We are all scientists
Apple’s products are the envy of the world. They have been spectacularly successful and are widely imitated, if not copied. The expectation that precedes a new Apple product launch is only matched by the expectation of the replication of those products by competitors.
This cycle of product mimicry was succinctly summarized by Marc Andreessen regarding a rumored Apple TV product:
And once the television launches, everyone will scramble to copy it. ”There’s a pattern in our industry, Apple crystallizes the product, and the minute Apple crystallizes it, then everyone knows how to compete.”
This idea that the basis of competition is set by Apple and then the race is on to climb the trajectory of improvement is so well understood that it’s axiomatic: “It’s just the way things are.” Apple releases a product that defines a category or disrupts an industry and it becomes obvious what needs to be built.
But what I wonder is why there isn’t a desire to copy Apple’s product creation process. Why isn’t the catalyst for a new category or disruption put forward by another company? More precisely, why isn’t there another company which consistently re-defines categories and repeatedly, predictably even, re-defines how technology is used.
Put another way: Why is it that everyone wants to copy Apple’s products but nobody wants to copy being Apple?
I would submit that the question is wrong. There are several companies that have copied Apple – at least the Apple of Steve Jobs. Aysmco simply comes at the answer from the wrong view.
I say a few examples of those companies are Facebook, Google, Amazon and Tesla. “Why isn’t there another company which consistently re-defines categories and repeatedly, predictably even, re-defines how technology is used.” Asymco seems to miss the forest for the trees.
He even quotes Tim Cook who does have the answer:
Innovation is deeply embedded in Apple’s culture. The boldness, the ambition, the belief that there are no limits, the desire among our people to not just make good products [but to] make the very best products in the world. It’s in the values. It’s in the DNA of the company.
Read Increasing Returns and the New World of Business published in 1996 in the Harvard Business Review by W. Brian Arthur. You will see he described how to copy Apple while actually missing the changes Apple was making at the time.
Even he did not see Apple coming, thinking it was MS that would lead. But he hit the nail on the head with how to recognize the leaders.
He says corporate leaders need to ask themselves 4 questions if they hope to lead the new economy:
Now, there are many answers to these questions but I think there is a really easy rule that all these companies seem to exhibit – the feelings of Wall Street is only slightly material, if at all, to their plans.
Wall Street is useful for getting money to do what they want. But as for advice, well, Wall Street can pound sand for all they care.
The companies I mentioned all understand one thing – Wall Street is not a feedback. They know that their ecologies depend on empowering people, not making Wall Street richer. They generally create their own resources by their own creativity than by relying on Wall Street to provide the know how. And they know what games are coming next because they are creating them.
21st Century Companies, in contrast to normal ones, simply do not care very much about what Wall Street really thinks of them and are generally disdainful of Wall Street. Compare this to the normal CEO who seems tremendously cowed by Wall Street and worries every quarter of what to do to make them happy.
I think this is because these CEOs see their company as only a means to an end, as a way to cash out big time, not as a feeder for innovation.
In fact, the leaders of these Apple-imitating companies do not see cashing out Wall Street style as the next step – something most Wall Street types find confusing as they certainly would cash out if they could. Jobs, Musk, Bezos and others like them see their company as the end in itself and money as a means to that end.
It is completely backwards from normal CEO worldviews. They have no exit strategy because they never expect to exit.
Apple under Jobs really cared little what Wall Street thought about what it accomplished. It focussed on the feedback from its customers.
So it hoards billions of dollars and keeps little debt because that allows it to meet the feedback rapidly, even if Wall Street hates it and does not understand. And Wall Street gives Apple a very low PE ratio and Apple does not really care (we shall see how well Tim Cook really understands this lack of Wall Street feedback.)
Amazon barely has a profit and sells its tablets at a loss. In fact, Bezos seems to be quite happy barely making a profit while he increases the computing power of Amazon to eventually provide servers for all. Wall Street again fails to really understand, giving Amazon a PE ratio in the 1000s.
Facebook, while a public company, is still controlled by Zuckerberg not by any other investors. Yep, he took the company public yet still maintains a controlling interest. How in the world did that happen and why did Wall Street agree? I don’t know but Zuck can tell Wall Street to pound sand. He does not care and is free to do whatever he want.
In fact, I would say that the hallmark of a company that has successfully copied Apple is one that could really care less about what Wall Street says. They have created their own economy, their own ecology, that needs little feedback from Wall Street. They are successful in creating a sustainable company without being at the beck and call of Wall Street.
That is how you copy Apple.
The best tool to improve and keep track of your health may be in your pocket, says Dr. Eric Topol, a pioneering figure in “wireless medicine” — the practice of using apps and devices in health care. An article from NBC News describes how new apps for iPhone and other devices can measure vital signs and even detect whether someone is having a heart attack. “These days, I’m prescribing a lot more apps than I am medications,” says Dr. Topol. “The smartphone will be the hub of the future of medicine.”
The linked article shows the powerful use of technology to deal with a health emergency. Thanks to the smartphone, people have the equivalent of a supercomputer in their hands, capable of doing amazing things.
At the moment, the health arena is focussed on making sick people healthy. That has been incredibly helpful over the years but is beginning to reach its terminal end. It is simply becoming more and more expensive to gain even small increases in quality of life.
But, in a few short years, each of us will be able to collect huge amounts of data on our own personal health. Medicine will become personal.
Lee Hood – whom I have known since my days at CalTech when he taught me immunology – has been describing his vision of “P4 medicine” for years – predictive, preventative, personalized and participatory.
What happens when everyone has access to their own genetic information? What happens when each of us is wearing a wireless patch, one that constantly records thousands of data points on our personal metabolism and downloads that our computers? What happens when we can measure our own personal prescription drug levels daily, knowing exactly how long a therapeutic dose lasts for multiple drugs rather than rely on the probabilistic information for a single drug we deal with today?
How much cheaper will it be to catch health problems early? How much cheaper will it be to deal with people whose systems are just beginning to develop problems instead of seeing them long after they are sick?
We now have evidence that we can detect diseases such as the flu days before the symptoms become apparent. What happens when we become able to detect cancer years before symptoms?
The rapidly decreasing price of goods and services seen in the exponential economy will hit current medical practices hard. People will find ways to get the data that they want.
Right now I have a Fitbit to measure my activities and a balance to measure my weight/body fat percentage. Both dump the information to my computer wirelessly. I am creating a database. Throw in a daily log of my exercise/food and I can now track my weight lose/gain based on several measures. All this data is available to me via any digital device I have. I can easily track how my weight and body fat changes based on what I eat and do, not based on what research shows works for a general population.
Things how this will change medicine, especially when people have access to much more information. What this will also mean is that people will need better/different filters to explain and mine the data for them. I expect that we will see the growth of a huge industry to service this data for people.
Current medicine really only deals with biological systems after they begin failing. It can cost a lot to get the systems back in working order. Fixing them before the really become a problem will be the goal of 21st cebtury medicine.
Have you ever noticed that some things in the world like to be disrupted? Rogue militant groups set out to garner counter-attacks that distract their opponents while draining their resources. Viruses encourage multi-cellular organisms to activate their immune systems in attempts to wipe them out. Teenagers seek the disdain — and occasional wrath— of authority figures in their lives.
These seemingly counter intuitive behaviors are the centerpiece of Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s new book, Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder. They are the “teachable moments” that enable us to truly understand the driving dynamics of systems that undergo shock. Indeed, there are entire categories of systems that benefit from disruption.
As a first example, consider the wave of new startups that arise in the aftermath of economic collapse. The entrepreneurs who have long awaited the opportunity to step out from under the constraints of a prior paradigm are free to explore and create anew. We are seeing this all around us in the exploding field of social entrepreneurship today. Those companies whose legacy has been to rape and pillage, laying waste to vast ecosystems of the natural and social worlds, held the attention of financiers for decades. And now that many core institutions of the old world order — particularly the financial ones – have deteriorated to the point of ruin, those among us who strive to create business and have a moral conscience at the same time are able to step in and fill the void.
As a biologist by training, so much of what Joe Brewer describes here is indicative to me of the messiness of biological systems — the ability to deal with fragility in a robust way, to bend without breaking, to deal with shocks in ways necessary to survive, etc. It reminds me of Margret Wheatley’s work on the Unplanned Organization.
I wrote a series about The Synthetic Company a few years ago that incorporate Margaret’s ideas. One aspect that I think is critical for any anti-fragile system is what she calls a leader-full organization.
I also want to emphasize that emergent organizations are leader-full, not leaderless. Leaders emerge and recede as needed. Leadership is a series of behaviors rather than a role for heroes.
Part of what allows these groups to deal with unforeseen shocks in a resilient way is that the appropriate leader can rise up to take control and then become a follower later on when the shock recedes and another type of leadership is needed.
We see this again and again throughout history, as well as in our most entrepreneurial companies: the person who is best suited for dealing with one sort of shock (war, raising capital) is seldom the best for dealing with another shock (peace, shareholders, etc.) Since we cannot know what shocks are in store, nor what is really fragile in an organization, a robust solution to a world of shocks is to create a group of diverse and somewhat redundant talents with leadership dispersed in a way to allow the right talent to rise up when a particular shock hits the system.
Full of leaders who can follow when needed. Full of followers who can lead when required.
And, not too surprisingly, this organizational hierarchy collapses into something that resembles not only the biochemical networks seen in living cells but also the computer networks seen on the Internet. It seems that almost all systems that need to deal with fragility, robustness and the shocks of a rapidly changing world begin to look alike in some ways.
I believe that this is a hallmark of the sorts of organizations that will thrive in the 21st century, that can deal with the shocks of rapid change in ways to advance and grow.
Despite running a campaign with about twice the money and twice the staff of Governor Mitt Romney’s presidential bid, President Barack Obama’s campaign under-spent Romney’s on IT products and services by $14.5 million, putting the money instead into building an internal tech team. Based on an Ars analysis of Federal Election Commission filings, the Obama campaign, all-inclusive, spent $9.3 million on technology services and consulting and under $2 million on internal technology-related payroll.
The bottom line is that the Obama campaign’s emphasis on people over capital and use of open-source tools to develop and operate its sophisticated cloud-based infrastructure ended up actually saving the campaign money. As Scott VanDenPlas, lead DevOps for Obama for America put it in an e-mail interview with Ars, “A lesson which we took to heart from 2008 [was that] operational efficiency is an enormous strategic advantage.”
The Romney campaign spent $23.6 million on outside technology services—most of it on outside “digital media” consulting and data management. It outsourced most of its basic IT operations, while the Obama campaign did the opposite—buying hardware and software licenses, and hiring its own IT department. Just how much emphasis the Obama campaign put on IT is demonstrated by the fact that the campaign’s most highly paid staff member was its CIO, Michael Slaby, with an annualized salary of about $130,000.
Failures can be as important as successes in an exponential economy. A useful failure can inform more than some successes. The lower barriers that an exponential economy produces means that failure only presents short term costs that can be rapidly dealt with by longer term successes.
That is, a failure does not necessarily doom an effort, if that failure can be rapidly leveraged to get to success. If you wipe out, but learn from it, then when the next wave comes along, you’ll stay on top of it.
In an exponential economy, there is always another wave to successfully surf.
If, that is, the organization can understand how to manage and utilize the advantages that an exponential economy produces. Here are 7 points to consider.
Interestingly, the Obama campaign hired its IT people internally and used external infrastructure. The Romney campaign hired its IT people externally but created internal infrastructure. That seems to have made a big difference.
The Obama group attracted people interested in a start-up environment that was also a short-term commitment – it would all be over the day after the election. Romney contracted with data consultants and such in organizations that would live on afterwards.
To one, the election was a one-shot attempt at success while for the others it was just one more notch in their consulting gun.
The former really seemed to attract a disrupter mentality much more, one who really liked finding ways around the limitations that were placed in their way, rather than a type that could just find billable hours.
“Campaigns are serious tests of your creativity and foresight,” VanDenPlas explained. “They are unpredictable, agile, and short—an 18 month, $1 billion, essentially disposable organization. Hackers can thrive in an environment like that, to a point where I’m not sure anyone else really can. Everything is over far too quickly to get boring.”
1) Hire the right type of employees. Do not hire doers when disruptors are needed. And vice versa.
Using Amazon Web Services, instead of building their own servers, allowed the Obama for America group to pay for just the amount of server space they needed, when they needed it. They could expand into servers in different regions of the US in order to reduce loads and latency. Romney had everything route to one location, which crashed.
2) Leverage the exponential economy for services and infrastructure. Better to be smart rather than perfect. Better to seek adaptability over control.
Obama for America put their money into people, not into hardware. They spent twice as much money as Romney but also had twice the staff. They actually underspent Romney on IT services and hardware.
This is what the exponential economy does – the cost for things becomes cheaper. A smart organization puts the savings into people, which cannot be easily replaced by digital processes.
By finding the right people and paying them for being the right people, Obama for America produced over 200 apps in an 18 month period, using just about every Open Source approach that is around.
And they used their community for help:
The human factor in monitoring is huge. There are countless incidents where (OFA User Support Director) Brady Kriss notified us of pending problems derived from community help tickets.”
