Post CES and innovation wandering…

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Every year at CES there are one or two things that catch my eye. This year it was only one thing that caught my eye. The new Samsung Note Pro 12.2 tablet.

There are a number of items that caught my eye but that didn’t last (which is normally the case). But the new tablet’s from Samsung really seemed to take things up a notch.

The other thing that caught my eye (but isn’t really a product) is the growing number of Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects that were at and on display during CES. It points to the growth of both of those sites as well as the growing separation of innovation from the way its been to the way it will become.

There are always going to be things that organizations innovate internally. But now the reality is that a number of those things will in fact move externally. They already have in the consumer space.

I wonder in the short run what companies will be threatened in this new world order. Traditional manufacturing will be threatened although not large scale manufacturing. The world of prototyping has moved forward by leaps and bounds (by simply adding a 3d printer).

Beyond large scale manufacturing I suspect there are a number of other companies exempt in the short run. Companies that build products that require extremely specialized skills won’t be impacted in that part of their business in the short run. Car companies and airplane companies are probably exempt due to the reality of as stated before Large Scale manufacturing.

It is an interesting exercise.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

The Ethical Handbook of Blogging.

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I’ve been thinking about this post for a long time. I have considered it, rejected it, considered it and ultimately I’ve accepted that I should post it.

First as a blogger its easy to get high on the view lists – simply add certain words to your blogs (sex, etc). For example yesterday I made my annual Super Bowl prediction on my other blog. I’ve posted on predictions for the past ten years but only the last 9 on my blogs. Each year I post “My Super Bowl Prediction” in my blog title I end up with 100 or more views that day. I suspect that if I posted that same time in July I wouldn’t get as many hits. You have to ask yourself though, am I earning the views or riding along a trend.

Second there is the reality of names. I name products frequently and will always call out bad customer service. I call out exceptional people from time to time but for the most part I don’t use real people’s names in my blogs.

So, I am expanding Scott’s rules for blogging into The Ethical Handbook of Blogging.

  1. If you are going to blog once a month or less, share your blog with other people and each of you post once a month. That way the blog stays fresh and engages people. If you are only blogging once a month and your company has a blog, post there. Nothing is worse than starting a great topic someone has written only to wait 2 or 3 months for the next installment.
  2. Anything you post on your blog will live long after you post it (years in fact). Retractions are seldom read as often as original posts so if you do name names, be careful.
  3. Write what you want to share. Blogs aren’t about doing anything other than sharing what you feel. (The Carpenter’s song “Sing, Sing a Song” has some great lines about being yourself when you create.
  4. Read other blogs: I have the 8-10 blogs I read every day. It is part of my routine. I also get great ideas from other bloggers!
  5. Create themes, when you have enough blogs written start building out themes. I have my shameless reviews, The Cloud Whisperer, Transitional Services, The Syncverse which are all themes (and there are more) that I have built on over the years.
  6. Don’t create titles and content simply to drive views. Add value and things to the world that you think about – consider and dream of. Blogging is an art form. It isn’t a daily task you dread it’s a sharing of what you see, feel or dream.
  7. If you use names stand by it. For example I’ve called out the customer service of two companies Vonage and Noah’s Properties of Gaithersburg. In both cases the two companies offered horrible customer service throughout my relationship with them. I have severed both of those relationships and when asked (or when blogging) I point that out.
  8. Create connected tissue with your blogs. Find a way to bring the themes you create into other areas. Talk about the things that interest you. Create tags for your blogs that move the blog with you.
  9. Always respond to users comments. No matter how you get the comments always respond. I get some posted on my WordPress blog, I get many more in email. I always respond to them all (removing names). Be gracious in your responses. If someone posts something nasty on your blog, respond to them via email. Don’t take nastiness public.
  10. If you are stuck for a topic or a conversation, pull the string on an old conversation. I’ve written variations of the flashing cursor blog a number of times. It’s a stock response to writer’s block – it happens.

I will have more of this new blogging handbook stay tuned!

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

We have the technology to share but…

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I was thinking about the concept of collaboration yesterday afternoon. It is a topic that comes to me often as over the years I have looked at a number of systems. I was at one time really excited about SharePoint. It had provisions to connect the search to Lotus Domino hosted applications. As I was moving customer’s off Lotus Domino at the time it felt like a great fit. Sadly the product isn’t today what it was in the beginning.

