Innovation to “failure ‘vation’”

The fastest way to fail is to build something that doesn’t work. The second fastest way to fail is to build something that is overpriced. Both of these modes of failure frequently occur in Crowdfunding, stores, and flea markets to name a few places. Many more I am sure where these happen as well. The reality of process is always that you have to be careful what you are building, why you are building it, and what you are selling it for.

Innovation is a tricky game, in part because there is guessing involved. No one has the knowledge of the market, supply chain and “consumer” to the point where everything they release leaps off the shelves. Most companies can point to many failures over the years. The original digital assistant from Microsoft was called Bob. The next was called Clippy. While Clippy and Bob both failed, they made the overall potential for Cortana (the new digital assistant from MSFT, better).

The question you have to ask yourself as you, the innovator, begins to build your product is the problem I’m solving more than one I encounter. You see that becomes the market, if it is a problem that 1000 people have, then there a market, 999 people to be exact (since you are the one building it and are most likely part of 1000). No company ever launched and got 100% of the potential market. That means in fairness you will be able to reach 300 or maybe 400 of the 1000 people. That is the sad reality of markets.


great ideas need great markets!

Listening to music in my office….

I spend a lot of time listening to music. For the most part, I listen to different music depending on what I am doing. In the early morning (wee morning hours) I listen to classical music as I work on my blog. I’ve listened to music since back when I was in middle school. My dad used to try to get me to explain why I listened to music; he felt it was a distraction. I just like having the sound around me. That said, I am very interested in audio. I have had or still have virtually every single type of audio playback device.

For a long time, I was invested in Zune’s and after Zune’s a couple of other forays into MP3 players. I had two different iPods for a while. Each of those, however, faded away over time. With the rise of XM roughly 12 years ago I converted to Satellite radio. I also listen to Amazon Prime music, because I am already paying for prime but also because my Alexa speaker will play Amazon music if I ask. The technology of music is interesting to me.

Not sure why on a Monday to start the week I dived into the music I listen to or the music technology. The world of what was and what is in the space has changed radically. In part, the Bose/Sonos wireless speaker explosion makes for home audio very different now, than it was. I have Sonos speakers in different rooms of my office (office, Kitchen, Bedroom, living room and basement) that I use to play various music on (mostly Sirius/XM streamed, to be honest). I could also use a PC, my cell phone or an Aux in if I wanted to play other sources. I no longer have an iPod but I still have speakers with iPhone connections.

The technology of music has evolved. But the evolution isn’t done yet. There are still things that are done today, as they have been done for more than 50 years. The time of change in the music world is upon us.


music lover

Communication, two way street, not a tunnel with an approaching light!

One of the things I need to share from time to time is the reality of communication. I share the communications patterns and anti-patterns on the various blogs I write for. I am, have and continue to learn and improve my communication. I am nowhere near perfect. I wish I were, but I know that being perfect is difficult to attain and not realistic as a goal. I do however have and live by some simple rules.

  1. It is always ok to argue. If you disagree with me, I am happy to have the discussion. If however, we are unable to reach a consensus, it doesn’t mean I am disrespectful; it just means that we disagree.
  2. There are rules when you communicate online. Who is responsible for the rules? Everyone. It isn’t site owners, blog owners or the police that are responsible for enforcing the rules. If there are people that break the rules, everyone should work to enforce the rules. Rules help create fair, which is hard to do without rules.
  3. The most important lesson I’ve learned and rule I apply is way out with dignity. Rule 1, its ok to argue, rule two rules are important. Rule 3 is giving someone a way out of the situation without them feeling like they were at risk.

Look communication is painful. It is a situation that requires both understanding the other person’s position but also, standing for what you believe in. It is so hard to continue conversations sometimes when people don’t believe rules are critical when they don’t give you away out of the situation with dignity.

The three rules I’ve shared are stacked one upon the other. You can’t apply one and skip two (well I can’t). The reality for me is the three rules shared work together. They are how I communicate online and ultimately how I communicate as a person.

Sometimes it is important to remember there are no guaranteed right answers, but it is ok to defense the answer you believe is right!


I dream in eclectic blue…

Keeping our children safe at school…

I do not often wander the political halls of rhetoric. I do however have to say that the current US argument where one of the options on the table is arming school teachers, makes me nervous. We or virtually anyone I know would ever ask pilots to read books to children, as they were flying missions. Or infantry soldiers, pushing the front line further forward, stopped to conduct a class on Macroeconomics. I don’t think people would do that. Why then, is it suddenly ok to arm teachers? I realize that I am trapped by my personal experience (I was a school teacher for seven years), so I probably see things differently. But I don’t understand what the goal is for arming teachers.

Technology could solve the school safety issue pretty quickly. Frankly at a lot less cost than the arming of, maintaining of that arming and the resulting issues of having more guns in schools. Here is the reality, there are sensors we could deploy around schools that would allow two things. The first the detection of weapons before they enter the school. I am sorry but AR15’s and other assault weapons re a certain size. You can detect that. You can detect someone being furtive or try to move around the edges and not be noticed. Sometimes people doing that are being bullied and the school and step in and reduce bullying (Bullying is horrifying!), but also people carrying large guns don’t want to be noticed.

