’s Social Web Flop, Now In Paperback


Economist Group’s £100,000 project to think up a social web platform may have flatlined last year – but the publisher now has another long tail to pin on the 10-month affair… a book chronicling the experience.

Codenamed Red Stripe (yes, like the Jamaican beer), the project charged six Economist folks, under CIO Mike Seery, with “creating an innovative and web-based product, service or business model by July 2007” – but the effort finished with the publisher conceding “it was not obviously something that The Economist Group should do


Andrew Carey


Yes, it absolutely was, and is, the point. One of the dilemmas highlighted by The Economist project is this:

If you keep innovation within the mainstream of the organisation, you build in gateways for evaluating new ideas and proposals as they emerge. That can stifle radical innovation. If you hive-off innovation into a 'protected environment' uncluttered by conventional thinking and business criteria, you may end up with an innovation idea that the organisation just doesn't want to do.

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