Romney’s group kept ORCA a secret – such a secret that no one wants to claim they even worked on it – and did only small amounts of testing before it was needed. They completely lost the advantage of having crowds to help perfect the apps.
Crowd feedback is important. Lots of testing and resilience is needed to create large numbers of solid apps. The fundraising segment, for example, was “a multi-region, geolocated, three facility processor capable of a per second transaction count sufficiently high enough that we failed to be able to reach it in load testing. It could also operate if every other dependent service had failed, including its own database and every vendor.”
This complexity can only be reached after actual testing by users.
4) Get your products into the actual hands of actual people as soon as possible. They are best able to find problems.
Redundancy and adaptability go hand in hand. For example, the Obama crew created an app whose only job was to take ‘snaphots’ of the Obama for America website. If a server failed, and the site could no longer dynamically create web pages, the static ‘pictures’ could be used in the interim.
Or, more amazingly, they dealt with Hurricane Sandy, which had severe impacts with people using East Coast server farms, by replicating a complete and functional copy of their whole infrastructure on West Coast servers in 24 hours!
5) Use the benefits of the exponential economy to create resilient and redundant systems. If the price has dropped 5-fold, then you can build two systems and still save money.
The Obama campaign spent over $1 million hosting the website that was accessible to the world. It gave a quarter of that to Amazon for hosting its own internally developed IT.
The Innovator’s Dilemma describes how a $50,000 contract to a small group can produce much more focussed work and innovative solutions than even a $500,000 contract to a large group. They care about it more because it matters more to their bottom line.
6) Spread the work around. It is more likely to produce successful solutions than one big contract. It certainly can cost less.
“This is the difference,” VanDenPlas said, “between a well run professional machine and a gaggle of amateurs, posing in true Rumsfeldian fashion, who ‘don’t know what they don’t know.’ I would be shocked if such a chasm exists next cycle between the parties—these aren’t mistakes to be repeated if you want to do things like win elections.”
Because of the lower barriers to entry, and the rapidity by which successful processes can disseminate throughout society, everyone catches up quickly. You cannot expect that coming up with something first will provide much of a long term advantage.
The way to stay ahead is to have the right mixture of people cranking the DIKW cycle as fast as possible. As long as your organization can move that cycle faster and smarter than others, you will stay on top of the wave.
7) Continuing rapid cycle development is crucial. Any advantage to accrues to disruptive innovators rapidly disappears, as others follow the path to success.
It is impossible to successfully ride every wave of change. But, creating and managing for the exponential economy can produce an organization scores well when the monster waves arrive.
There are many who argue, despite historical and ongoing evidence to the contrary, that creativity will die out if creators cannot be guaranteed some sort of livable wage. It’s almost as if any creator who creates as a hobby or potential second job either a) is being shortchanged by disruption, piracy, etc., or b) shouldn’t be taken seriously because they haven’t abandoned their day job.
It’s an odd assertion. Most groundbreaking creative efforts were conceived and carried out while the creators worked in a variety of other non-creative jobs. It was only after these breakthroughs that these artists went on to live solely on the earnings of their creative works. Somehow, we’re now expected to believe that without piracy and other disruptions, creators would be making better, livable wages, possibly right out of the gate.
That whole thought process ignores the reality. Not having a paycheck tied to your creative endeavors means being able to fail more often and experiment more freely, without having to worry about hurting your current source of income. Case in point: three developers who solved a problem most companies didn’t know they had, all without having to “give up the day job.”
For the past two years, Brandon Medenwald, Justin Kalvoda, and Bill Burgess have held down full-time jobs while also launching their company, Simply Made Apps.
Their only product is an app called Simple In/Out, which solves a problem that drove Brandon crazy. He explains, “In my fulltime job as a web programmer, we had an old magnetic in/out board like they use in sales offices to keep track of who is in the office and who isn’t. Five or six years ago, they transitioned to a Web-based version.
“I was constantly frustrated with it, because some of the roughly 40 people in our firm wouldn’t use it. The board became extremely out of date. For years, I was joking that I could write a better piece of software in a weekend, but then over beers in a bar with two friends, it dawned on me we could solve this problem by using the GPS chips in cell phones.”
Read the whole article as it demonstrates how the app economy allows passionate people to create new products in a weekend for a few hundred dollars.
That few hundred dollars can rapidly expand to thousands or more. All without having to quit a day job.
Low barriers ti entry, rapid bootstrapping and exponential economies all merge to disrupt the very act of creating a business.
