Archive

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Thoughtlet: Are you using the right strategy

July 25th, 2014 No comments

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 9.40.33 am This is a very raw emerging thought – Catching up on the reading I need to do for University and a few things started to come together. I realised that business (people in them) still think of themselves as relatively static entities in a market that doesn’t change. This was highlighted when I was reviewing two different frameworks for business strategy; Michael Porter’s Generic Strategy model (something I’ve used in the past) and D’Aventi’s Hyper-competition model. Click in the image to see the two models.

I’m still working through my thoughts on this and how to use, but I think that as a whole as markets thrash through the product -> commodity phases, the markets represent a hyper-competitive one and the strategies listed by D’Aventi seem to be more appropriate.

That said, you could also use the D’Aventi model as a targeted selling technique on a case by case basis. As the relevant IT adoption maturity of the potential customer will vary, as will their perception of the Technology and it’s capability.

Regardless of the use, the models are definitely only useful for short term game. I don’t want to get to the point of lazy generation of strategy statements. More looking at ways to direct thinking appropriately, for the given situation.

Thoughtlet: My thoughts on 3D printing

July 16th, 2014 2 comments

medium_9135194264I started writing this post a few week back and stumbled onto it today – It was off the back of me reading this article on Denzeen by Alexendria Lange. It is an individual perspective on 3D printing, it’s failings and how it could learn from the sewing revival. This article was in direct response to Seth Stephen’s article on Slate.com. Below is my rambling thoughts on their perspectives.

TLDR:

Experience limitations can and do skew perspectives, more often than not towards the negative. Look at the wider picture and see the possibility.

 

Look to the future, and like the sewing pattern sellers you will see more like Thingiverse, offering a marketplace (marketspace) for the sale of 3D patterns. The sewing revival, enabled by the internet, teaches how to make your own patterns, or download pre-created patterns for you to sew. 3D, too, offers this (Thingiverse, other?). The difference is in the maturity of the technology. Give it time.

Now for the longer version:

Whilst the parallels are useful, keep in mind that they are different technologies with different applications.

 

Article points to the fact that current home 3D printing is not at a level sufficient for mass use. I argue that, in it’s current form, it will never be. What it is today is the very beginning of what is to come. The pre-cursor to something amazing. We are already seeing what is coming (Food printing, medical printing, manufacturing). I’m sure that the early automatic sewing machines were horrible and produced sub-par results too (Just look to the shitty hand-held or initial cheap machines available; and even what is now available in discount stores). Not all things are created equal.

Read more…

Innovate, innovate, innovate – making time for ideas

March 17th, 2014 Comments off

Warning: this is a half thought – I saw this YouTube clip recently by Steven Johnson , titled – Where good ideas come from.

http://youtu.be/NugRZGDbPFU

The short of it is:

  • Ideas need time to incubate
  • The best ideas and breakthroughs come from a collision of multiple ideas or hunches
  • You need to provide a way to allow contemplative thinking and mingling of people to allow the discussion to happen.

Every day customers, managers, investors are telling us to innovate more. The biggest issues I see is that in the corporate world we don’t make time to think about things. If we do it is generally in some form of work-shop environment where no one has had 5 minutes to spare before getting there to think about it.

Whilst the internet has made it a lot easier to collaborate, borrow, use or bounce-off other’s ideas, having time to get out there and participate in discussions as well as making time to reflect and absorb is becoming increasingly harder.

 

ITO Maturity?

February 24th, 2014 2 comments

iStock_000016868699SmallI was recently told that Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO) and integration of multi-service providers is still an emerging market. In my role, everyday I deal with looking at outsourcing of customer IT environments; the opportunities; the value I, as a service provider, can bring; and the risk for both sides. I’d like to point out that I’ve been involved in ITO in some fashion for almost 20 years. It certainly isn’t new, or emerging. What it is is a changing one.

 

With the years gone by it was easier to either single source (procure through one provider) or completely manage all your IT service needs due to the relatively small, non strategic, investment in IT; that and businesses and IT managers alike could wrap their collective heads around the problem. As the complexity of IT grew so did the strategic investment to deliver business outcomes, this forced businesses to look to multiple parties for the delivery of services in order to take advantage of the leading edge IT capabilities: Multiple suppliers, internal teams ora mixture of both were used in this delivery. This forced a new managed service and system integrator (MSI) function to emerge, stitching together the various IT services in order to deliver a cohesive end-to-end service to business.

 

With the recent normalisation of Everything as a Service and the push for “good enough” service provision, businesses are caught in the mix of pushing to adopt these cost saving services and yet continue to receive value from the IT services that they procure. This push, coupled with the shadow IT adoption of cloud based services, has moved IT departments back into the business of service and system integration. This is what my colleagues and I call micro-sourcing; ad hoc procurement of services.

 

To follow up on the conversation I had previously stumbled on this article by Stephanie Overby at CIO magazine. In it she highlights eight tips to deal with liability when outsourcing to multiple IT vendors. I saw it as a great example of how ITO is viewed by the market and those that make the decisions. This is a very valid, risk centric, view of ITO. Given my conversation and Stephanie’s article I wanted to pull them together to show that what some of the tips, and thus preconceptions, do is to reinforce the MBA-esque risk adverse nature of the approach to ITO and limit the benefits that it can provide.

Read more…

WhatsApp: an Incomplete thought

February 22nd, 2014 2 comments

WhatsAppSilicon Valley’s latest acquisition has the twitter sphere in a tizz. For those living under a rock, Facebook acquired messaging company WhatsApp for $19B dollars

 

What I like about the whole situation is that WhatsApp exploited a perceived gap in market. Sure there are messaging apps that work across multiple platforms, but their focus is all about the social platform. WhatsApp’s was more simplistic, universal messaging across platforms. Given the platform and style of service, users feel far less threatened and take up in various geographies show this.

 

They are also a “cloud service platform” that allows them to mine the information on relationships and interconnectivity that a lot of players in the social service space would kill for. The fact that Google offered USD$10B previously is a clear sign of their value. This can be attributed to a lot of things, least of which is their growth rate and repeat customer rate.

 

Whilst this might highlight some some trends in market, like the purchase of startups focused on social services, it is a blinkered view of the market as a whole. These MEGA players (Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc) have a weird and wonderful product and marketing model that most of the world is still trying to get their heads around. Like most marketing machines, new product are critical to the survival of a company (be it new to market, improvements or repositioning). WhatsApp shows a link between Google and Facebook’s understanding of their customers (BTW that’s not you) and what they want, but most importantly, what it is worth.

 

Apart from the incredulity that is coming out by the average Joe, there are severalitems and articles out there that attempt to show why the $19B.

 

The best article I read was from Danny Crichton (@DannyCrichton)  who points out that the growing trend in social application business acquisition is going to change the nature of business, certainly in Silicon Valley. I’m leaning toward agreeing with most of his observations though I’m wiling to bet that some of the other cities around the world will get a look in as the Valley is rapidly becoming expensive!