Can you call a concept a cultural phenomenon if different people conceive of it at the same time? Within the past few months, three publications have come to similar conclusions. The digital media agency Avenue A | Razorfish released a study called "Fast Forward: Designing for Constant Change." It consists of thirteen essays as well as research exploring how consumers' digital media habits are changing, and how this affects the design of user experiences and brands. The key take-away is: Today's online users are forced to adjust to constant change in increasingly volatile rich media environments, and they … Read more
My colleague Hunter Smith of frog design has used his entrepreneurial spirit to launch a budding start-up based on his two greatest passions: eco-design and skateboarding. Hunter's company, aptly named SuperGreen Boards, employs some of the most advanced eco-friendly technologies for producing custom longboards, slalom, and speedboards.
SuperGreen Boards uses bamboo, which is not only beautiful, strong, and flexible but is also sustainably harvested. Maple wood, known as the gold standard for skateboards because of its strength under the pressure of the rider, takes a minimum of 100 years to mature before it can be used. Bamboo, in comparison, … Read more
Wow. I guess for those who have yet to be forced to compete with open source, it's permissible to come out with grossly inaccurate comments about open source. Even Microsoft would never say something like this, which Diane Greene (VMware's CEO) said to The Register:
There is still a lot of innovation going into our hypervisor. As long as there is a lot of innovation going in, (open source) is not the right model.
What we want to do is fund ourselves to be able to build new stuff. If you're purely open source, there is no way you can do new stuff.
Um...no. That is completely false. It's not even a little, teensie weensie bit true. In fact, it's when one is in the midst of innovation that open source makes the most sense. Ms. Greene seems to be suggesting that open source makes sense when you're ready to put code out to pasture because it has passed its prime. Quite the opposite is true, if you're hoping to derive value from community, which is the whole point of open sourcing code.
What Ms. Greene ought to have said is something like this:… Read more
Stacey at Hyperic has an excellent post parsing research from recent Nobel Prize winners, Leonid Hurwicz, Eric Maskin and Roger Myerson. Digging into their research, she uncovers the following analog to open source:...when discoveries are "sequential" (so that each successive invention builds in an essential way on its predecessors) patent protection is not as useful for encouraging innovation as in a static setting. Indeed, society and even inventors themselves may be better off without such protection. Furthermore, an inventor's prospective profit may actually be enhanced by competition and imitation.… Read more
The report is an expansive tour de force through the entire innovation landscape, covering a … Read more
There are many reasons to pine for the days of being a large, established software vendor. And then there is the fun of disrupting the ground out from beneath the feet of such vendors. It's great to have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
That was my thought when Roy Russo of Loopfuse (open source marketing and sales automation) sent me an update on its pricing/product plans. Some of the policies Loopfuse is rolling out will need to be amended as the company grows (like the lack of a contract to engage services). So, will Loopfuse become the kind of company that someone else will one day enjoy disrupting?
Still, in the meantime, wouldn't you enjoy poking the competition in the eye with these?… Read more
David Armano from Critical Mass will moderate a panel on "Always in Beta: How Big Business Can Benefit from 'Little' Innovation" at the Forrester Consumer Forum (October 10 to 13). Here's a quick synopsis: "Innovation isn't limited to R & rooms anymore. The Web 2.0 movement--powered by start-ups such as Twitter, Malhalo and even YouTube, has proven that innovation often happens in iterations. Build, launch, tweak, measure, repeat. Digital experiences seem to be 'always in beta'--learning and evolving along the way."
The fact that the Forrester Consumer Forum dedicates a panel to … Read more
Jesse Robbins over on the O'Reilly Radar offers up a sobering reminder to those of us who feel that we are disrupting the software industry for the better: we may well end up becoming that which we disrupt. This is in line with Clay Christensen's "innovator's dilemma" argument.
In other words, you are what you eat. (Or will be what you eat.)