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Re: [ona-prac] Re: End of Value Networks: Not!

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  • Sérgio Storch
    Patti,thanks for your clarification! We here in Brazil love Verna. 2011/5/10 Patti Anklam ... Patti,thanks for your clarification! We here
    Message 1 of 13 , May 10, 2011
      Patti,thanks for your clarification!
      We here in Brazil love Verna.


      2011/5/10 Patti Anklam <patti@...>
       

      John,

       

      I don’t think it’s appropriate to use a modest business financial restructuring to declare an “end” to a conceptual model with a solid methodology.

       

      See the clarification, at http://valuenetworks.com/public/item/266971, including “the changes will not affect delivery of services or software support for the Value Network Insights application.

       

      Business in VNA and ONA may not be booming (for any number of reasons that practitioners are always interested in addressing), but the methods will always be useful tools for making sense of, and leading to insights into, core business problems.

       

      /patti

       

      From: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ona-prac@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of jheuristic2000
      Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 11:16 AM
      To: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [ona-prac] Re: End of Value Networks

       

       



      Hi -

      This raises the question if value networks/VNA business principles were so great, why did the Value Networks firm suddenly collapse? Hmmmm.

      Thoughts?

      This question may be germane to LLL's thread/question on how to get better traction w/SNA+ONA in business.

      My opinion is that VN/VNA was so ponderous, so turgid and overweight, with practitioners so lofty, rare and insular, that Value Networks was simply crushed by its own mountainous hubris.

      The business message for SNA/ONA pull-through? KISS: Keep it Sweet and Simple!

      -j

      --- In ona-prac@yahoogroups.com, "John Maloney" <jtmalone@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi -
      >
      >
      >
      > For ONA-prac -
      >
      >
      >
      > http://networksingularity.com/2011/05/05/end-of-value-networks.aspx
      >
      >
      >
      > -j
      >


    • John Maloney
      Hi Patti - Thanks for your note. For the aphorists in the group, concerning the VN/VNA fiasco, Drink your own champagne! or Doctors, heal thyself! , comes
      Message 2 of 13 , May 10, 2011

        Hi Patti –

         

        Thanks for your note.

         

        For the aphorists in the group, concerning the VN/VNA fiasco, “Drink your own champagne!” or “Doctors, heal thyself!”, comes to mind. 

         

        There is no doubt or question that all flavors of network analysis, O/V/SNA, reveal some structures and patterns that may be valuable to business.

         

        The problem, why network analytics is always challenged in business, is, frankly, the staggering arrogance of the science and, more importantly, its practitioners.

         

        For example, basic product management for network analysis is anathema to network pseudo-intellectual, wannabee scholars and business dilettantes. The tedious, expensive, drawn-out work of perpetual customer development and radical customer focus is simply not in the orbit of so-called thought leaders.

         

        Many people are intrigued by the benefits of network analytics. Then, some research-minded consultant starts blabbing about your, “…conceptual model with a solid methodology.” Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

         

        Customers want impact and outcome. Period. They don’t give one whit about eigenvector centrality.

         

        In Silicon Valley/NorCal, loopy “conceptual models” are summarily rejected. Here, only customers matter. Imagine marching into a hot South-of-Market start-up with a bag of yarn and Post Its for a VNA ‘Insight’ session. That’s utterly ridiculous and a hilarious vision! 

         

        (Besides, there would probably be no one there, since they would all be out with customers…)

         

        The absolute importance of customers and product is very hard and painful message for the narcissistic concept consultants and there very ‘solid’ or petrified methods. It is impossible to get through.  

         

        My advice for authentic network analytics people is to accept you are a NOT equipped for business. Your mindset is research not customers. If you want pull-thru and growth for S/V/ONA, get the hell out of the way! Surround yourself with business mercenaries and interpreters. Drop the phony pretense and incestuous strong-ties with other docile network researchers and theory consultants.

         

        SNA practitioners trying to figure-out business adoption obstacles and cycles is a joke. It gives me the shivers.