That happens a lot I’ve noticed in the collaboration space. Products enter the space with promise but then become rigid and structured. The reality is, once a group or set of companies adopts a collaboration product they start pushing the company that owns the product to add functionality that fits their business. While I am a huge proponent of the 80% concept, some of that getting to common solutions is organizational change as well.

There is lies the risk of collaboration. Like KM before it there is a level of organizational change that has to occur. Many organizations structure their IP management and collaboration systems to effectively create information hoarders. They, the hoarders, aren’t doing anything wrong, they are simply supporting the system that has been built around them.

This got me thinking about a concept I heard a long time ago in my first big exposure to redoing a KM system. The quote was from someone and I cannot for the life of me remember their name. She said however “its about building a system where people become part of something greater by contributing.” The mix of community and collaboration as a structure but also as the recognition.

The resulting cultural change required to support that new world order never happened. It has however kept me intrigued for now nearly 10 years. What culture would promote collaboration?

The things I see that would create a KM/Collaboration culture

  1. Reduce the value of information not shared
  2. Reduce the value of solo information (known by one person)
  3. Simple data ingest – from code to documents make it automated and easy to add information to the common store.
  4. Responsive analytics (I need answers to a specific question, I need information about a specific issue or problem)
  5. Reduce the blame game. One of the best ways to improve both culture and capture of IP is to reduce the blame or stigma attached to failing. Documenting when things go wrong is an effective tool for improve both collaboration and IP Management.

Interestingly I’ve embarked on three different KM systems and four different community structures and in all cases one of the five problems above surfaced each time (and a couple twice). A strong community system that doesn’t drive the KM system in the end is doomed to fail. A strong KM system that has metrics against people’s goals and commitments for the year is doomed to fail (people upload their required document to the system with the note inside the document “I will add the information to this file later.”)

In the end a collaboration system and community infrastructure has to be responsive to change, able to easily import data and effectively share that data with others.

We have the technology…

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Beyond a maintained motorcycle…

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Seeking quality drove Phaedrus mad. Why? It is such an elusive thing quality. It is the excuse used for so many product delays. We didn’t ship because we were concerned about quality.

But what is the essence of quality. Why is that we wrap around it so tightly that like Phaedrus we spun off into the infinite holding tendrils of what once was our sanity.

I seek quality.

The battle cry of the modern Quixote destined to ride into the night seeking windmills or giants or both. to, as it were, in epic battle with the quest that is quality.

I know quality.

That the rallying cry of the smartest person in the room. The one voice that says stop here, I’ve found it. But like treasure of Oak Island, all that is there is a gaping hole in the ground filled with water. Its meaning buried in the darkness. Its search for quality failed.

Give me quality.

As we rally against the blandness that fills us all. We cry for quality. We fall short. The world falls short. We look around at the desolation quality wreaks and we ask ourselves was the journey worth the cost?

In 1969 three brave men left the confines of this planet seeking connection to another planet. The quality of that mission was high but not perfect. They landed and returned safely to earth fulfilling the quest of fallen man. In that moment there was quality.

Quality in the end does not paint with a broad brush. IMHO that is the quest that drove Phaedrus mad. The broad brush of quality mixed with perfection. No quality is a pinpoint. Quality is a small thing that once placed is there forever.

Give me the sight to see quality in the world around me.

It is there. quality. Find it in the hummingbird. Find it in the perfection of a tree standing in a 50 mph wind. Find it in the first steps of your child or the embrace of your spouse. It is there you simple have to see.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

The age of home office video conferencing (almost)

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The concept of home video conferencing is exploding. More and more companies are supporting the work at home professional (its actually much more productive in the long run).

Logitech has a new system releasing this month and it will change the pricing models for the various systems out there. In the end however the reality of 3d camera’s and conferencing are just around the corner. You can get a good 3d camera now for less than $1000 (which is the retail price of the Logitech system).

But video conferencing is so much more than simply having an image of a human being. It is also the ability to share a common whiteboard and break down ideas.

The other problem with video conferencing is the reality of the sound system you are using at home. Its really hard to engage and connect unless the sound system on both sides is equal to the task. That is why I think the next generation will be the connection with smart TV’s and home audio systems like the Sonos.

