“If you build it, they will come.” Nobody knows that more than Akumina’s Ed Rogers.
Akumina’s new community website is basically Ed’s “Field of Dreams.” Talking shop is one of Ed’s favorite pastimes (he’s also a major history buff).
The Akumina Community is a passion project for Ed, who has crafted and cultivated similar fertile grounds for innovation at the likes of Ektron.
Now, as we kick off this resource for developers and users, you’ll hear Ed use the term “empowerment” a lot. This isn’t just a Madison Avenue marketing term. Ed’s a tech guy’s tech guy, and he means it.
Here’s my lightning-round interview with Ed about the new site:
Dave: What is the Akumina Community site’s mission?
Ed: Its mission is to empower all our clients and all the developers to build whatever digital experience or whatever digital workplace that their business requires.
Dave: How do you want users to use the site?
Ed: People who are interested in what the product does should be able to find some insights from examples of some success stories, but what we really want to do is bring developers together. We want to make sure they are connected with our team. We want to make sure this becomes a place to get quick support, code snippets, direction, and help them become evangelists in our technology. We’re extremely excited about that technology and we know so many of our developers will be, too.
Dave: What have you learned from your experience creating community sites in the past?
Ed: They are a great way not just to connect with your clients, they’re a phenomenal way to get your clients to connect with each other. You’d be surprised how much you will learn by seeing the conversations happening between your own clients.
Dave: What do you hope to learn from Akumina customers?
Ed: Their vision and their needs for how their digital workplace is evolving. Because once again, the digital workplace is a living, breathing thing. What’s happening today is we’re now empowering people that they actually would never digitally enable, those people that are not working with a desk in front of them. So, how you empower those folks is yet to be seen, right? We have a vision. We have some ideas, but we’d love to see how that plays out, and what are the needs of our clients as they go through that process.
Dave: Is there such a thing as being too transparent? Do you worry that you’re giving away too much “opposition research,” if you will, to Akumina’s competitors?
Ed: No. The name of this game is all about empowerment. Stealth is great for making fighter planes. We don’t make fighter planes.
Dave: CEO is a pretty big job. How hands-on do you plan to be with the site? Are you going to jump into forums and answer questions?
Ed: I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to seeing the activity, the participation and actually being part of that.
Dave: Beyond this community site, where do you see Akumina’s employee experience platform and services going in the next few years?
Ed: I once saw an interview with the CEO of McDonald’s 20 years ago. He was asked what would McDonalds be serving in the year 2015? His answer was, “Whatever the public wants.” It’s actually a true story. So to some degree, whatever the public wants and how do we make it economically enabled. If you look at a lot of technology out there, if you have enough money, you can build on Amazon.com, right? The question is, how do you make it affordable for everybody? So, you’ll see a lot digital experiences that have tremendous amount of money to get there. Our goal is to understand what’s happening and how do we make sure that’s economical as well.