I know some of the people who drove the Xbox360 hardware design and supply chain management. They are now war scarred and seasoned experts. They are the type of people you want working on the next big thing. None of them even knew about Surface until it was announced. Typical Microsoft organizational silos.
Microsoft is a software company that makes a couple of successful hardware products.
There are a couple of big differences between hardware and software that are relevant – hardware has to be physically assembled and it has to be physically distributed, neither of which is required for software.
Microsoft has had some real glitches with modern hardware.
Now it talks about competing with the largest high tech company in the world by producing a tablet that it will only sell at its online store and at its own retail Microsoft stores. There are only 29 of these in the world – 26 of them in the US. Hard to see how that will compete with Apple which has 373 stores in 13 countries.
The fact that they did not even connect internally with anyone who had real life experience with assembling and shipping a hardware component is also worrisome.
Rediscovering the wheel is a common problem with large, process driven companies. It can not be something that 21st century companies routinely allow.
Because they will be outflanked by those companies that do not reinvent the wheel, that are much more efficient with their resources.
by Hamed Saber
“We’re starting to do some things differently,” Phil Schiller said to me.
We were sitting in a comfortable hotel suite in Manhattan just over a week ago. I’d been summoned a few days earlier by Apple PR with the offer of a private “product briefing”. I had no idea heading into the meeting what it was about. I had no idea how it would be conducted. This was new territory for me, and I think, for Apple.
I knew it wasn’t about the iPad 3 — that would get a full-force press event in California. Perhaps new retina display MacBooks, I thought. But that was just a wild guess, and it was wrong. It was about Mac OS X — or, as Apple now calls it almost everywhere, OS X. The meeting was structured and conducted very much like an Apple product announcement event. But instead of an auditorium with a stage and theater seating, it was simply with a couch, a chair, an iMac, and an Apple TV hooked up to a Sony HDTV. And instead of a room full of writers, journalists, and analysts, it was just me, Schiller, and two others from Apple — Brian Croll from product marketing and Bill Evans from PR. (From the outside, at least in my own experience, Apple’s product marketing and PR people are so well-coordinated that it’s hard to discern the difference between the two.)
Handshakes, a few pleasantries, good hot coffee, and then, well, then I got an Apple press event for one. Keynote slides that would have looked perfect had they been projected on stage at Moscone West or the Yerba Buena Center, but instead were shown on a big iMac on a coffee table in front of us. A presentation that started with the day’s focus (“We wanted you here today to talk about OS X”) and a review of the Mac’s success over the past few years (5.2 million Macs sold last quarter; 23 (soon to be 24) consecutive quarters of sales growth exceeding the overall PC industry; tremendous uptake among Mac users of the Mac App Store and the rapid adoption of Lion).
And then the reveal: Mac OS X — sorry, OS X — is going on an iOS-esque one-major-update-per-year development schedule. This year’s update is scheduled for release in the summer, and is ready now for a developer preview release. Its name is Mountain Lion.
Yep, Apple gave a complete event, just like Jobs did for hundreds if not thousands via the web, but for just one person.
I really wonder how efficient this might be but it certainly offers something quite different for this sort of an announcement.
Because if done well, this sort of presentation can be tracked much better for identifying who gets the information out to the widest targeted groups. Apple chose Gruber because his site is very influential and followed.
Gruber is a thought leader and is listened to by many people. Thought leaders are those who move ideas from the edges to the mainstream. They are listened to by the vast majority of people in a community.
If you convince a thought leader of something, it becomes much, much easier to convince the group. This could be another instance of Apple’s genius.
Instead of hosting large events where many people may hear about the information but few are actually able to accomplish change, hold one-on-ones with well informed thought leaders and they will accomplish the change for you.
That, after all, is their role.
Wow. It will be interesting to see if that is what happens.
Can technology overcome and change institutions otherwise overcome by inertia and stagnation? Will technology help overcome tyrants and change the relationship between state and citizen in positive and hopeful ways, or will it enable dictators and make governments even more oppressive?
These were some of the questions posed at Techonomy this past November.
These aren’t merely political questions. The corporation as it has been conceived of for quite some time – that massive bureaucracy built upon a steep hierarchy – is also threatened by innovation and technological change. The old boss model may be facing its own near-extinction as the gig economy grows. Tech is changing everything.
The Techno-Futurists Are On to Something
In many ways, this is the same thinking behind Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch’s new book on libertarianism and its effects on stagnant institutions and mainstream culture. The free-wheeling nature of cultural libertarianism and economic freedom lead innovation and creative expression in ways that subvert and invariably alter the nature of the status quo.
