Politics, Finances & Football: what’s a knowledge worker to do?

Friday, March 7th, 2008

Super Tuesday wasn’t that super; sub-prime confessions continue to spiral the market; and Brett Favre retires!   Does anyone really want to hear about the enterprise value of the Internet’s blooming capabilities?!

As we round the corner into spring weather, it might be useful to recall a few of the primary changes brought about by this current generation of web technologies, aka Web 2.0:

1. no longer dozens of markets comprised of millions of customers, but millions of markets comprised of perhaps only dozens of customers – think Long Tail or the permanent changes in media distribution (film, music, tv, advertising).

2. the Apple Store is more like the branch bank of the future than is the current drive-up window.  Customers want to affiliate with like-minded people where their particular needs can  be addressed.  The better news is that given the tools, customers will form these communities themselves.

3. Knowledge is no longer power because everybody knows – or at least has access to knowing.  This is the highest peak for management to climb.  Instead of singularly figuring-out how to deploy Web 2.0 tools e.g. the proper level of privacy, we should ask our employees, customers, partners what they think (and know) will work best.  Management has to bound the chaos, not provide the answers.

4. Mobility and Video are exploding right before our eyes similar to the marriage of computers and spreadsheets in the mid 1980s which launched the PC revolution.  Consider Google’s (owner of You Tube) Android program and yesterday’s Apple – Kleiner Perkins announcement to fund enterprise applications for the iPhone.  BTW, Steve Jobs is the largest shareholder of Disney Corp.  Wait ‘n see may be ok; and it’s not too soon for incubating a promotion strategy on mobile devices.

One thing is for certain, tomorrow’s Duke vs UNC game will be a good one and that game tips-off the welcomed respite of March Madness.  Go Carolina!

Regards, Christopher Perrien

Sub-prime making news; Video and Mobility making progress

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

– Please don’t ask about the extent of the aftershock of foolish borrowing and careless lending.  On so many fronts in our globalized marketplace, at both the individual and enterprise level, we’re probably going to have to heed the advice of Tancredi in The Leopard:  “If you want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.”

Meanwhile, other engines maintain their hum and will move closer to the center stage of widespread technical adoption in 2008.  Two examples that I track are video as a story-telling device and the elevation of the 3rd screen to our 1st screen.

– Last Christmas season my high school son and two of his classmates won a contest at the local upscale mall by producing a sixty second video to promote the shopping season.  They won $400 in equipment for the school and $600 to split three ways.  The recently concluded 2007 contest enjoyed a threefold increase in participation and a tenfold increase in prize money: $6,000 in equipment and $4,000 to split.  Clearly, the mall, the merchants and the aspiring film-makers see solid business value in consumer generated, good-enough, easy to deploy video to tell their stories. 

– So much is happening on the mobility front that it may not be obvious, although GPS features and related acquisitions (Navteq by Nokia and Tele Atlas by Tom Tom) are getting plenty of press.  With the $10b that Yahoo, Microsoft, and Google spent in 2007 to acquire search and advertising related companies and the popular reception to Apple’s iPhone, we will soon have the sort of mobile computing capabilities that consumers in other parts of the world have enjoyed for several years.  

The driving force behind all of this activity is control of search on the mobile device.  The revenue model is that Location Awareness facilitates Search and Search enables targeted Advertising.  Curious is our notion that the 1st screen is the TV and the 2nd screen is the PC, yet we all carry a 3rd screen nearly everywhere we go.  “Can you hear me now?” will rapidly migrate to “We know where you are and can help you to find and to pay for what you want. Just text me.”