Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Cluetrain Manifesto - 12 years later

I was always skeptical of the The Cluetrain Manifesto, but I did like the energy and optimism of it all, so I didn't say anything negative about it in public.

Did their predictions come true? Almost entirely no.

The one that I find most hilarious is #74:
  1. We are immune to advertising. Just forget it.
What is the most successful Internet business? It's Google and they make pretty much all their money from advertising.

They also predicted that organizations that opened up their practices to the public, that shared everything about their products would be the most successful in the next few years.

Apple keeps practically everything secret and doesn't allow their developers to share anything and they are succeeding wildly. Sun, on the other hand, tried to share everything and sank in the marketplace.

The Manifesto was right about networking allowing the sharing of information in ways that weren't possible in the past and how this will cause big changes. Twitter, Yelp, Wikipedia and Wikileaks come immediately to mind.

I also think they are right that companies that talk with a human voice will be more successful. I think one of the secrets of Apple's success is that people feel that Jobs speaks directly to us, in a human voice.