         

        Remember network people, please focus on your weak and absent ties. That’s where the growth is. C’mon, sports fans, it is Networks 101! (And completely, utterly lost on Value Networks.)

         

        Look, every good discipline goes through its ‘End Phase.’ It is healthy and excellent. It shows people give a damn. Look around, you will always find claims of the end of this, the end of that.

         

        Remember, if any method or technique does have legs it always emerges better and stronger (and often transparent). The ‘End’ allows otherwise silent critics to speak up! Remember to ‘Fail forward.’  

         

        However, there is still the nagging question that if value networks/VNA are so great, so important for business, then why would a business built to advance VN/VNA fail so hard? Hmmm. (Please, it is a rhetorical question.)

         

        Finally, in Stanley Wasserman’s 857-page magnus opus on SNA, about six four pages are useful to business. Same goes for all the VN/VNA blowhards, their galaxies of hubris and bombastic claims.

         

        Trust me, the End of Value Networks is good for everybody.

         

        Cordially,

         

        -j

         

        From: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ona-prac@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Patti Anklam
        Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 9:14 AM
        To: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: RE: [ona-prac] Re: End of Value Networks: Not!

         

         

        John,

         

        I don’t think it’s appropriate to use a modest business financial restructuring to declare an “end” to a conceptual model with a solid methodology.

         

        See the clarification, at http://valuenetworks.com/public/item/266971, including “the changes will not affect delivery of services or software support for the Value Network Insights application.

         

        Business in VNA and ONA may not be booming (for any number of reasons that practitioners are always interested in addressing), but the methods will always be useful tools for making sense of, and leading to insights into, core business problems.

         

        /patti

         

      • John Maloney
        Hi Patti - Allow me to correct your remark and inform others here at ONA-Prac. According to Verna Allee, effective 1 June 2011, Value Networks, LLC is being
        Message 3 of 13 , May 10, 2011

          Hi Patti –

           

          Allow me to correct your remark and inform others here at ONA-Prac.

           

          According to Verna Allee, effective 1 June 2011, Value Networks, LLC is being wound-down and dissolved.

           

          LLC Dissolution and Terminating a Limited Liability Company is a very specific and detailed legal activity. It requires detailed filings at multiple levels by legal specialists.  

           

          LLC Dissolution is not a “modest business financial restructuring” as you and others may wish to believe.  

           

          Specifically, the assets, IP, code, brand, customers, lists, marks, etc., are distributed to the LLC owners, e.g.,  

           

          First, you need to wind down all affairs of your business and pay off all debt. Once wound down, if there are any assets left over, they need to be distributed to the members in accordance with the dissolution provisions of the LLC operating agreement.

           

          http://www.bizfilings.com/learn/end-business.aspx

           

          The Dissolution of Value Network, LLC is a serious matter that ONA-Prac members and others need to know about.  

           

          Cordially,

           

          John

           

          From: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ona-prac@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Patti Anklam
          Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 9:14 AM
          To: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [ona-prac] Re: End of Value Networks: Not!

           

           

          John,

           

          I don’t think it’s appropriate to use a modest business financial restructuring to declare an “end” to a conceptual model with a solid methodology.

           

          See the clarification, at http://valuenetworks.com/public/item/266971, including “the changes will not affect delivery of services or software support for the Value Network Insights application.

           

          Business in VNA and ONA may not be booming (for any number of reasons that practitioners are always interested in addressing), but the methods will always be useful tools for making sense of, and leading to insights into, core business problems.

           

          /patti

           

          From: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ona-prac@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of ! jheuristic2000
          Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 11:16 AM
          To: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [ona-prac] Re: End of Value Networks

           

           



          Hi -

          This raises the question if value networks/VNA business principles were so great, why did the Value Networks firm suddenly collapse? Hmmmm.

          Thoughts?

          This question may be germane to LLL's thread/question on how to get better traction w/SNA+ONA in business.

          My opinion is that VN/VNA was so ponderous, so turgid and overweight, with practitioners so lofty, rare and insular, that Value Networks was simply crushed by its own mountainous hubris.

