Saturday, June 23, 2007

Congratulations to my son Scott - in the current issue of Wired

Not just because Scott, who is pictured above, is my son and the President of Raydiance, the story is a great multimedia read about the innovative technology of ultrashort pulse lasers and the software platform that Scott and Barry Schuler, Chairman of Raydiance are building.

Barry likens the opening of the Raydiance development platform to the way Microsoft Windows platform developers helped build Microsoft's huge ecosystem and a world dominant information industry leader.

Knowing both Barry and Scott, I have a firm belief that they are creating something truly revolutionary - at the intersection of software and nanotechnology. Raydiance may just be the Next Big Thing!

Although Raydiance was previously featured in a recent Business Week article, this WIRED piece shows how pictures help to tell the story more powerfully. The writer, Danny Dumas provides an expert insight into company and its technology and WIRED's use of visuals and great web design makes this one of my all-time favorite TI stories.

It also helps when you can tell family and friends people what your son does at work.

The Ultrashort Pulse Laser in Action

Trust Metrics for Social Networks

Sam Rose on the Facebook for Business group suggested that trust metrics would be needed to assure that FB social networks in business could be measured providing management or social network members themselves a way to visualize the "strength" of Trust, Reputation and Security in making decisions about how to apply the key principles of Wikinomics in business settings.

In my several eLearning presentations on Wikinomics I used the diagram above to present the key themes of the book and to use it as a template(map) for audience interaction. Audience reactions to the map elicited comments from several in the audience such as the one from the Director of Worldwide Education for Genentech in which he said that at least for his firm issues of legal liability, risk of sharing trade secrets or other IP required a mechanism to control the amount of Open, Peering and Sharing and how broadly Global such a process could be.

This led me to consider the red circle in the diagram as a feedback system in which the visual of the circle would expand or contract( thus add or subtract value from collaboration) through the key elements of successful collaborations shown on the diagram.

For many years I used the Bell-Mason spider diagram ( example below) to visualize the vital signs of startup businesses, and developed an ontology of key elements of business to "populate" the diagram. What this does is to provide a Vital Signs chart similar to the way medical diagnostics pictures key health metrics. This charting approach offers a neat way to map from qualitative, subjective judgments to a quantitative metric that drives the spider on the chart. It can be used for snapshot assessments, or in time series to show trends.

I used these charts as a dashboard approach to venture portfolio project management as a VC and later as an Angel investor, and keeping in mind Korzybbski's dictum "the map is not the territory" I found metrics at this level of abstraction to be very helpful in gettting a quick diagnostic about startup progress, and to make investment or intervention decisions.

Price Waterhouse adopted Bell-Mason diagrams for a number of years to portray "paths to value" in the venture capital arena and I think they can be applied to measuring the vital signs of collaborative ecologies.

The key point here is ranking subjective, qualitative information into numbers-driven quantitative displays for decision-making. I plan to "crowdsource" the development of a vital signs diagnostic for social networks in business with Sam Rose and others in the Business group, and to encourage them to investigate the use of Wikinomics principles in their work.

The Art of the Start -

This beautiful drawing by David Armano should be mashed up with Guy Kawasaki's The Art of the Start handbook for startups. Although David drew it to illustrate his design agencies ecosystem, it also pictures the system elements of new product and early stage company development.

A Thoughts Illustrated favorite!

Logic Emotion: Agency Ecosystems

Friday, June 22, 2007

Facebook Gets Help From Its Friends -

Thanks to my Facebook friend Rodney Rumford and his post on FaceReviews :: Facebook Application Reviews, Facebook Widgets and Facebook News. Sharing the Facebook Blog love.

Facebook Gets Help From Its Friends - "Facebook is actually borrowing a tactic pioneered by Microsoft: Rather than building every piece of technology yourself, let others build on your 'platform,' much the way Adobe Systems Inc., Intuit Inc. and others built software for Microsoft's Windows operating system in the 1980s. Using this strategy, Facebook can nurture an ecosystem of developers who can create services far faster than Facebook could build them on its own."

The Facebook ecosystem now has over 50,000 application developers working to increase the user value of the Facebook platform - a number that is growing by almost 10% per day - and Rodney's Facebookreviews is providing a needed service by scanning this huge source of new applications to locate the "good stuff" for you.

If he can keep up with the rapid growth of Facebook applications to recommend the ones you can use to power your social networks , he will be in the catbird seat - with a 50,000 foot view of this amazing ecosystem, and a significant player in building brand value for Facebook and the applications it selects to review from the burgeoning developer network.

IMHO the launch of the Facebook Platform will be a watershed event in the history of the Web as it grows to become THE social network "for the rest of us". All that's needed to accelerate Facebook into sustainable orbit velocity is to become the user's choice on their mobile devices. Think Facebook on iPhones - social networking on steroids!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Kim Polese and Spike Source - another Wikinomics story

In preparing for a presentation on Wikinomics I wanted to feature SpikeSource and its "rockstar" CEO Kim Polese as a sterling example of Wikinomics principles in action. Kim has been featuring podcasts with Don Tapscott and Wikinomics in her marketing website,sort of closing the loop.

These BW slide shows are really great shortcuts to learning about featured topics and the format for presentation on the web site is the best I have seen.

Thanks to google images, and Business Week I have the content I need for my presentation - which, incidentally will be available for free download from the eLearningForum, my sponsor for my gig this Friday.

The New Wave in Open Source | BusinessWeek

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ning to Facebook in one click.

