Social Media and The Tachyon Strategy

Tachyon visualization, analogous to the sound ...
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In preparing for the latest series of Social Media Club Workshops (Birmingham tomorrow), I kept getting stuck in the midst of the paradox that some of our social media strategy recommendations often create. Letting go of the illusion of control and embracing the serendipity that John Hagel spoke of the other night at our Silicon Valley SMC event, is essential to success but counter to the ‘conventional wisdom’ of traditional MBA’s. While it’s not upside down or backwards day, it sure feels like it for many seasoned executives.

Today I would like to introduce you to a first (very rough) draft of what I call The Tachyon Strategy for your feedback.  Thankfully, my diverse, cross-network-pollinating tendencies lead me at an early age to read a book call The Tao of Physics.  In it, I was introduced to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and Tachyon’s (as well as a whole bunch of quantum mechanics stuff that I still dont fully grasp).  You can go read more about those by following the links to wikipedia, but let me give you a really dumbed down (and probably slightly wrong) interpretation on Tachyon’s and then we’ll make it clear why this is important.

Tachyons are subatomic particles that have never been seen, traveling faster then the speed of light, it is said to exist in two locations at once.  In fact, the theory goes, it can’t really be seen at all because it is never in the one space long enough, moving faster then the speed of light and faster that its location can be accurately reported – it takes faith to believe that it actually exists, and even more so to believe it simultaneously exists in two places.  So like, tachyon’s, there are several elements of social media strategy that requires us to hold two, seemingly opposing values/ideals/positions that requires a bit of faith (and science).

Specifically, I see the following tenets within the Tachyon Strategy:


  • Think global but act local (old one clearly)
  • Behave like a small business, but project yourself as a bigger one
  • Move slowly enough to consider decisions, but act fast enough to seize opportunities
  • Listen to customers and publish/produce media often
  • Allow your marketing to pull customers instead of push them, but reach out to them in their communities to address grievances 
Maybe these are just paradoxes, but when all of these pairs are dynamic parts of your social media strategy, I think they bring unconventional success.  What are other elements of modern business and social media strategy that might fall within The Tachyon Strategy?


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  1. #1 by Ned - April 30th, 2009 at 15:53

    Ah, never figured I would be reading about the 'Tao of Physics' on a social media blog :-). I read it eons ago – a bit on the theoretical side but very interesting if you are into it.

    As to your Tachyon strategy – makes sense. There are a few more you can add on to the list :-). Here is one for example..
    * Be engaged with your customers but keep your distance.

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