Archive for innovation

Change is painful

Posted in 1 with tags on December 3, 2008 by Geir Stene

roseIt seems like we all try the best to avoid change. Change demands to face the uncertain and very few of us like that. Nevertheless, however hopeless, to dare to face change also represent the option to come out stronger. This is very much true in the Internet business at the time we are in.
But now there is no way to avoid it, change is here.


Times are difficult in so many parts of the world these days, for so many people, and are so in most areas of work. What did happen is one question. Another possible question is: What will happen? Both are important to gain knowledge to get out of the state we are in, but still the most important question we all have to ask is what do we want to happen next? and start work towards that goal.

In my line of business I want to use my skills and creativity to improve things. Things in my life and things for the customers I work for. Since change is something happening for all of us as we speak, it’s easier to get change to happen. How can I help others to improve things is the focus of what I want to do at the time. Businesses nowadays have serious topics to solve: How to avoid going bankrupt? How to not have to let people go from their work?

In the public sector there’s a lot to be done, that will ease the workload, and thereby provide more resources available to get more done. Public service need to get most out of the budgets in order to do what the public services are there to do: provide services needed to the public. In the private sector it’s not much different, besides providing a profit for the owners; companies in the end of the value chain are doing that: delivering valuable services and products for people. My part of all this is to contribute as well as I can to provide solutions for customers, to find their best way to contribute to make change happen as fast as possible so we can get back on track again. What’s your best way to contribute? What do you want to happen next?

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Innovative digital collaboration?

Posted in 1 with tags , , on September 24, 2008 by Geir Stene

Being innovative doesn’t mean that you have to invent something totally new. Innovation is being creative and make it happen! Most innovations that works is by connecting some known factors together in a creative way and make use  of it in a new way, and very very few new ideas came frome solitude and a vacum, its almost allways made by groups.

I came across this Blog article at Tech Pulse 360 about collaboration today. Have to say there is very little new in it. The news is that people now start getting it. Collaboration is useful in order to get whatever you do, done!

Cisco have gotten this and are prepared to offer large solutions to large enterprises to a high premium price. Great for Cisco! They have seen what people in the business have seen for a long time. It’s a huge market, and the demand is rising fast. Cisco estimates a 34 billion dollar market, yearly! But they are sticking to “telepresence, and webex conferences, not taking full advantages of collaborative possibilities, both synchrone, and a- synchrone. For most of us, it will be unneededly expensive. Connecting what we see is happening in the “Web 2.0” area, with various collaborative applications can be far more efficient for most of us in all kind of collaborative tasks. The applications are there, security and broadband challenges are solved. The global ressicion is a driver to speed up this developement as well, due to the need to look at cost/benefits and reductions on costs.

Well this is the ‘basics’. Another driver for digital collaboration that becomes innovative is You & I. Yes it is. Open innovation, in collective groups will drive forward a combination of innovation itself, and collaborative solutions as a result motivated by each other. Further reading on this ideas is a great idea. Charles Leadbeater book “We think” is a great start, but if you are as lazy as I am, a link to his blog would maybe be of help? Well just click on his name or the name of the book. In any event thinking alone hasen’t gotten anyone anywhere, action and results are needed in order to get innovation, so what are you waiting for? 

We are all ready, We have the knowledge, the overview of products and services to set up concepts and solutions that are innovative, and we have the fun mix of providing a quick ROI, being quickly adjustable to meet changing needs, easy to produce and most important easy to use. Anyone guessing its not Cisco’s solutions Im thinking of ? It’s more in the line of integrated software/applications, or this clever thing calles SaaS, that enables modern, innovative digital collaboration. All for a cost you earn back fast enough to dare to get started! Not convinsed yet? Well you now have the tools to get independent by large corporations, and can choose between social groups of your choice to get inspired, to get new knowledge and to balance risk between providors of all kinds.

“DIY” Innovation by real people

Posted in 1 with tags , , , on September 21, 2008 by Geir Stene

One of the largest industries on the internet are meeting new challenges. People aren’t buying porn on the web anymore, they are making it themselves and share it for free. Finally some innovation from us, the people, Wow!

This is interessting, just read what Sergio Messina says. Another interessting book on the subject is “The Porn report” from Australia. The names for the innovative engagement of real people is “DIY” ( Do it yourself) and “Realcore”. Got this knowledge from the newspaper Dagbladet. Well, the porn industry used to be innovative (just remember the struggle of home video format), maybe not so anymore. The positive side of ordinary people taking power of the internet porn is that it’s free, it’s democratic, it present real humans with normal bodies, in all ages and shapes, with “normal” actons and/or more kinky stuff presented, and the audiens find this more interessting than the “pro versions of porn” It’s also an interessting phenomen because this helps “destroying” a lucreative and cynical business that has exploited far to many people. Its like the burning of bra’s in the seventies, but with a modern twist, or is it?
It’s not only a shunshine story; we’ve all heard about private videos and images, that was never ment to be published, and tragic stories of people that got their most intimate parts of their lives exposed on the net. Well, everybody knew that Sex and Porn are two of the most seached words on the internet, or didn’t everybody know this ? For the qurious of you I have placed a free video clip on my Miscellaneous page. Was that evil of me ?

