Our Motivation, Goals, and Methods
Sohodojo = Small Office Home Office + dojo (a Japanese term which literally means "place of the way" or place to learn how).
In 1998, leading edge technology was empowering individuals to work from home as freelance contractors or home based entrepreneurs. We launched Sohodojo as an R&D lab to focus on this "Small Is Good" world as an alternative to the "Big is Good" model largely dominant since the Industrial Revolution.
Through our work in Montana and Iowa, we have extended our research on the importance of Ties to rural community survival. Ties link individuals into larger networks where they collaborate to get things done, and link small towns and rural communities to the global economy through business and social networks in which local individuals participate. We have developed an ecosystem MODEL and an influence-not-ownership PROCESS that implement rural Ties. We have tested and extended both in work with local, regional, and global collaborators.
Since 2001 We have presented our ongoing reseach on "Entrepreneurial Community Ecosystems and the Small Is Good World" at conferences and workshops in the Midwest. We have written extensively about Small Is Good business networks on line and in print. In 2005 we founded the Small is Good World Working Group at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford England, with founding members from the UK, US, Uganda, Cambodia, and India.
Over the past 12 years, this Small Is Good world has grown in importance, and more recently, of necessity. More and more of us are on our own without the security of life-long, or even long term employment in a corporation or business. Yet the dominant business model still claims that any new business should "start small and grow big or you won't survive."
Sohodojo focuses on alternative new business models that suit this Small Is Good world - supply chains made up of many individuals networked together and alternative markets where the people involved matter more than how cheaply you can get a product or service.
With the rapid rise and nearly instant popularity of social networking websites like MySpace, FaceBook, YouTube, and others; the popularity of geographically dispersed members playing multi-player on-line games; and the instant access to each other through Twitter, RSS feeds, etc., the impact of networks is widely experienced in all aspects of life and in all corners of the globe.
Our goal is to enable small businesses to build alternative supply chain business networks that use stories and games to sell their products/services in alternative markets where people matter more than price and availability.