Nemo's Creative Director Mark Lewman and I were riffing on his idea of how a company's work and overall business can be validated in an era of Google, YouTube, Wikipedia and radical transparency et al. The bottom line that we seemed to arrive at is that it is not good enough to deliver good work these days - anyone can do good work. The task at hand is to be trusted to create amazing work and then, when your amazing work is discovered, fame will surely follow.
Here's Mark's distilled thoughts so far:
Success in the 21st century means finding balance between two timeless elements Trust and Fame. Your work is who you are. This is the part of the equation you control. To stand out today, everything you do must be awesome. When people encounter what you produce they must find substance and excellence. Just because an idea can be relied upon as great doesn't mean it automatically wins. It isn't complete until it has believers; distribution and exposure make an idea stronger and add value through cultural validation. As trust and reliability grows so should the fame.
Jeff Jarvis provides an extension of these thoughts when he writes on Buzzmachine - "All content must be transparent: open on the web with permanent links so it can receive links. It's not content until it's linked."
And then, looking beyond transparency at the barriers to creative expression and its dissemination, it is worth remembering this point that Jarvis recounts elsewhere in 'The Myth of the Creative Class' after he has reconsidered his views on copyright law and realizes that a too stringent application of copyright infringement can stifle the spread of what has been created - "when creations are restricted it is the creator who suffers more because his creation won't find its full and true public, its spark finds no kindling, and the fire dies. The creative class, copyright, mass media, and curmudgeonly critics stop what should be a continuing process of creation; like reverse alchemists, they turn abundance into scarcity, gold into lead."