          The business message for SNA/ONA pull-through? KISS: Keep it Sweet and Simple!

          -j

          --- In ona-prac@yahoogroups.com, "John Maloney" <jtmalone@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi -
          >
          >
          >
          > For ONA-prac -
          >
          >
          >
          > http://networksingularity.com/2011/05/05/end-of-value-networks.aspx
          >
          >
          >
          > -j
          >

        • Laurence Lock Lee
          Yes I think rolling out the funeral notice is a little premature. The basic concept is solid. How it is beneficially exploited is what interests me. We are
          Message 4 of 13 , May 10, 2011
            Yes I think rolling out the funeral notice is a little premature. The basic concept is solid. How it is beneficially exploited  is what interests me. We are continuously experimenting with variations on delivery themes. As John pointed out, invariably with each iteration, we find we need to simplify the message and make it easier for others to adopt. Verna has been generous in not trying to 'preach' a right and wrong way to apply VNA and is supportive of the different approaches to exploitation. At the end of the day 99.99% of the consulting and business advice market is not using this stuff, so there's plenty of room for trying out new ways of delivery.

            Laurence Lock Lee PhD
            Partner, Optimice Pty Ltd
            Ph: +61 (0)407001628
            www.optimice.com.au
            Blog: http://governanceandnetworks.blogspot.com/
             
            Learn to network, then network to learn




          • John Maloney
            Hi Laurie - Yes, of course. The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated. - Mark Twain The method, technique, research, content, tools and body of
            Message 5 of 13 , May 11, 2011

              Hi Laurie – Yes, of course.

               

              “The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated." – Mark Twain

               

              The method, technique, research, content, tools and body of practice of VN/VNA remains intact, growing and ongoing in myriad forms and modalities.

               

              However, VNLLC was specifically conceived to scale VN/VNA via SaaS and social media in a venture-backed, software startup model. It didn’t work for a lot of reasons and is terminated.

               

              The End of Value Networks is not intended to be pejorative. Rather, it is really just a important learning milestone. The big VNLLC mistake was leading with method at the expense of customer development. It is is the main take-away.  

               

              I predict many future mutations of VN/VNA both in technology, integration and deployments. The simpler and more transparent, the better for widespread adoption.

               

              Again, practitioners need to strive to wall-off research in favor of customer development and product management. Since these behaviors are orthogonal to research, it is best for VN/VNA/ONA/SNA practitioners and SMEs to deliberately seek out interpreters. Surround yourselves with qualified business management talent. Don’t underestimate how difficult this activity is.      

               

              In NorCal there is a frenzy of startup activity. The leading model is Lean Startup.

               

               

              The main and only startup rule is a ferocious, radical customer focus. Allow customers, not methods or techniques, to determine outcomes. Method rumination and refinement is fine, but as VNLLC painfully found out, fine-grain, out-of-the-building, adjacent customer development is really all that matters.

               

              Cheers,

               

              John

               

              From: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ona-prac@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Laurence Lock Lee
              Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 3:58 PM
              To: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [ona-prac] Re: End of Value Networks

               

               

              Yes I think rolling out the funeral notice is a little premature. The basic concept is solid. How it is beneficially exploited  is what interests me. We are continuously experimenting with variations on delivery themes. As John pointed out, invariably with each iteration, we find we need to simplify the message and make it easier for others to adopt. Verna has been generous in not trying to 'preach' a right and wrong way to apply VNA and is supportive of the different approaches to exploitation. At the end of the day 99.99% of the consulting and business advice market is not using this stuff, so there's plenty of room for trying out new ways of delivery.

               

              Laurence Lock Lee PhD
              Partner, Optimice Pty Ltd
              Ph: +61 (0)407001628
              www.optimice.com.au
              Blog: http://governanceandnetworks.blogspot.com/
               
              Learn to network, then network to learn

               

               

               

               

            • jheuristic2000
              Hi Laurie – The End of Value Networks is not a funeral notice. Rather, it is good project management and a robust KM practice. It is called a post mortem, an
              Message 6 of 13 , May 13, 2011
                Hi Laurie –

                The End of Value Networks is not a funeral notice. Rather, it is good project management and a robust KM practice. It is called a post mortem, an After Action Review (AAR), a de-briefing, etc.

                They are institutional and critical practices. We all know what they are and hopefully have participated in many! They are peaked learning experiences and of enormous, irreplaceable value, as you all well know.

                Most all of the back channel feedback has been positive. It is important to ONA and other disciplines to know exactly what went wrong.

                Some of the reaction has been a weird sentimentality like something died. It's a simple LLC business failure, folks. C'mon, no one died, there is no funeral, no mourning. Some silly people are in denial or entering the seven stages of grief. Ridiculous. Someone even called it `bogus.' How pathetic is that?

                Unfortunately, this type AAR push-back can be common. Unexpected business news is not met with objective analysis. Rather, people make-up stories, shoot-the-messenger, or simply reject fact.

                This is an interesting paradox. Look, it's very clear, for ONA/SNA/VNA growth, we'd all be better off if we `drink our own champagne' more often. Stay away from the method bullies that don't even play by their OWN rules. In short, "Doctor, heal thyself!"

                -j


                --- In ona-prac@yahoogroups.com, Laurence Lock Lee <llocklee@...> wrote:
                >
                > Yes I think rolling out the funeral notice is a little premature.
              • Laurence Lock Lee
                John...I m not clear on the facts in terms of the software product. Whether it is dead or not or just hanging in there, no doubt we can say that software
                Message 7 of 13 , May 15, 2011
                  John...I'm not clear on the facts in terms of the software product. Whether it is dead or not or just hanging in there, no doubt we can say that software products coming from the 'analytical' end of networks have been less successful than the social networking software. I would like to think that its still a maturity thing. I see that many of the social networking vendors are only now starting to look at the wealth of data they have available to them to analyse e.g. Linkedin with their personal maps etc... they have had the data for years.

                  So in the spirit of an AAR ... what was planned, what actually happened, why the difference, what did we learn. I can only comment on our own product efforts around VNA (our partnership scorecard)

                  1. Planned ... we planned for our Partnership Scorecard to become the new 'Balanced Scorecard' of business

                  2. What happened. ... it hasn't. (not yet anyway). They like the visualisation and diagnosis. They were in general not comfortable with the remedy. We found that while the process drove people to articulate and take accountability for the value deliverables they identified for their role, they are less comfortable about taking the next step...and that is institutionalising it within their performance management systems.

                  3. Why the difference? I think we are experiencing something akin to those that are uncomfortable with the 360deg review processes. It all looks good on paper, but when the time comes to commit, any excuse under the sun can arise. I would speculate that an 'engineered' solution to relationship issues does not address some of the deeper seated social and psychological issues present in many organisational contexts.

                  4. What are we going to do that is different.

                  We have virtually dropped the idea of roles assessing the performance of other roles that deliver to them. Our initial thinking was that because every role in a network has both "suppliers and customers", people would be happy to provide honest feedback in the same way that they would be seeking feedback from their 'customers'. This hasn't proven the case. We are now suggesting that the vale deliverables that you in your role identify to deliver to others will simply be 'self assessed'. Sometimes you can be harder on yourself that even your customers.

                  Will keep you posted with invariably another round of AAR.

                  rgds


                  Laurence Lock Lee PhD
                  Partner, Optimice Pty Ltd
                  Ph: +61 (0)407001628
                  www.optimice.com.au
                  Blog: http://governanceandnetworks.blogspot.com/
                   
                  Learn to network, then network to learn




                • Matt Moore
                  John, While I think it made some valid points, I found your original post a bit weird in terms of tone. It seemed to be making some thinly-veiled attacks on
                  Message 8 of 13 , May 16, 2011
                    John,

                    While I think it made some valid points, I found your original post a bit weird in terms of tone. It seemed to be making some thinly-veiled attacks on people whose approach you disagree with (rightly or wrongly*) - under the guise of an AAR-type activity.

