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15 March 2008

The BIG Idea: Social Relations as a Business Model

Now I've been thinking about this for quite a while but haven't been able to put it into words quite easily. What I usually do when I think I've found something new is to sit down and think through about what I found before I go online to research about it and see if it is actually not something totally new. Perhaps I've been searching using the wrong words but help me develop this concept if you can.

The idea is this. We probably all know the concept of "six degrees of separation"; Which refers to the idea that, if a person is one step away from each person he or she knows and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people he or she knows, then everyone is an average of six "steps" away from each person on Earth.

If we assume this concept is true then this has implications on business relations as well. Now, let's combine this concept with the pyramid scheme where every individual has a network of up to 6 levels and every individual is on top of "their" pyramid. However, unlike the pyramid scheme where no product or service is being delivered; individuals in this combined concept sell their own goods, services or talents.. etc. For simple reference, let's call this "big idea" Hexamodel.

So, how does the Hexamodel work? Let's take me as an example. I'm a freelance graphic designer and according to the six degrees of separation concept I'm connected to everyone in the world. Perhaps not everyone in the world needs a designer, but along these degrees of people some will. Lets say that I offer a %5 commission on any person who refers me to his or her friend from the work being done. If we expand this network to everyone then it means lots of work for me, lots of money shared, and lots of friendships to be made?

Of course this is something in its roots but I believe it could be developed to create a sustainable business model. Also I haven't done much reading about it so Hexamodel being simplistic doesn't come as a surprise. There seems to be some great studies in the notes section of this wiki page. In particular, Albert-Laszlo Barabasi's 'Linked: How Everything is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life' is very intriguing.

What do you think?

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