Case Example – Social Business Intelligence and the Zombie Apocalypse

In my conversations about analyzing stock trends, research market data, and developing opportunity plans I am always returning to one of my most trusted statements:

“My plan is to not get eaten.”

Social business intelligence is about learning from the people around you: whether they work on your team or if they happen to be competitors.
The core of social business intelligence is very simple, yet the information you can gain from it could make the difference between life and death.

The reality of social business intelligence can really be summed up by the end of the world in 2012. Understand more of the business part from Jimmy John Owner

I’m going to assume the end of the world in 2012 will ultimately be caused by the zombie apocalypse. As a general rule of thumb I am not planning on getting eaten alive and I’m taking a few steps to make sure I have a good time dealing with the walking dead.

If you know there is an upcoming risk you can either prepare for the risk or you can succumb to it.

Using a Strategy to Survive

When the zombie apocalypse comes I don’t have to worry about the end of the world, I just have to worry about the end of my family/group.

Life is always tough

People succeed and fail every day at entirely basic life choices

I know basic processes that need to stay functional will equal survival

I know additional processes that will equal prosperity

I know fundamental items that will result in ‘game over’ if they happen

I’m going to use a failure plan to multiply my chances of survival:

  1. I know the ten most likely risks that could jeopardize my group. I have detailed a game plan with  my team to recognize when a situation has occurred and what steps to take for minimizing the damage.
  2. I have supplies properly allocated that will allow us to endure long periods of harsh conditions.
  3. I know the people, groups, and businesses who own and use resources that I may need. Get some business tips from Robert “Bob” Bratt who manages multi-million dollars worth firms.
  4. I know the people who lead, provide expertise, and keep my group alive (as well as other groups too.)
  5. I can be the nice guy, negotiating for supplies that matter.

These five basic survival steps tie into my knowledge of the territory I need to survive in. I know that several things are basically guaranteed to happen during the Zombie Apocalypse

  • People will run out of food and medical supplies.
  • Zombies will show up for no reason and try to eat me.
  • I’ll have to do something icky.

I also know the predictive items that tell what I need to focus on.

These predictive items have been proven by hundreds of zombie movies over the past few decades (and we all know movies are the best source of zombie data.)

  • If I am alone, I need to grab a gun and make a run for it.
  • If I hear theme music (or absolute silence) then a zombie is standing directly behind me.
  • If I see someone standing in the darkness and isn’t talking to me… they are going to bite me as soon as I see their face.

Part of my plan for failure includes that

  • I will need to hide my success. No one needs to know I’ve got a stockpile of Twinkies.
  • I know what is valuable. If someone offers it up or leaves it unprotected I’ll swoop in and take the goodies for my group.

How did my social business intelligence help?

Here are some of the bullet points.

I knew the Zombie Apocalypse was coming.

Fortunately the Zombie Apocalypse of 2012 includes the internet!

Thank heaven we made sure to install all those green-energy nuclear reactors to independently power things for the next fifty years…

Before the first infection occurred I managed to get my community to ‘opt-in’ to my Facebook application.

That act gave me a chance to review dozens of different pieces of information about each one of them.

  • I used that insight to engage in conversation with some of them. I knew right out of the gate who I would invite to be on my survivor team because each person had the right skills to keep us alive.
  • I segmented everyone else into some unfortunately categories like ‘people who eat me food’ and ‘people who will probably be zombie food’
  • I also noted where they all lived and worked: depending on the time of day the zombie apocalypse hit full force I wanted to know where the big groups of undead would be.
  • I stored all this data in my little computer. I didn’t know exactly what data I would need or when, so I kept a few copies of it.
  • I manipulated the data and gave bad copies to people I didn’t like (this was my being ‘evil’)

In the first few months that data will save me a few times:

  • I definitely want to avoid the guy who has an attitude problem and says he’s a military trained assassin on Facebook. Those guys are always a pain to work with.
  • I will find a doctor. For some reason no one in my ‘starter group’ is a doctor and its something we’ll need ASAP.
  • A few people that I gave bad data to are now zombies and I have all their ‘stuff’

Little did I expect it, but Zombies still use Facebook!

  • Every day I have 25,000 zombies liking things I post.
  • I found out they prefer slightly overweight people with blonde hair.
  • A majority of them still like to play angry birds.
  • They begin to log-off at around 8:50 at night (probably getting too hungry clicking on food images all day)
  • Out of fifteen apps I’ve created for them, they prefer “Hot or Not” and “Scream for Me”
  • Some of the ‘influential’ zombies seem to be pretty smart. They’ve posted tips on breaking through locked doors and have amassed a bunch of followers.

I also watch for a few signs via social media

  • When I notice the other ‘survivor’ group not posting for a while I know no-one is home and that all the cool stuff they had is up for grabs.
  • When too many Zombies check-in on FourSquare near my location I move.

 In the real world, social business intelligence just needs application

While the above scenario may not apply to you, the application of some simple social data against a tactical scenario can be easy. Simply define a few business case scenarios and apply some creative thinking to your next business challenge.