                    I'd prefer to see you take personal responsibility for your actions - "This is what I, John Maloney, think I did well and what I, John Maloney, would have done differently regarding Value Networks LLC". I would find that far more useful.

                    Regards,

                    Matt

                    *I found a lot of the discussions on the Value Networks list distressingly theoretical however I also thought that the software offer was less than compelling. I think it's interesting to compare the relative successes of Value Networks LLC with Cognitive Edge Pty Ltd at present.


                    From: jheuristic2000 <jtmalone@...>
                    To: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Sat, 14 May, 2011 1:45:45 AM
                    Subject: [ona-prac] Re: End of Value Networks

                     


                    Hi Laurie –

                    The End of Value Networks is not a funeral notice. Rather, it is good project management and a robust KM practice. It is called a post mortem, an After Action Review (AAR), a de-briefing, etc.

                    They are institutional and critical practices. We all know what they are and hopefully have participated in many! They are peaked learning experiences and of enormous, irreplaceable value, as you all well know.

                    Most all of the back channel feedback has been positive. It is important to ONA and other disciplines to know exactly what went wrong.

                    Some of the reaction has been a weird sentimentality like something died. It's a simple LLC business failure, folks. C'mon, no one died, there is no funeral, no mourning. Some silly people are in denial or entering the seven stages of grief. Ridiculous. Someone even called it `bogus.' How pathetic is that?

                    Unfortunately, this type AAR push-back can be common. Unexpected business news is not met with objective analysis. Rather, people make-up stories, shoot-the-messenger, or simply reject fact.

                    This is an interesting paradox. Look, it's very clear, for ONA/SNA/VNA growth, we'd all be better off if we `drink our own champagne' more often. Stay away from the method bullies that don't even play by their OWN rules. In short, "Doctor, heal thyself!"

                    -j

                    --- In ona-prac@yahoogroups.com, Laurence Lock Lee <llocklee@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Yes I think rolling out the funeral notice is a little premature.

                  • John Maloney
                    Laurie - Thanks, good, consistent AAR observations. First, the current Value Network offering is dead. (No one was using it anyway.) Remember, winding down and
                    Message 9 of 13 , May 16, 2011

                      Laurie –

                       

                      Thanks, good, consistent AAR observations.

                       

                      First, the current Value Network offering is dead. (No one was using it anyway.) Remember, winding down and the Certificate of Termination mean it is not legal to continue operations. At this stage, debtors, tax authorities and owners have priority.

                       

                      My preference and recommendation was to do more what Patti suggested, a modest financial reconfiguration to a C-corp. This would have attracted capital and allowed the software offerings to be further developed.

                       

                      Rather, Value Networks management opted for the ‘nuclear option’ of LLC Termination. (I had no role in the decision, despite owning 25% of the firm.) This rather sudden, bizarre and capricious move represents another in a long line of poor decisions by VNLLC management.

                       

                      My AAR is specifically concerning the execution of the software startup. In 2006, in Toronto, I initiated the discussions to create and found a venture-back software startup for network analysis. The result was Value Networks, LLC which debuted in early 2008.

                       

                      Building the software startup proceeded well for a few months. Then serious problems arose. Management fundamentally rejected the basic principles and business logic of software startups.

                       

                      It quickly became apparent, crystal clear that VNLLC really wanted to be a complicated method boutique. My letter of resignation was submitted and accepted in October 2008.

                       

                      My 2008 prediction was that Value Networks would absolutely fail with 100% confidence. I have reserved public comment for 2.5 years. With the dissolution of Value Networks it is time to share some observations.

                       

                      Startups are propelled by talent and customers. 99.99% of successful startups start with one idea. Then they actually deliver something completely, radically different. Often, it is something the founders would have never imagined or even recognize. There are often many mutations. It is because startups must be led by customers. No exceptions. Customers alone determine startup products and success.  

                       

                      Value Networks suffers a monstrous incuriosity. Veering from some phony, arrogant canon of VN/VNA is not tolerated. Look, customers want impact and outcome. They could care less about lofty papers, talks, dopey PowerPoints, and all the other trappings of dubious consulting boutiques like Value Networks.

