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Bin Laden’s tapes: the virtual firm’s press releases 

When I presented my end-of-year keynote to the Australian Graphic Design Association in 2004, and wrote a paper on and , I wanted to get this message across: we have nothing to fear from audio tapes from .
   Today, Mr bin Laden issued a new tape with another warning to the , and the has confirmed that the voice is his, and that it was made recently.
   But if we think of Al-Qaeda as a and not a , it is far less frightening. And I should know: I have run a virtual firm since 1987, long before the term was even coined.
   To me it was just a necessity of having no money to rent an office and were available to us as teenagers.
   A virtual firm has the following. It has a in charge of , and administration. It has individual offices belonging to staff members and contractors, often from home. They are allowed to carry out their own projects using the corporate , provided they are done in a way HQ will endorse. Every now and then, to rally the team, the head of the company will issue an email, do a or contact the principals of the different teams.
   Sound familiar?
   Each is a doing things in line with the .
   Osama bin Laden has to rally the team, issue his emails, and his tapes are merely press releases, or exercises.
   And like , Osama bin Laden is a CEO who doesn’t show up all that often.
   Like a lot of corporations, it uses . We use names to refer to our competitors in a humorous way, which I can’t share outside the firm. They have ‘the great Satan’, ‘infidel’ and similar phrases.
   So for those of you freaked out a little, you need to bring this chap down to size. They like the and the fear that can bring—we call that a , a consequence of a branding . When you examine the structure, there’s a lot less to it all than you might think: there are millions of home businesses operating in a similar way. Al-Qaeda is a lot easier to understand than they would like you to think, even if their business is , and ours is not.

Del.icio.us tags: Branding | Al-Qaeda | War on terror | Osama bin Laden | Virtual firms
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.

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