Why is the web flat?

Posted in 1, IT and communication with tags , , , , on August 27, 2008 by Geir Stene

I’ve been wondering for more than ten years now; why does web sites on internet seems so “flat”? It’s like transferring paper to the screen.

Updated comments below article

When I ask this question to designers, they often get very defensive. Its like we all believe that a web shall have a global menu, sub menus, a logo on top, a lot of informative text and if creative some great images to follow. Isn’t that recipy like a soup in a bag? Just add water…. But do not misinterpret me, there is a lot going on and internet and the web is still only in the early phase of evolving into what we will see in the future. There are a lot of interesting blogs out there discussing and talking (writing?) about this kind of topics, one interesting is this one: 360

Inventions, phenomena’s and ideas tend to keep a pattern we have to accept; they all tend to be loyal to the origin they came from. “The world is flat” we all know this postulate, and it took centuries to evolve from this idea to the one we have now (what ever that is these days..), even after the fact was stated people continued wanting to believe that the world is flat for decades. Web sites (pages!) has a lot of it’s idea created around the idea of print. I always found this interesting, since the computer screen is digital, and factually resembles the TV set more.

Even designers used to defend the fact that designing web pages frequently seems like a “forced electronic paper version” instead of a medium of visual communication with  another fact:  “3D is to expensive in most cases” or “live images can’t get quality due to lack of broadband capacity” This statements are now less true than before, and designers are working hard to evolve the web.

The idea of (and knowledge to) create a perspective in an image was developed during the Renaissance , you don’t need 3D technology to draw diagonal lines to a center point! You need knowledge, and you need a basis for your idea world. Lot’s of interesting things are happening, but far to much of it seems to me to be “experimental”…. And I don’t get it. Experimental?? what is so experimental by implementing what art, cinema and, radio/TV has done for years? What’s so experimental by doing what PR and commercials have been for years? There is less experimenting on the web, than in most new media the last centuries!

Since the “history” of the web is, in my opinion, based upon an “electronic paper”, and the idea has been to provide knowledge and information spread, it’s hard to get out of the thinking patterns that we have to use a lot of text, mainly a form of one way communication, we will still have that as a major direction of how a web page will look, and function. Even web 2.0, social media, interactive solutions keep producing “flat web sites” If one wants’ to get out of this, one will need to take the bull by its horns, and questioning the basic of the idea of what a web site really is, for whom and to do what.

  • It came to my mind that Itera group uses the term “the world is flat” from the book: “The World Is Flat – The Globalized World in the Twenty-First Century, by Thomas L. Friedman
    There are two major points in my opinion on this use of term. First, using such terminology; To me it sounds typical American (excuse me my US friends) to simplify a phenomena by the wording that much so that the complexity disappear, it’s in fact a dangerous rhetoric trick of (amongst others)politicians to do so, and thereby avoid that the public focus is at more troublesome sides of the case.
    Thomas L Friedman’s book, tries to speak of a “flatter” (read less hierarchic world) but argue in fact of new business models, new technologies and how to achieve this – but, in my opinion naively overlook that it’s not very likely that e.g. poor / common people in the world (so called third world) are the one to enable this. Maybe the commercial corporation Itera group didn’t overlook this and see possibilities for profit in this term ?
    I would rather have a far more Holistic world, than a “flatter” one.

Open standards and collaboration

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , on August 20, 2008 by Geir Stene

Well, why not apply the “KISS” (Keep It Simple Stupid) model? Microsoft says they are focusing on open standards and pinpoint the great benefits of collaboration and interoperationality. In Digi.no there is an interessting article today.

That’s great news, even though I doubt Microsoft has what it takes to give the market just that. But one never knows. Microsoft has to change, they know it, what remains to see if they are just talking the talk, or walking the walk.

Collaboration is a huge area of business models, concepts, technologies and organizational implementing systems. Intermobility is as well. The offers on the market is large, and not very easy to  have a clear view of. Why not simplify the task at hand, and use the web as the front end? Not Microsoft, not SAP, not Polycom or Tandberg, but simply the web. The web is an open standard; the web is simple and familiar for all users. The web is accessible from where ever. The broadband capacity is increasing as we speak mobile networks as well. So why not? The answer is in the business models created a long time ago. This goes for Microsoft, Tandberg, Telenor and the lot. They are all reluctant to change, that’s one of the main reasons the KISS model aren’t implemented already. They are afraid to loose market shares, and want to lock their customers into their own proprietary hardware/ software. This is old fashioned, and can in the most simple way be described as a mild form of bondage, and who want to be that submissive in business?

