it’s also deeply evil.
    Think about that for a second. It’s not just economically inefficient; it’s mind-blowingly absurd to think this shell game, this pseudo-strategy, this masquerade of value creation, could go on forever.


  1. Edgeconomy and massconomy — is he a neologist or an economist! 🙂

  2. For the new normal world we face in 2009 and on, Umair is a team in and of himself


  1. […] Go back and read a bunch of his stuff. It’s great. Terry Heaton does a quick review of some of the winning ideas . […]

  2. Quick Takes: Edgeconomy

    Umair Haque of Bubblegeneration Strategies describes an emerging culture of business as an edgeconomy where light beats heavy; open beats closed; free beats paid; and, good beats evil. What matters in the edge culture is context. Every client, every cu…

  3. Terry Heaton?s PoMo Blog » Blog Archive » The incomparable Umair Haque


  4. […] There are many reasons for my wanting to meet Umair; just take a look at what Terry Heaton wrote about him some months ago and you’ll get what I mean. […]

  5. […] Umair Haque: Light beats heavy. Open beats closed. Free beats paid. Good beats evil. […]

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