"The difference between the optimist and the pessimist is that the pessimist has more facts," said Jean-Paul Betb?ze, Chief Economist and Head of Economic Research Department, Cr?dit Agricole S.A., in a panel at the Millken Institute's Global Conference 2008 in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago. True as this may be, his statement stood in sharp contrast to the overall vibe of the event: Yes, we can, was the prevailing sentiment, and the overwhelming majority of attendees would probably have outed themselves as fervent optimists, despite an abundance of fact-featuring PowerPoint slides supporting … Read more
In a sign of "green" going mainstream, an IBM survey of CEOs finds that socially oriented customers are wielding more power, aided by social networking on the Web.
The survey, published Tuesday, drew on face-to-face interviews with 1,130 CEOs around the world. It found that CEOs feel less prepared as they would like to deal with the pace of change.
CEOs identified two types of customers that are the primary sources of that change.
The first is the information omnivore, the type of consumer who is comfortable making his or her opinion known through Web-based tools like … Read more
"In the past two weeks, I had the opportunity to attend two very interesting conferences. The first one was Fortune's Brainstorm Green, followed by the Milken Institute's Global Conference. Both of these conferences attract the who's who in the financial and business world. What struck me at both events was the rallying cry that innovation is key in solving many of the world's problems. I continued to hear that change is needed for … Read more
- Two Indian companies made the top 20: Tata is #6 and Reliance came in at #19.
- General Motors made it on the list (for "products"), thanks to "concept cars like the electric Chevrolet Volt and the Detroit auto maker's renewed focus on design."
- For the first time, a Wall Street firm made the top 25: … Read more
I am in Paris, attending the DMI (Design Management Institute) annual European Conference. Executives from design-centric brands, corporate design managers, agencies, academics, and students gather to discuss the power of design not only in bridging decision-makers in organizations with the needs of consumers but also in facilitating product, service, social, and political innovation processes. The attendee list is very international and includes representatives from Renault, eBay, SK Telekom, SAP, BBC, Microsoft, and Vodafone, as well as professors/PhDs from business schools ESADE and ESSEC. I will blog more soon.
CIO.com suggests that open source may be the future of enterprise innovation, echoing the Bank of New York Mellon's comments on the subject last week. The question is not why use open source, but how to best use open source.
Riffing off the Eclipse Foundation's Mike Milinkovich, CIO.com writes:[I]f you develop in an open source model and other companies adopt what you develop, you have a higher chance of longevity in the code base. In other words, you can develop a custom solution to a unique business problem with less fear that your solution … Read more
I've known Steve Pearson for a year or two, and have always been blown away by how aggressive his company, CBS Interactive, has been with adopting open source. MySQL, Linux, Spring, Lucene, etc. etc. The list of open-source projects that CBS Interactive deploys is long.
Why? Why does CBS Interactive use open source? According to Steve:Speed of development (rapid prototyping); Ease of access (Access to the code as well as documentation); Expandability (Ability to contribute back to the core product); Cost.
Steve went on to describe three projects that it has moved to open source. It turns out that the company's adoption of open source has evolved over time, based on bad experiences with proprietary software (and its vendors). CBS Interactive replaced and revamped its content management system with open source. It runs its David Letterman site on open source. And so on.
As Steve noted, the pace of adoption of open source is only going to increase, with two particular things of interest:… Read more
Victor Keegan asks a poignant question in The Guardian:...[I]s there anything we can do to encourage the recent success of our creative industries - which now account for 7.3 percent of GDP [in the United Kingdom]... - or should we just lie back and let luck take its course? Creative industries - embracing Harry Potter, galleries, plays, advertising, publishing, television, computer games and so forth - are becoming vital for the growth of the economy with manufacturing in decline and the financial services industry suffering turbulence from which it may not fully recover.
Unfortunately, he largely comes to the wrong conclusions about how to bolster such creativity. Keegan argues that broadband and increased math and engineering emphasis in schools may well do the trick, but this is misguided.
The fastest road to a more vibrant creative class is to foster laws that protect people's native creativity. What sort of laws? Look at Silicon Valley.… Read more
The focus on the micropreneur, he argues, is "understandably appealing, but thinking that everyone is, and should be, an entrepreneur leads us to underrate the virtues … Read more
Journalist Rebecca Fannin argues in her new book, Silicon Dragon, that China will gradually emerge as the world's center of innovation, supplanting Silicon Valley for venture capital and exciting technology.
Forbes.com asked her to explain her ideas in an interview:
You argue that China is "winning the tech race." But it seems like the more mature companies in China have followed American business models, and this innovative generation of companies is still very young. In what sense is China "winning?"
Well, you have to consider the time frame. It's going to be years … Read more