Technology could also equip the doors of schools so that the video or surveillance system of the school could lock the doors automatically. That the principal could lock the doors, (or the school secretary and so on). The technology is good enough now that we could publish to the security system the pictures of everyone that had expelled from school. Lock the doors when the third picture is seen in the surveillance system.

I do not wish to share political rhetoric about this issue. I simply know that we could move this into a once was problem bucket by simply applying some technology. Simply put the ability to, from the central office, and other locations in the schools lock all the doors is critical. The application of, deployment of and training around the use of video and other Edge computing based security solutions for schools is critical. The lawsuit form one accidental teacher shooting would be bad. The reality of 100 accidental door locking’s would be frustrating but not horrible. The time has come to use the technology that will keep the children of the world safe as they learn.


it wouldn’t be hard to keep our children safe…

The amazing what things cell phones can do, right now!

I spend a lot of time considering, evaluating and deploying the mobile technology. It is something I am passionate about. What more can I do with my cellular phone? Because of that, I look for applications and hardware solutions that will allow me to add functionality to my iPhone. FLIR has a great add-on infrared camera for your iPhone. I use mine all the time mostly to determine where I have air leaking out of my house. There are some devices that I connect to my iPad or my Samsung because they either aren’t iPhone ready or frankly there are no applications to support them. Walabot is a fantastic tool that lets you see into your walls (sonar). Spike from IKE is a great laser measurement tool that connects to your iPhone. Finally, the Occipital Structure Scanner allows you to do 3d scanning right on your iPad.

This isn’t a new Beauvoir; I did the same thing with my PocketPC phone many years ago, Although then I was adding features that didn’t exist that would make my life easier (GPS, etc.) in the days before phones had cameras and GPS systems built into the phone itself. There are some add-on things that are interesting. You can track the actual UV of the air around you, weather, and shoot 360 videos right on your phone.

As someone that spends a lot of time figuring out how all these things work together, I am curious about these devices. The concept, now big in the market is that of “edge” computing. Edge is the concept of pushing processing to the data and outside the normal boundaries of processing for most companies. If you think about the listing of things you can do with your cellular device, now, you see that edge computing may, in fact, go as far from the core as your phone does. The cellular phone becomes your edge device. The capabilities the phone brings you to the user, and the information you can acquire continues to amaze.

The future may require the wearing of sunglasses. It is that bright!


What’s attached to your cell phone?

Sometimes we offend…

I started my IT career as a mail administrator. It meant, then, that I got between 100 and 200 critical emails a day. I developed, and still, have the very bad habit of not sending or replying to long emails. I tend to send short emails. I realize I do that from time to time, if you don’t know me, you may be offended. I thought it would be prudent to share, that I normally don’t respond to emails with long discourses. I know I probably should, but it is one of those things that is hard to change.

Sometimes I am oblivious to the offense, not personally meaning to offend anyone. Based on that I feel like I should also apologize for the offense not intended if taken. I spend a lot of time talking about and sharing both communications patterns and anti=patterns. They, the two, are linked. Patterns show repeatable processes. Anti-patterns are the opposite of patterns for the most part. Anti-patterns are also repeatable and structured. They are different only in the impact when referring to communications.

One of the biggest impacts is the miss mixing of patterns and the mixing of some patterns and some anti-patterns. I think, having spent a lot of time considering the reality of communication that sometimes it is important to apologize. I don’t care how smart you are, how nice you are or whatever it is that makes you great; you will offend someone. The best of us offend by accident. The worst of us do it on purpose. But all of us, from time to time should just say “sorry, I did not mean to offend.”

unless of course you do (or I did) mean to offend.


Communications wanderer

Of posting and sharing, why it is important to be fair.

There are some things I post and share. I am a firm believer in two things; the first is it is important to share your thoughts and ideas. The second is that the application of rules is the responsibility of everyone involved. We walked by a police officer giving a driver a ticket the other day. The reason for the ticket had to do with the fact that there are two lanes that become one lane on the road that leads to our subdivision.

About a week ago there was an accident because a lot of people come up in the right lane and speed up to pass the other drivers. It didn’t work for whatever reasons, and there was a collision, so then the police were forced to patrol that area and give out tickets. You see when people don’t enforce the rules themselves the police or other authorities are forced to do so. It becomes a vicious cycle until everyone realizes it is important to enforce the rules you can.

The fewer authorities have to engage in the enforcement of rules, the easier it is to get things done! When the authorities have to stop paying attention to big issues and take care of small issues, you end up with a different issue in the long run. There is an old saying, who will guard the guardians. You can expand that to also who can help the guardians and when they are chasing small problems instead of the large ones.

A lot of people spend a lot of time and energy complaining about the way things are. But they do nothing to fix the problems that cause many people frustration. Be responsible, if some cheats report them. Free up the authorities to work on bigger problems.

The other thing is sharing. I believe in sharing information. As such, here is a link to my podcast.  I just shared two new podcasts.

I also share images from my Bloomsky weather station as often as I can, I call that Yesterday’s Weather!


The value of IP is in the act of sharing!