Friday, July 27, 2007

Notes from reading "The Myths of Innovation" by Scott Berkun

The book includes many interesting topics and anecdotes about innovation, innovators and other factors, effecting and building the myths around innovation.

Scott did a great job encapsulating different phases and steps an innovative person or team go through doing the 'innovation' process as well as the different perspectives people have on the innovation before and after the acceptableness of it.

For Example:

Challenges: Find an Idea, develop a solution, secure sponsorship or funding, reproduce, reach customers.

Probability: (assuming 50% success rate and based on the challenges)
(do not get depressed, just yet...)

Feedback you better expect:
It will never work, no one will want it, it cannot work in practice, this is not the problem... Get out of my office...

and why you got it:
Ego, pride, politics, fear, priority, sloth, security, greed and consistency.

The bottom line is that there is no magic (now you can get depressed...) but there is a lot of hard work, timing, luck, curiosity, knowledge and focus involved.

the book includes many interesting quotes, such as:
"...History is written by those who wind and those who dominate... - Edward Said"
"...History is the lie commonly agreed upon... - Voltaire"
"...It does not matter where you start, as long as you start... - John Cage"
"...How do you systematize innovation? ... You do not... - Steve Jobs"
So - get back to work and hope one day you could look back and notice/appreciate your innovations.


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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Visuals and Contact Us

Like many, I am also looking for original visuals during presentations, demos and prototype development. There are many good (and reasonably not expensive) sources for these visuals.

If you are using Adobe CS2/3, it is easy to use Adobe Bridge and the stock photos.

For other images, I sometime use iStockPhoto as well.

But sometime, you just need something completely different.

There are many amazing independent photographers and artists who can provide you with unique visuals.

Some of them are using their Blogs or Websites, like Jon Hope to promote their work

while other are using services such as, where many artists have a platform to show their work (and get paid as well...).

A side note:
Sometime you would like to contact the photographer.
I think the "Contact Us/Me" page is a very important part of the branding.
Sometime you find a long list of links and phone numbers, sometime just an address, but some time you get more...

I really liked Jon Hope's contact page.

This visual gave me the feeling this person been places and is not just a name / URL.
(plus + he has some great work of art on his site).


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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Adobe Flex Prototypes

I am working on some prototypes using Adobe Flex (again).

The applications I'm prototyping merge information from several systems and hopefully would have a cool UI...

Adobe Flex has a great 'out of the box' containers, controllers and other layout capabilities, which make it a great tool for building these type of applications.

As you can imagine, some custom containers are required to enhance the basic capabilities and experiences.

Many good people are creating these components and sharing/selling them.
For example, the Adobe Flex Exchange, Andrew Trice Blog and Quietly Scheming (as shown).

I am using the Flex Style Explorer to create and test CSS play with visuals ideas.

Back to Flex syntax now...


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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I've touched an iPhone...Well...Almost

I met one of my friends at work today and he showed (or should I say - 'showed off') me his new iPhone.

"What is this rubber box?" I asked...

"iPhone with a condom" he replied.

Well... I guess this is what 'safe communication' is all about...

Source: apple store

What can I say...The screen looks very protected and the rest was very black.
Great to view and 'interesting' to touch.

This is the closest I will get to an iPhone until my friend will have more trust in me...


Friday, July 6, 2007

Identity by the Crowds

I was looking into several online identity management systems over the weekend and got derailed to another track. Many of these systems based their users identification on eMail-verification and complex passwords permutations. I thought to myself - why not using my Webcam or image related data as a step in the process.

I've checked some of my bookmarks for an old project I did a long time ago, trying to find some references and examples. I found some new links and ideas.
For example:

So far so good. There is a progress in the technology as well as in the related products and services.

Then I started wondering...

What would happen in case my face and my identity are being matched by the crowd?

Riya and Polar Rose Provide the capability to assign names (identities) to images/faces.


Polar Rose:

Few questions came up:
  • What would happen if, let say, 5-100 of my 'closest friends' decide to get a 'head start' and assign a different name to my public photos/face... "The community will moderate itself" is usually the answer...
  • Can we use these techniques to recognize Avatars ( and is this the next step? :-) )
  • (When) Can we expect ads based on face/item recognition?
From a product/service point of view, I would like to use these capabilities off-line (as well), so I could have some control over the identities associated with my photos and videos collections, before I upload them to the crowds...


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Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Fast and the Arrogant

During one of the sessions on virtual worlds at the Under the Radar conference last week, one of the VC panel members talked about "conventional social network" Vs. virtual worlds.
Although I was listening to buzzwords all day long, this phrase caught my attention. I joked about it with Andreas from SAP Venture. It made me feel so old for 'still' having interest in social network and for having the feeling this domain should not be "archived", just yet...

I was thinking about this over the weekend. I could not find the right way to express what I thought about it, until I saw Marc Andreessen's post:


More recently, aided and abetted by new communications technologies such as blogging and instant messaging, the inside baseball effect has become particularly acute and short-sighted among the group Josh Kopelman famously dubbed the Techcrunch 50,000 -- the core group of Internet industry aficionados and early adopters, including myself and many of my friends, who live, sleep, and breathe this stuff.

It works like this: A new technology hits the market in its earliest form -- social networking, or peer-to-peer video streaming, or voice over IP, or widget-style embedding, or now the Facebook platform. Said technology is rapidly adopted by the Techcrunch 50,000, who jump all over it, enthuse about it, dissect it, analyze it, write about it, use it some more, find some limitations in it, tire of it, cynically dismiss it, and then move on to the next thing, almost overnight.

Sometimes the new thing then proceeds to fall over and die, starved of attention and press coverage, and forever confined to life in a tiny niche of die-hards. And the Techcrunch 50,000 say, yep, called it.

But sometimes, the new thing goes on its merry way, ignored and dismissed by the in crowd, and grows, and grows, and grows, and grows, and grows, and grows -- and is ultimately discovered by millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions, or even billions of people all around the world who incorporate it into their daily lives and don't have the foggiest idea that there was ever a group of insiders who dismissed it a few weeks into its pre-adolescence.


Open questions:
  • Are we moving too fast?
  • Do VCs dismiss good ideas/products/companies just because they are on a chase for the 'next big thing'?
  • Are we 'early adopters' or just beta testers?

Going fast in great, as long as we do not miss or dismiss opportunities and as long as we are not being arrogant to those who think they can improve current products/services/technologies. Event if they are "so 5 minutes ago"...


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