Once you get immersive sound for lower cost on both sides of the equation and add in video you now have the functional ability to have a remote meeting. The person on the phone now just as engaged as the person actually in the room.

People who aren’t engaged/monitoring a meeting can then simply shut off their video feed. Personally I work at home when I can (many of my meetings don’t include dial ins for a lot of reasons). I can get more done in 8 hours at home than I can get done in 10 hours in the office.

One of the critical factors however in my being able to work from home is the concept of two way video conferencing. While you can Skype and participate in Go-To-Meetings with your computer based video camera it just isn’t the same thing. Once the reality of 3d video conferencing is here, working from home will be just like being in the office.

Now, if I could get a virtual presence device to sit at my desk and let me know when people pop in for a quick conversation life would be complete.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

The power of your cellular device

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For many years I have hated the decade slide many people use to show the evolution of cloud, why? Because it never includes mobile devices. I believe the evolution of mobility is what will and continues to change the world.

In 1997 I carried a digital phone with me everywhere. It was a clamshell Motorola phone. I actually had the add on that connected the phone to your computer. I had all my numbers and contacts embedded in my phone. It was a phone.

In 2000 period I still had the Cellular phone but now I included a PocketPC. I no longer had the fat Motorola phone because I kept everything synced on my PPC. Eventually I got an air card for my PPC and now I could get my email live with me everywhere. The Compaq ppc device included sleeves for just about every conceivable need (need more storage? add the CF reader. Need a GPS, add the GPS sleeve)

In 2004 I dropped the phone and the PPC and moved to the PPC phone. It connected me to email, entertained me on long flights with games and media and was the only device I needed (except for my Archos device for extended media and my music/digital picture collection of my family in case I got lonely).

By 2010 I was using a windows phone, it didn’t support as many of the older PPC applications as I would have liked so I had an old PPC phone as well. They were faster devices but other than the phone there were few add-ons. I missed the ability of the device adding and removing functionality when I needed it.

In late 2011 I moved for a time to an android device. It was a good phone and a good device at the time. It wasn’t in the end what I was looking for so I left T-Mobile (their East Coast coverage at the time was spotty at best) and went to AT&T and the iPhone.

Now I can use my iPhone as a dark restaurant menu flashlight. A small text expander. A telephoto and 3d camera. A macro lens for examine small things.

You see that is what really drives cloud and change with both the consumer and IT world. Not the creation of client server solutions that bridge between the mainframe and the server. No it is the mobile device that in the end builds, manages and expands the requirements end users have.

The evolution of the cellular device continues. Soon we won’t have laptops and we won’t have desktops, just a personal device we carry with us and plug into our monitor at work. That will be our cellular device, our workstation and in the end our connectivity.

I wonder what the power will be like, then?

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Happy Birthday Macintosh (a day late)…

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Happy birthday – a day late to the Macintosh. I first bought an Apple Computer in 1983. I had an Apple Iic when they first came out. When I saw the Macintosh ad in 1984 (1/22/1984) I was blown away, huge George Orwell fan and at that time I was a huge Apple guy. I bought a Macintosh in 1997. I had a Macintosh SE, and I loved it. I built HyperCard stacks and slide presentations and ran a First Class BBS as well as a bunch of personal productivity solutions.

I got the SE/30 when it came out, then a Macintosh 2c which was my first color Macintosh. After fourteen years I left the Macintosh world (my last Macintosh was the original Powermac laptop) and well for a number of reasons I moved to the PC world in 1997. I did not have a Macintosh in the house for the next 14 years. The family returned to the Macintosh world in 2011 and while it was a long time between, it was quite easy to pick back up.

That is the beauty of the Macintosh and for that matter the iPhone, iPad et al. They are easy to use. Simple in many cases to have and solve problems with. So happy birthday Macintosh.

So, to end this birthday wish – my five favorite Macintosh applications (starting with the from before and then adding the now)

  • Fractal Painter (yes, it was Fractal before Corel bought it)
  • Office for the Macintosh
  • iPhoto
  • Garage Band
  • Adobe Photoshop

I loved my Macintosh in the past and I love my Macintosh now.

Thanks for 30 years of memories Apple!

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow