WELL’S Management Strategies.
// Posted by BonnieG on 05/21/2015 (5:42 PM)
Although the WELL’S makeup of its hardware, and software did not differ from other computers in the way it computed, and transferred information, the company’s model was still nonetheless, an ingenious concept. As the saying goes, “if it’s not broke don’t fix it”. Brand relied on proven management strategies to build his empire by using a handful of former “counterculturalist, hackers, and journalist” (14); the same mind-set used when he helped to build the Whole Earth Software Catalog. For me, what separated WELL’s computer strategies from main-stream computer technology was that WELL’s, goal was to combine main-stream hierarchy, and counterculture into a new realm of digital communication. Thereby, creating a new form of communication for people, to come together, and discuss new and different ideas.
Another concept that stood out for me was some of the by-laws/standards of the company such as: “to be free, open-ended universe, self-governing, and the marketing to one sector of business users. In addition, to the concept of the Whole Earth brand being one with the universe. However, with those perceptions, I feel the WELL missed some important issues. First when people are involved comes with that is materialism, and as much as they tried to avoid a capitalist society, they couldn’t avoid capitalism. Because they soon realized nothing is free, thus, the users were charged a nominal fee for the use of the WELL. Also, when it came to copyrights, they cautioned themselves, as well, by transferring the liability onto their users. As a rule people need controls, and operating a business on lightheartedly standards, would be challenging, if serious controls are not in place. In addition, to that, a standard is established to provide rules, and guidelines for the characteristics of a company. And lastly how can a business survive by having just one marginal niche. Even though, some of the design goals made no sense to me, the WELL developed something their users wanted and that was a virtual community, for people to come together.
In addition, to that the WELL also added a unique value to the virtual community, because they tried to remove the reality from virtual reality, and go beyond from just developing a personal computer. As well, they attempted to remove the bureaucracy caused by universities, and government, and build a system that empowered a neutral community of democratic conscious believers. Because of the WELL’s initial unorthodox foundation their thought processes, and leadership was not completely about big business, or personal financial success.