It’s often said that access to information is a competitive advantage. We are living in an information society and selling knowledge and services is seen as a future-proven business model. But who will win the battle for the customers’ pockets?
Browsing magazines and books that are far away from your own business, and perhaps your comfort zone, is extremely productive if you are looking for new ideas, need to find solutions to a problem or want a new angle on things. Let yourself be influenced by ideas and emotions from businesses outside your own.
How can you, as a company, share with investors the most important ingredients for new innovations, namely dreams and emotions? How can you, as a company, explain tools (e.g. company culture) and processes you have in place to mass-produce ideas that will later become profitable innovations? Is it possible to measure, communicate or even benchmark the ability of companies to create and share dreams in a financial document such as a quarterly report?
When I was a kid, I used to dream about what I would be able to do if only my parents had the sense to buy me a Commodore 64; the computer of choice when I was growing up.
Not only would I get an A in every subject in school, but I would automate every tedious task in both my life as well as the lives of those around me. We would never have to do anything boring or repetitive ever again. It was going to be a perfect life.
There has been a lot of talk about in-memory databases in recent months. Recently the discussion has broadened with SAP trying to position their in-memory HANA database as a revolutionary replacement for traditional relational databases (RDBMS) – in particular arch enemy Oracle’s database.
Good time for a reality check.
What happens when you cut off the ability for people to specialize and exchange? The answer is that you slow down technology progress—or even regress. There are studies to prove this, e.g. what happened Tasmania 10 000 years ago when it was isolated as the waters rose. But we don’t have to look back some 10 000 years. Look what has happened with societies such as North Korea or some of the Arab countries when people have been cut off from the ability to specialize and trade.
Twitter – once thought of only as a vanity exercise for the uber-geeks and the Hollywood socialites – is actually a really powerful tool. Not only for marketing and gossip but for instant polling, news commentary and history lessons.
I’m the first one to admit it. I didn’t see how big Twitter was going to be. Sure enough, I was early on the band wagon when it got started, following Steve Jobs and Al Gore and others that I thought was of interest, but I failed to see just how huge it would become.
There are two aspects of business travel, especially on the long haul flights, I still enjoy. One is the hours without any inflow of e-mails or other communication. The second is the chance encounter with an interesting person. On my way to IFS development center in Colombo, Sri Lanka the other week I ended up next to bald middle aged lady wearing a turban. This will make for an interesting few hours I thought, and sure it did.
It’s that time of the year again; prediction time.
With every year end we like to look forward into the next year and try to see what it holds for us. This year is no exception. So what will 2012 be like in the software industry? What will be hot and what will not? We have the list of predictions just waiting for you, right here.
For some strange reason, kids (again) solve this creativity process so much better than both CEOs and business students.
The more ideas you produce, the higher is the probability that one of them is a bright one. But are you spending enough time and do you have the right processes in place to boost ideas within your company? So what does this YouTube clip tell you about your creative processes?
Being creative and coming up with ideas is important, but having the skill to communicate ideas or a vision is business critical too. Being able to describe the future in rational terms (numbers or products) is just as important as describing the future in emotional terms (how it will feel for all concerned).