Tag: Technology

The change in corporate technology ecosystems

I again was listening to the Grand Central Gang from the Gillmor gang. My only comment on the whole podcast is simply the choice in changing software platforms is not solely based on the technology. In my experience significant change in corporate technology ecosystems is heavily influenced by its IRR and if it is significantly greater than the IRR of current solution. There are many innovative technologies that get adopted slowly because no one is able to produce a cash flow analysis that can move the company into action.

As geeks we sometimes see the potential in technology but the realization of that potential usually trails significantly. This is due in some part to the inability of us geeky folk to relate the technology to the business. In addition to our geekyness corporations (read large) like to have projects that have high batting averages (read no failures). Even more limiting is the corporate desire for not only high batting averages but high power numbers (read no failures and big returns). Short term thinking of many middle managers adds to the ideas of no failures and big returns.

This is why we see time and time again small upstarts using technology to redefine a market and beat established companies.


Gillmor Gang RSS Feed
Grand Central Gang

Attention and Gestures require an honest broker

In information centric economies, value is a function of trust. The role of the honest broker is to provide a well understood and transparent point of reputation for attention and gesture information. The information economy we see growing around links and clicks is driven by the reputation of a few silos in the economy. Google, eBay, Yahoo and Microsoft are major reputation providers in the link/click economy. I would never call any of these parties honest brokers, though some are closer to honest broker than others. These reputation providers are by no means neutral and each defends their reputation silo fiercely from competition. That defense can make the reputation less accurate as it is never clear where the interests of the provider end.

In the Attention Gesture information economy an honest Broker is required to facilitate the exchange of and valuation of information. Similar to financial scores, the honest broker provides the unadulterated reputation of an attention/gesture provider allowing the attention/gesture consumer to value the information and then provide the attention provider with some sort of value. The honest broker never has a hand in determining the value of the transaction, but by ensuring that reputation of the provider and consumer are well known to both parties it ensures that each party can trust the valuation. The honest broker provides reputation for both attention/gesture providers and consumers, allowing both parties to identify the value of the attention data.

This honest broker service might be free as part of a network collaboration or it may be a fee for service model similar to credit card industry. Regardless, an honest broker is required to defend the attention/gesture pools from fraud and hijack. The honest broker will become a mechanism for maintaining experience continuity across a long running set of interconnected actions and exchanges, in a life connected.

As we move from an attention economy to a situational awareness economy honest brokers will be woven into the fabric of our online cognitive models.

Testing Gmail for my Domain

I was granted access to the Gmail for Domains beta. The set up was extremely simple, but I still don’t think that a non geek will know what their MX record is. Adding accounts is a snap and the calendar integration is wonderful. I am now wondering how much it will cost for multiple domains. I have multiple domains and would like to manage all my email account for my whole family via Gmail without setting up forwarding. Google definitely has the email interface down. It works great and I love the way email threads are handled. If Google can provide a few more tools, there will be no reason to buy office. Google will have a completely integrated set of office web applications that are completely portable. I won’t have to worry about backing up anything or getting updates and security patches.

Corporations would be well served by a tool like Gmail for domains. Corporations have to get around and over the control issues, if they do Gmail is a no brainer. For companies with large field operations again it’s a no brainer. It’s only a matter of time.

I give Gmail for Domains 5 out of 5 Stars.

Gmail for your domain

Most Popular Books at Java one: Update

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I thought I would update the list of best selling books at JavaOne. It was sad to see Ruby for Rails drop off the list. Looks like AJAX was a popular topic, taking 6 of the spots on the list.


Most Popular Books at Java one, originally uploaded by TomC.

Attention economics, ah the possibilities

As I think more about the economics of Attention I am struck by the silos. Everyday of my life my attention is disrupted by the constant silo switching. I spend 2 to 2.5 hours per day driving to my place of employment. Today, that time is better spent thanks to my self programmed iPod. There exists a huge problem maintaining the flow of information into and out of my commute silo. I have to spend time to deliver information into that silo and its a pain in the neck, sync, plug in, navigate, unplug, plug in navigate, and unplug every day. So here is what I think would be nice.

In the evening as I review my schedule for the next day, iTunes detects my car as a device on my wireless network. iTunes updates my car with the content I have added and allows me to program my drive to work with content. My calendar also detects my car as a device on my wireless network (or as a client via EVDO, a nod to Steve Gillmor) my temporal data gets downloaded and is used to prime my navigation system. The car then could make suggestions regarding when and where to get gas based on price, route changes based on live traffic data, and provide access to my voice mail. The opportunities are all over the place. Why can’t I sync my contacts in Google or yahoo bidirectionally with my cell phone.

Creating attention efficiencies for people in their daily lives is just obvious. Jon Udell writes about the broader value of attention efficiency and effectiveness [1]. Technology has consistently increased the productivity of the individual within the context of a specific task. How about life productivity, how about increasing the continuity of experience of my life, I would be willing to pay for that. In the end, all the players (companies, customers ect..) will have to focus on collaboration, continuity of experience and increased situational awareness.

[1] Attention economics: by Jon Udell

Rails, Nice, very Nice!

I have been planning a personal project and have been thinking about development platforms. I thought about Java and it’s just a bit much, entertained the idea of .NET and it’s too Microsoft and then I looked at Rails. I am a big fan of 37signals and the applications they have built on Rails. So I started messing around and I’m finding Rails to be really well thought out. Ruby is a great language and provides all features I need to build my little project. Rails is very friendly from a development, testing and design perspective. If you need a good book on Rails try Agile Web Development with Rails by Dave Thomas and David Heinemeier Hansson with Leon Breedt, Mike Clark, Thomas Fuchs, and Andreas Schwarz.