The Age of Viral Feedback – Umair Haque – HarvardBusiness.org

Welcome to the 21st century. What’s different about a hyperconnected world? In a word: feedback.

20th-century thinking was linear and built to seek equilibrium: feedback was considered noise in the signal. Today, we’re discovering that feedback often is the signal. The more connected we are, the more feedback matters — because when we’re all connected what I do is more likely to feed back onto you.

Viral effects are a form of feedback. Viral effects aren’t about “viral marketing”. They’re about the transmission of stuff from one actor to another — in a classic increasing returns pattern: 2 people, 4 people, 16 people, 256 people (you can pick your own exponent). That stuff can be flu bugs — or better stuff, like information, reputation, money…anything. The sky’s the limit in a hyperconnected world.

The problem?

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