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.)
Now here's an innovation: "music on demand," in the truest sense of the meaning. Radiohead, the juggernauts of intelligentsia rock, announced that they will give away their new album "In Rainbows" as a download for whatever price consumers are willing to pay. The band is free to sell the new album directly from the official website because it is no longer tied to a record label. So far, the album is only available to pre-order, but it can be downloaded when released on October 10.
It's not the first time that an artist or … Read more
Management's focus on innovation comes and goes in cycles. Right now, it is all the rage again (although it remains to be seen if that's still the case as innovation budgets may be cut when the looming recession hits the US), and the business press is covering it all across the board. Managing innovation is one of the most critical tasks companies face, and yet it remains one of the biggest challenges. Not only do companies need to come up with new ideas, but they also need to nurture a culture that consistently encourages and rewards innovation. If … Read more
HP Labs got a makeover recently when it installed Prith Banerjee as the new director of the storied research facility. After a month on the job, he sat down with CNET News.com to talk about what he has in store for the future and how he plans to rejuvenate the heart of the company that birthed Silicon Valley.
First selected for the post in May, Banerjee comes to Hewlett-Packard after eight years as the head of the electrical engineering department at Northwestern University and three years as dean of the College of Engineering at University of Illinois-Chicago. He says … Read more
I bought a book for my wife yesterday at Foyles in London, which I couldn't manage to stop reading once I had started. It's a new Bill Bryson book called Shakespeare: The World as Stage and parses the research around Shakespeare the person and his writing, without ever becoming tedious. It's an excellent read.
What struck me most, however, was just how much Shakespeare borrowed from other writers, and how accepted this was in his day.
[Shakespeare's] success was not...without its shortcuts. Shakespeare didn't scruple to steal plots, dialogue, names and titles - whatever suited his purpose. To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw, Shakespeare was a wonderful teller of stories so long as someone else had told them first....… Read more
According to a McKinsey & Company study of US economic activity, "Raising the productivity of employees whose jobs can't be automated is the next big performance challenge." The study argues that "as more companies come to specialize in core activities and outsource the rest, they have greater need for workers who can interact with co-workers, partners, and vendors," supported by highly personalized organizing and communication tools. 40 percent of labor activity, says McKinsey, comes not from making things or from traditional transactions but from what the consultancy calls the "Interaction Economy," which it … Read more
I stumbled across this excellent commentary from Stephen Baker in BusinessWeek on "good enough" technology. It's actually a great foil to an earlier post I wrote on software as a service (SaaS).
Baker asks, "Are we helped or hindered by imperfect technology that is merely 'good enough'?" He comes down squarely on the "helped" side, and with interesting reasons:… Read more