Umair Haque of Bubblegeneration Strategies describes an emerging culture of business as an edgeconomy where light beats heavy; open beats closed; free beats paid; and, good beats evil.
What matters in the edge culture is context. Every client, every customer, every vendor exists in a different context. Haque refers to these contexts as microcultures. This is certainly my experience. Not a single one of my clients are the same, have the exact same issues, and the projects have never been exactly the same.
As a result, what happens is that I come with a tool box instead of a formula. We decide what the project needs, and then select the tools appropriate to the it. This is the opposite of a one-size fits all formula that squeezes the client into a box that doesn't fit their situation. For some clients, this is a strange experience because they are used to buying a standardized product instead of a customized solution. I'm convinced this is the only way I could have ever been able to survive in the consulting business.
The difference is not the product but the relationship. As he says, trust is at the heart of value creation in the edgeconomy. For this reason it makes sense that the context of business in the future will be markets, networks and communities. It means that the edgeconomy is not to sell-first culture, but a listen-first one. This is an approach to business that is built upon a simple ethical model of listen + respect x trust = loyalty and partnership.
Take some time to read back through Umair Haque's posts. Follow the links, read them, and begin to understand this emerging culture of the edgeconomy.