                       

                      Look around, customers want to achieve productive outcomes through software and a certain functional banality, e.g., Google. The do want not murky didactics or overweight, pedantic theory consulting. <gag!> In short, KISS – keep it short and simple.

                       

                      At every turn, Value Networks rejected fresh talent and effective people that could advance the startup, develop social media, drive pipeline activities, conduct customer development, deploy business metrics and other BASIC activities central to create a prosperous business. Rather, they were most comfortable with part-time seniors, sycophants, relatives and docile administrators. Not exactly a talent plan for startup success in the 21st Century…

                       

                      Laurie, the take-away from both AARs is obvious. To achieve pull-thru, the VNA method needs to be trimmed back about 90-95%. Today, from a customer perspective, VN/VNA is an obese, turgid mess. Don’t get exercised, this is what customers tell me, first hand, as primary sources. They simply reject VN/VNA as you observed.

                       

                      C’mon, folks, the market has spoken. What more proof is needed?

                       

                      Finally, rather than measuring success by the degree of VN/VNA deployment and adoption, only focus on the (apparently novel) concept of customer’s goals, impact and outcomes (gasp!).

                       

                      Maybe briefly use VN/VNA as a conceptual model, to help shift mindset, in client interactions. That’s what I do. Then focus 1000% on customers, their aspirations and goals. Remember, you will always have ONA/VNA/SNA in your tool box.

                       

                      The purpose of business create wealth by delighting customers. It is not to deploy method. As Value Networks found out, leading with method is the fast track to failure, debt and oblivion.

                       

                      Cheers,

                       

                      -j   

                           

                                   

                       

                       

                      From: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ona-prac@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Laurence Lock Lee
                      Sent: Sunday, May 15, 2011 4:52 PM
                      To: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [ona-prac] Re: End of Value Networks

                       

                       

                      John...I'm not clear on the facts in terms of the software product. Whether it is dead or not or just hanging in there, no doubt we can say that software products coming from the 'analytical' end of networks have been less successful than the social networking software. I would like to think that its still a maturity thing. I see that many of the social networking vendors are only now starting to look at the wealth of data they have available to them to analyse e.g. Linkedin with their personal maps etc... they have had the data for years.

                       

                      So in the spirit of an AAR ... what was planned, what actually happened, why the difference, what did we learn. I can only comment on our own product efforts around VNA (our partnership scorecard)

                       

                      1. Planned ... we planned for our Partnership Scorecard to become the new 'Balanced Scorecard' of business

                       

                      2. What happened. ... it hasn't. (not yet anyway). They like the visualisation and diagnosis. They were in general not comfortable with the remedy. We found that while the process drove people to articulate and take accountability for the value deliverables they identified for their role, they are less comfortable about taking the next step...and that is institutionalising it within their performance management systems.

                       

                      3. Why the difference? I think we are experiencing something akin to those that are uncomfortable with the 360deg review processes. It all looks good on paper, but when the time comes to commit, any excuse under the sun can arise. I would speculate that an 'engineered' solution to relationship issues does not address some of the deeper seated social and psychological issues present in many organisational contexts.

                       

                      4. What are we going to do that is different.

                       

                      We have virtually dropped the idea of roles assessing the performance of other roles that deliver to them. Our initial thinking was that b! ecause every role in a network has both "suppliers and customers", people would be happy to provide honest feedback in the same way that they would be seeking feedback from their 'customers'. This hasn't proven the case. We are now suggesting that the vale deliverables that you in your role identify to deliver to others will simply be 'self assessed'. Sometimes you can be harder on yourself that even your customers.

                       

                      Will keep you posted with invariably another round of AAR.

                       

                      rgds

                       

                       

                      Laurence Lock Lee PhD
                      Partner, Optimice Pty Ltd
                      Ph: +61 (0)407001628
                      www.optimice.com.au
                      Blog: http://governanceandnetworks.blogspot.com/
                       
                      Learn to network, then network to learn

                       

                       

                       

                       

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