Society is not defined by when the disruptive technologists adopt something – it is defined by when the majority – the doers – finally do.
In my opinion, Libertarianism actually works well for a very small percentage of people. For the rest of the population, it results in the tragedy of the commons, the rise of bandits and thieves and a society in which a few benefit while most struggle for existence.
We are a social animal and we survive because our societies survive. Cooperation is as important for our species as competition – sometimes more important. The most resilient, adaptive and sustainable societies have always been those that best found ways to balance those competing needs with new technologies that threatened to disrupt things.
Technologists love the disruptive effects of new things – they switch from new toy to toy like a bee. I say that as a disruptive technologist.
But a society built entirely upon that type of personality would rapidly fail – the constant disruption with new things would prevent much from being done. The endless wars – between Mac and PC, between Apple and Google, between LCD and LED, between Star Trek and Star Wars– provide too much disruption.
Society is made up mostly of people who accept change slowly and carefully. And a good thing they do. It greatly reduces the chance we might chose some technology that rapidly destroys the underpinnings of the society and how we interact.
We thrive because we provide important social roles for both the disruptors and the doers. Too much of either type threatens to produce either a stagnant or a chaotic organization or society.
It is all well and good to wish we could make a trip back and redo things to create a Jetson’s future. but we did not at the time and Toffler explained why over 40 years ago.
We have now hit a plateau. It is similar to a change of state of a liquid to a gas. The temperature does not change at all as more energy is added until a certain point – then the liquid becomes a gas.
There is the same sort of dynamic taking hold now. A whole generation has grown up without the same sort of Future Shock previous generations were suffering from. Their doers are much better prepared to deal with the rapid change now found in many sectors of society. Society can now make the transition to a new state very rapidly.
I expect 2022 will be very different because that change in state is now ready to happen. On my optimistic days, it will be great to have a world were most of society is more adaptive and resilient than today, having found ways to sustain itself without being totally reliant on current resources.
But it could also be very bad, as the old dinosaurs trample the faster mammals before they finally die off.
We need a society that permits the disruptors to continue to experiment with new approaches. But society will also still adapt slower than they might want because not every experiment deserves to spread throughout society.
Good thing too.
When Chris Cheung and Thomas Heermann, two middle managers at the software company Autodesk, first showed off their new iPhone drawing app, they got some skeptical looks. Why would anyone want to doodle on that tiny screen? And what could a $2.99 app matter to a company with around $2 billion in annual revenue?
This is a great example of how the app economy changes things and how adaptive companies deal with that change,
Two middle managers, charged with working on one project, are able to see the possible impact of new technology on their products. The app economy allowed them to bootstrap themselves without much investment of time, resources, or even permission from the company.
The products their small group created were big hits. The managers hoped for 100,000 downloads in a year. They got one million in 50 days.
These sorts of numbers are disruptive and mind boggling to a company with revenues in the billions. In fact, their entire PC-driven business could disappear in a few years due to this sort of economy – one where new competitors can arise so fast.
But Autodesk essentially competed with itself, now knows what is needed and could expand rapidly into this new niche.
Heermann thinks the timing of the apps may prove critical because consumer-style products are beginning to gain popularity among the corporate workforce, a phenomenon known as consumerization. That shift could spell trouble for companies that are slow to adapt. Now that Autodesk is a top-ranked app seller, says Heerman, who is now the company’s director of consumer products, “it’s almost like having the company shape up and get ready for the future.”
Disruptive technologies always start small and in niche areas. #12 million is small potatoes to a billion dollar company. But that small amount can grow and is Autodesk is snot adaptive enough, could eventually destroy Autodesk”s value.
Now, however, the disruption is happening inside and Autodesk might be resilient enough to capitalize.
Because one thing that disruptive technologies do – they destroy business models.
What exactly has RIM actually been prepared for in the last five years? Remember this one, where they thought the iPhone was impossible after Steve Jobs unveiled it?
Check out the older article from Electronista. All the big competitors, like RIM, Microsoft and toerhs, thought Apple was outright lying about the iPhone. They had all convinced themselves that a large touch screen was impossible without destroying battery life. So none of the thought very deeply about it.
That explains why Google seems to have added touch to its Android OS as an afterthought. They suffered from all three of Clarke’s Laws.
A hallmark of an adaptive, resilient company, one that can survive in the 21st century is to be able to recognize Clarke’s laws and utilize them. Obviously RIM could not and looks to fail.