Among the countless tributes to David Bowie, this one particularly struck me. It comes perhaps as no surprise that Bowie, who was always ahead of his time when it came to art, would also be when it comes to technology. He created BowieNet in the 1990s, an online community for his fans, at a time when this was something still unheard of.
Click through the link below to see his 1999 interview with Paxman, where the latter seems quite unconvinced about Bowie's internet enthusiasm.
BowieNet might seem old hat today, but many B2B companies would do well to learn from his example by finding innovative ways to break down barriers between themselves and their community.
Bowie was an expert manipulator of media – be it music, art or video. It was inevitable that he would spot the potential of the internet, not just as a mass marketing technology but as a new way to make, share and expand upon his work. Later, the digital era would make heroes of businessmen like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, but Bowie was early in understanding that this brave new world would distort the traditional barriers between art, celebrity and commerce. He knew that the agenda-setters of the 21st century would be a different breed. BowieNet will not be considered among his greatest achievements in the coming weeks, but it was symptomatic of his restless, inquisitive genius and his instinct for image as a form of communication. He always saw the revolution coming.