But there is hope! There are alternatives for web based solutions that are open for all ( this includes software from e.g. Microsoft, like Sharpeoint) where one can integrate web meeting solutions (like meetcon in scandinavia/ Wiredred in Europe and the US), project management solutions and so forth into a complete, simple web based interface tailor-made for your organization and business. It can easily be scaled for small businesses, and for large cooperatives. Safety is not a topic, it can all be managed. 

For a while yet, the large companies, like the ones mentioned above will keep argue that it’s not true that the web can solve the collaboration and intermobility challenge. At the same time the very same corps. are the already working very hard to try to change, before google snap the market shares in front of their eyes.

PS: Latest news: Speculations on Tandberg being in a a possible buy up situation Read more here (in Norwegian)

Scared of recession?

Posted in 1 with tags , , on August 20, 2008 by Geir Stene

World economics are falling into recession. There is no need to discuss if this is what is happening. Everything is “falling”: The stock exchange, The Dollar, Banking, Real estate, and so forth. The cost of a oil barrel isn’t though..

What does this tell us in the digital communication business? Normally that revenue will drop. Both private enterprise and the public sector tends to stop investments and sit put, till someone shout out; the danger is over – go spend money again! Is this a wise strategy?

What is important when economics slows down? In my opinion it’s important to look at new opportunities, to look at means to become more efficient, to get more value out of the same or less input; in short to be clever. Good times seem to, at all times, favor laziness! “Harder times” seems to split organizations and businesses into two major groups. The scared ones –  and the creative ones. The digital business and internet companies has a lot to offer to the market in this situation. Producing new business models that are cost saving, increase efficiency , build stabile and secure solutions that avoid high cost rescue actions, and provide the public with internet services that are easy to use, that gives them correct information and empower people to take the best actions in the society and in their personal lives. 

It’s kind of obvious, in times of recession all things tend to get cheaper. That’s when it’s clever to buy stuff, to invest – simply because one get more value for the  money! That’s when people tends to get more creative, in order to find solutions they can afford, this gives the market effect that providers of goods and services have to adapt and have to become attractive by getting better, more creative and keep being competitive.

There is no need for a genius mind to figure this out, still, why do so many get scared and run down in their caves and hide, hoping for everything to vanish, to not be this way anymore? And why is the media so in love with crisis? Just look at the media, in Norway; Dagens næringsliv, Dagbladet, VG, and Aftenposten, and also in the internet media like Digi.no, to name some examples. They are all shouting out headlines like bankrupcy, crisis, regression, in any business segment you can imagine. Worldwide media is no better. There is nothing that sell better than fear! Media knows this and do their best to make use of it.

The interesting part to watch in the coming months and year will not be the ones that sit put and wait; it will be the one that start acting now. That’s the winners of tomorrow. For private enterprises, my hope is that environmental solutions for energy, transport, fair trade, ecological production of food, seafood and so forth is the ones investors now will put their eyes on and give finanical support  to grow and be even more inventive and strong in the marketplace for the best of us all, including the return of investments and branding value for the investors. I hope for the best for us all that we will have a lot of clever, creative, innovative leaders especially in the public sector, because that will give the effect that the living standard will not suffer for the poorest, instead we will have the opportunity to make far better solutions and services for the general public that will save a lot on budgets to spend on the ones in our societies that doesn’t have the economic strength to live thru the “harder times” ahead.

Where is TV heading?

Posted in 1 with tags , , , on May 27, 2008 by Geir Stene

It’s often said that no media has ever died. The book, art painting, photography, the movie, the radio all have survived new media and technology arriving. But that was before YouTube!

 

Internet and broadcasting is merging and at some point I believe that TV becomes seamlessly integrated with next generation of home media systems in a scale that changes everything within broadcasting as we know it. That doesn’t necessarily mean that broadcast corporations will die. But I do believe that broadcasters should look closely at how they brand themselves. In my opinion a broadcaster that uses its brand and transform from a large channel enterprise more toward a knowledge and competence brand will survive into the future. Maybe its time for broadcasters to get far more serious about their websites and how to use them in their core business, instead of being very protective and separate broadcasts and Internet activities as much as they do at the moment. Is that a clever policy?

If we look at it: What is the business of broadcasting? For Public service broadcasters it’s like the morning paper you get on your door every morning, core business is to deliver as interesting content as you can to an as large amount of subscribers as possible. For a commercial broadcaster it’s to gather as many viewers as possible, and sell them to advertisers. Is there anyone that can see the similarities to the core of Internet business? Content and a large amount of people gathered around a specific subject. I believe that broadcasting and Internet has a lot in common of what they can offer, and with business models that is very suited for at close cooperation. The best of TV and the best of Internet is a hit in my opinion. While waiting for the broadband development, I believe that conceptual connection between the TV programs, and Internet e.g. communities is very interesting aspects of how to create a win-win situation. Internet has the options to interact far better with the audience and to connect the knowledge of the user and take advantages of that both in a commercial way, and in an editorial way also for the content creation of TV programs.