Lowe: When do you think the business world is going to "get it" about social networking, and what will it take? Do you know of any good examples of social networking from the professions?
Fisher: Whenever you have a profession that depends on that certificate on the wall that says, "I have the degree," you tend to think you know more than the customer does, and in many cases, you do. But I think you become less sensitive at looking at customer needs.
Gilchrist: You can see the flip side of that in consulting as well, through the Ernst & Young product called Ernie, where they are trying to get more contact with the customer and have sacrificed a great degree of control to extend the customer relationship. Then there are all the new companies (like ourselves) where you cannibalize traditional value chains, leaving only the customer interface. This is a very close parallel to what happened in software 15 years ago, where the value chain moves up to the customer, and everything else becomes vended out.
Tomorrow: Will professional service firms' clients want to be socially networked?