Monthly Archives: January 2011

Collaboration – We are not even close!

Everyone wants to be more connected and more collaborative. So – do we collaborate? Really collaborate? The power of the Internet allows friends to connect over Facebook, business colleagues to remain in touch over LinkedIn, and email, voice and video provides for richer connectedness. That’s true. Indeed, organisations like Cisco have developed sophisticated voice and video communication tools to allow people to connect in more meaningful and lifelike ways, wherever they are.

But my hypothesis is that we are still very far from understanding how to deeply and meaningfully collaborate. Very, very far. We say we are collaborative when we sit on a bunch of conference calls, or try and use an enterprise blog or Wiki (until we give up and go back to email) but that’s not collaborating.That’s just connecting.

True collaboration should involve:

  • Shared data stores with defined and agreed IP management rules. I should be able to safely and securely access information from any of my colleagues in select groups (within and outside of my organisation) with ease. Firewalls and passwords are transparent to me. Boundaries are there, but invisible. Today, this is almost impossible.
  • An etiquette for collaboration. When I post something in a colleague’s data ecosystem, there is an etiquette for collaboration that will give me confidence in when to expect a reply and in what form. Today, no such etiquette exists.
  • Almost immediate construction, and decomposition, of collaborative teams. If we decide to form a collaborative group today, with the press of a button I should be able to construct the teams, the data stores, the IM channels, and the IP protocols. Today this is an incremental process that usually breaks down half way through, and people revert to email.
  • Collaborative histories that can be easily and intuitively browsed. Who said what to whom, where, and when?
  • Collaborative document management and construction. We should be able to build plans, documents and presentations truly collaboratively. Ever tried to build a PowerPoint deck as a group of 10? Almost impossible to do this in a truly collaborative manner.

And that’s just the start of the list!

Email is an archaic, point-to-point, hub and spoke outdates communication tool. It inhibits collaboration. The problem is, we really don’t have anything much better.

Mind you, tools are not the place to start. We need to define truly collaborative business models that we agree to. Once defined, the tool set will be easy.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Collaboration

Apple Apps – Changing the software landscape

Notice how Apple has relatively quietly slipped in the App store for Macs, as well as for iPads and iPhones? I bought an App – works really well – why would I buy software in a store anymore? Indeed, why would I buy software from an untrusted website when I can buy software for a few dollars from a trusted site – the Mac App store?

This will change everything.

To illustrate the power of Apple Apps, a recent report from Distimo provides the following statistics:

  • Apple grew the most in 2010 in terms of the absolute number of applications in the United States, however the runner-up’s show more growth in terms of percentages. The Apple App Store for iPhone doubled it’s total during the past year to almost 300,000 applications, while the total number of applications available for Google Android Market today, almost 130,000, is 6 times the number of applications available one year ago. BlackBerry App World and Nokia Ovi Store showed triple digit growth in the last year as well, to nearly 18,000 applications and 25,000 applications, respectively.
  • The high download volumes of free applications appear to attract developers to switch to monetization methods other than paid.
  • The top 300 free applications in the United States generated, on average, over 3 million downloads each day during December 2010, while only 350,000 paid applications are downloaded daily. However, paid downloads increased almost 30% more than free downloads in the top 300 when comparing the download figures of December 2010 to those of June 2010.
  • Comparing June data to that of December in the United States, we see that the share of revenue generated by in-app purchases from the most grossing free applications more than doubled for both the iPhone and iPad. At the same time, it becomes clear that the share of revenue generated by in-app purchases from free applications is much smaller on iPad (15%) compared to iPhone (34%).
  • It is important to note that while the proportion of free applications grew, the average price of the applications also declined. A decline in price can be observed in the 100 most popular applications in the Apple App Store for iPhone, BlackBerry App World, Google Android Market and Nokia Ovi Store.

You can download the full report from my library here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Innovation

Apple without Jobs

What makes Steve Jobs the driving force behind innovation at Apple? Is Apple’s model of innovation broken, in that they rely so heavily on Steve, or is the rest of the world’s model broken, in that they do not have a “Steve Jobs” on board?

To me Apple and Steve are anomalies. The rest of the world is heading down the connected, open innovation path, and innovation@Apple still centres around Steve.

Look at the fuss made about the following email, sent out to Apple employees on Jan 17. Its all over the press, and an email like this can dramatically affect share price.

Team,

At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company.

I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for all of Apple’s day to day operations. I have great confidence that Tim and the rest of the executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we have in place for 2011.

I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can. In the meantime, my family and I would deeply appreciate respect for our privacy.

Steve

It will certainly be interesting to see what happens to Apple once Steve retires permanently. Perhaps then we will have a better insight into the innovation engine that drives Apple – is it the ultimate innovation model we all need to adopt? Or not…….

Leave a comment

Filed under Entrepreneurship, Innovation

Changing the ATM Paradigm

Those of you who know me know I am a big fan of IDEO. They embody most of the characteristics in a leading edge company that I respect – innovative, deep customer centricity, and a passion for change. Now they have tackled a familiar sight for all of us- the ATM. You know, that dumb screen with the push buttons that does what you want – dispense cash – but not much more.

Financial institution Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria and global technology company NCR Corp. plan to roll out a new concept for Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) called ABIL. They are not only sleek-looking, resembling an iPad or other touch panel, but they also promise to be faster, easier, and more intuitive.

The touch panels boast a revamped interface that changes the traditional look and feel of the boxy ATM. Customers select choices via a touch screen, which can rotate 90-degrees to ensure optimum privacy while conducting transactions. (No doubt the company will also look to things like privacy screen overlays that block peripheral view.) A single slot accepts cash, checks, and passbooks, as well as distributes cash and receipts.

