Are you a leech or a seeder?

In peer to peer file sharing terminology a seeder is somebody who shares content like movies or music with his peers. A leech however, is a person who uses the kindness of the seeder and only downloads content for his own use, without adding or sharing content themselves. The same type of behaviour is visible in businesses and in our new way of communicating in business related social networking sites.

Youtube is the success it is, because seeders around the world upload 24 hours of video content every minute of the day. Facebook has a huge popularity, because of the constant update of people’s personal content. It seems that more business related social networks like linkedin stay behind in this development. It is a fact that if nobody shares information there will be no content on a social network and added value is restricted to a ‘who is who’. Didn’t we have that already through our msn profile?

Many people that are active in the integrated supply chain would agree that cross functional information sharing between sales, marketing, operation and purchasing would improve decision making and add value to a business. Large amounts of time, money and resources are spend on implementing and maintaining integrated business systems and the implementation of integrated business processes like S&OP.

Supply chain collaboration and relationships are very much dependent on pro-active communication and information sharing. And a main value in great companies is to grow people through information sharing and delegated responsibilities. But if the current lack of pro-active sharing of information is a reflection on how much we’re willing to share information in our day to day business environment, I’m afraid we still have a long way to go to get to a natural integrated business environment.

So next time you’re on a social business network or you enter a business meeting with your peers, ask yourself the question; ‘am I a leech or a seeder?’

2 thoughts on “Are you a leech or a seeder?

  1. Niels,

    I think your way of thinking is not correct. You yourself mention the internal and external information streams. Intercompany, I fully agree with you. That is why in my, project driven, globally operating company, from strategic sourcing till sales engineering and project management are integrated in area teams. So no loss of information has to be suffered.

    Bringing some detailed information into your own supply chain is also required. Otherwise you will never find best practices.

    Bringing detailed information into your social business network is killing! Information built up is normally based on costly experience from the past. Why share this this you peers in the same business?

    Arthur Weesie
    Sr. sourcing manager Vanderlande Industries BV

  2. Thanks for your feedback Arthur,

    the fact that with your comment you contribute to Supply Chain content on the internet makes me think you’re a bit of a seeder and not only a leech!

    Your comments also shows that information doesn’t need to be detailed or strategic knowledge, the 2 reasons you mention not to share information in a social network

    One might argue that all we know is based on information sharing. Imagine no published books, or no internet sites! You have an incentive to share information in your job; to get your job done! The seeders of this world apparently have an incentive to publish their content. Whatever this incentive might be, seeders have a reason to believe it’s not killing them!


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