The challenges facing global businesses and the people who lead them
are now, more than ever, intertwined in the direct empowerment and
involvement of customers and stakeholders. The World Wide Web—
described by Sir Tim Berners-Lee as “an interactive sea of shared
knowledge…made of the things we and our friends have seen, heard,
believe or have figured out”—has dramatically accelerated the shift to
consumer-driven markets. For millennia, power has rested with those
resources: first with land, then capital, and most recently, information.
In a socially connected marketplace, shared knowledge is now emerg-
ing as the ultimate resource. Information wants to be free, and in these
new markets it is: free of constraints on place, free of control on con-
tent, and free of restrictive access on consumption.