“BBVA is constantly looking for ways to strengthen relations with its customers, and the project was not how to further automate the terminal, but how to humanize the machine,” says Vicente Amores, NCR’s Global Director for BBVA. “The result is a new self-service device based on three qualities: simple, human, and flexible.”

Twenty of the new ATMs have been rolled out across Spain, and BBVA plans to install 200 more throughout this year.

NCR plans to work with additional financial institutions around the world to deploy the machines elsewhere as well, including the Sunbelt area of the U.S., and certain locales in South America.

The project is the result of a strategic partnership among BBVA, NCR, Fujitsu and the design consultancy IDEO. Watch the video below.

The Future of Self-Service Banking from IDEO on Vimeo.

Leave a comment

Filed under Innovation

Are you one of the 250 Million in early stage entrepreneurship?

Two hundred million people between 18-64 years old are actively engaged in starting or running new businesses in 59 economies as the study released by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) reports. GEM is the largest and most comprehensive worldwide research study of entrepreneurial attitudes, activities, and aspirations.

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2010 Report estimates 63 million of these early-stage entrepreneurs expect to hire at least five employees over the next five years; 27 million anticipate hiring twenty or more people to fill newly created jobs. The potential contribution of entrepreneurship in job creation across the globe is important to economic growth.

Entrepreneurship’s contribution to an economy is based on more than numbers of entrepreneurs, it is important to consider the impact small businesses have on economic growth, innovation, and internationalization.

For job creation, “policy makers need to look beyond simply the number of active entrepreneurs. They need to understand the contribution these individuals make to economic growth and national competitiveness. Are these entrepreneurs creating jobs? Are they building innovative, global companies? These are important questions to ask,” states Professor Donna Kelly, one of the report authors.
While economies can facilitate people in starting businesses as a source of income, particularly when there are not enough jobs to meet demand, employed persons also benefit from new business opportunities. A supportive environment can encourage many to venture into entrepreneurship.

Societies should contain a variety of business phases and types, led by different types of entrepreneurs. Women’s participation in early-stage entrepreneurship relative to men’s differs widely around the globe. In the Republic of Korea there are five times more men than women entrepreneurs, while in Ghana there are more women than men starting businesses.

In 2010, GEM surveyed more than 175,000 people and over 3,000 national experts in 59 economies around the world. The report covers over 52% of the world’s population and 84% of the world’s GDP. This research is accomplished through an international network of national academic research teams, with global sponsors Babson College, USA and Universidad del Desarrollo, Chile.

Read the entire report here.

1 Comment

Filed under Entrepreneurship

New Report shows Emerging Markets leading in Medical Innovation

The way we assess value in medical technology is changing radically. In Bangalore, the mantra “made in India for India” echoes throughout GE Healthcare’s John F. Welch Technology Centre and Philips’ Innovation Campus. These research and development facilities have spawned such revolutionary devices as low-cost, lightweight, battery- powered electrocardiogram machines to serve remote, rural areas with little access to healthcare. In Europe, Merck Serono is revolutionizing the delivery of human growth hormone with diagnostic screening, counseling, and monitoring services tied to its easypodTM wireless injection device. The company focuses on the individual needs of patients, providing support that encourages adherence to prescribed treatment, improving their chances for better health.

These companies recognize that the old dynamic of the physician as arbiter of value is giving way to a new one: Government and private insurers and “self-pay” consumers increasingly determine what sells and at what price. They refuse to pay for incremental innovations that add bells and whistles but do not signifi- cantly improve health or reduce cost. The faster, better, smaller, cheaper advances so common in consumer electronics portend the future of medical technology.

In addition, providers are assuming more of the financial risk in healthcare
as payers increasingly base compensation on quality and results. If a new technology doesn’t help patients get better at the same or lower treatment cost, providers might not be motivated to use it.

Emerging-market countries such as China, India, and Brazil, despite comparatively weak healthcare system infrastructure, are quickly taking the lead in developing lean, frugal, and reverse innovation. This type of innovation simplifies devices and processes, retaining essential func- tions while applying newer technolo- gies that are more mobile, customized to consumers’ needs, and less costly. Such innovation will enable these nations to leapfrog developed coun- tries in innovative healthcare delivery.

The PwC Medical Technology Innovation Scorecard explores the changing nature of healthcare inno- vation. The results show that the innovation leaders of today will find their position slipping during the next decade. Three trends are evident:

• The innovation ecosystem for medical device technology, long centered in the United States, is moving offshore. Increasingly, medical technology innovators are going outside the United States to seek clinical data, new-product registration, and first revenue.
• US consumers are not always the first to benefit from advances in medical technology and could eventually be last in line. Innovators already are going first to market in Europe and, by 2020, likely will move into emerging countries next before entering the United States.
• The nature of innovation is changing as developing nations become the leading markets for smaller, faster, more affordable devices that enable delivery of care anywhere and help bend the healthcare cost curve downward. These countries are free of the handicap of an entrenched healthcare system infrastructure that seeks to maintain the status quo. However, the difficulty of doing business in emerging countries and poor intellectual property protection could make these markets less attractive to multinational companies, despite their size, and could hinder these nations’ innovation leadership.

The full report is available here.

1 Comment

Filed under Innovation

Are you a fence-sitter? A Lost Soul? Or a Transformer?

Great video about life, change and who you really are.

Vineet Nayar and his team have committed HCL to a goal—reverse accountability. David Kirkpatrick, then Fortune magazine’s top tech writer, profiled the company in an piece entitled: The World’s Most Modern Management—In India. More recently, HCL has been the focus of a series of Harvard Business School case studies.

Leave a comment

Filed under Globalization, Innovation