Ning is a social networking site started by Mark Andreeson of Netscape fame whose comments on Facebook were in my previous post Thoughts Illustrated: The importance of the Facebook Platform Explained

After realizing the importance of Facebook as a platform it only took Mark 5 days to enable Ning's 65,000 ( his claim) social networking sites to port over to Facebook with one click. How to effortlessly inject your content into Facebook, using Ning

Who Needs College? The Triumph of Young Web Founders

Who Needs College? The Triumph of Young Web Founders

Monday, June 18, 2007

Who Participates And What People are Doing Online

A nice chart of data from Forrester Research . This is just a small clip from a larger comprehensive chart which accompanies the full story.

read more | digg story

Mass Collaboration Designs and Builds for Boeing

SuiteTwo - Spikenet integration

Click on the podcast of Kim Polese interview with Don Tapscott relating another Wikinomics story of mass collaboration.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The importance of the Facebook Platform Explained

Two great articles on the importance of the Facebook Platform

Here from David SacksThe New Portals: It’s the Bread, Not the Peanut Butter

Courtesy of Mark Andreeson Analyzing the Facebook Platform, three weeks in

from a Facebook msg from Robert Scoble.Facebook | Message: facebook addiction

Notemark - Clip, save, share from your browser

A new tool for clipping from the web - also a WebEx partner. I think I can use this app, and also see it as a utility for ConversationBase.

The Amazing Recursiveness of the Web!

In continuing preparation for my presentation on Wikinomics, and as a result of a conversation with Chris Carfi of Cerado, I learned about Spikesource and CEO Kim Polese's interview with Wikinomics author Don Tapscott.

In addition to recognizing Spiksoure as a wikinomics story, the AntTrail from linking to the Spikesource story led me to this Webinar invitation to Kim's interview- powered by, surprise!, WebEx, who will also be providing the remote broadcast service for my presentation on June 22.

The feeback loop here is recognizing also that Spikesource is a potential platform partner for ConversationBase, and for delivery of Networked Books into the corporate market. First book up is, obviously, Wikinomics!

SpikeSource - SuiteTwo

Presentation Research -Discovery through Google Images

In preparing for my second presentation for the eLearning Forum on the subject of Wikinomics I wanted to use the power of time-shifting and stored "memory" exemplified by TiVo.

My "ant-trail" 1. Search google images 2. select the image shown above 3. Follow the image link to find this 4 year-old post Church of the Customer Blog

"Student volunteers, who received free pizzas for their labor, helped with the assembly of the system, essentially an array of large refrigerators to keep the computers from overheating. Virginia Tech's president offered free football tickets to the technicians who were spending long hours on the project.

"'When you have a small budget," said Srinidhi Varadarajan, a leader of the project, "you have to take risks.'"

Voila! a perfect example of the principles of Wikinomics in action and another story for the Wikinomics playbook.

Time-shifted and stored in the "memory" of the Church of the Customer blog and discovered through google image search. Their tag cloud on the blog piques my attention. Maybe we should introduce them to ConversationBase .

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Food for the right side of your brain

Take 2:43 minutes to savor this art history video with a mashup/remix of a Bach cello soundtrack by YoYoMa and some of the most enchanting female faces you will ever see.

This short video is an example of the 1% of YouTube that is worth watching.

Thanks to my daughter Susan Barb for the link.

Kawasaki Redux - another side of the Truemor story

From Toronto Globe and Mail technology writer Matthew Ingram: Kawasaki: How I wasted $12,107 on Truemors �

I agree with Michael about how inconsequential Truemors appears to be, but I think Guy's new contrarian mantra is worth considering.

"No Plan, No Capital,No Model....No Problem"

The opportunity to create a viral microenterprise has never before been so attractive For example,on the heels of the public launch of the Facebook Platform, accompanied by such heavy weight application development partners as Amazon and Microsoft, over 42,000 wannabe's have signed on as application developers- a list that is growing bhy over 10% PER DAY!

Like Truemors they may find it possible to launch an application on the cheap and expect the viral distribution channel of Facebook to give them orbital velocity, and, using Guy's Truemors numbers - the expecations that anyone of these could gain initial success and market visibility for $12,107 is going to fuel a land grab.

But let's say that only 1% of these startups succeed - the cost of supporting all the losers amounts to $484,500,000 -- not a great ROI.

I think this exploding cadre of application developers on Facebook and now on the new iPhone Platform will generate some real winners - but sorting through 40,000 business models at the startup level is not the job of professional investors so, family, friends and angels will pony up the early funding for these nascent products and companies and generally lose their shirts.

Guy Kawasaki - the contrarian VC

Here is a great little presentation supporting Guy's new mantra -
" No Plan, No Capital, No Model…No Problem: Companies that Defied What VCs Will Tell You"

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Be Like the Internet - from

Here is a beautifully done slide presentation from slideshare.

Monday, June 11, 2007

running the numbers - an american self-portrait and a visual surprise!

current work

"This new series looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. Statistics can feel abstract and anesthetizing, making it difficult to connect with and make meaning of 3.6 million SUV sales in one year, for example, or 2.3 million Americans in prison, or 426,000 cell phones retired every day. This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs.

My only caveat about this series is that the prints must be seen in person to be experienced the way they are intended. As with any large artwork, their scale carries a vital part of their substance which is lost in these little web images. Hopefully the JPEGs displayed here might be enough to arouse your curiosity to attend an exhibition, or to arrange one if you are in a position to do so. The series is a work in progress, and new images will be posted as they are completed, so please stay tuned."
From the Seattle-based artist Chris Jordan

Chris Jordan has put together a museum quality exhibit to present statistical evidence through surprising and unexpected collages of digital images telling a statistical story in a way that will get you thinking. I am sure the images shown full size in a gallery would be much more impressive, but just scroll down this web-based offering in your browser and you will learn a lot in a hurry.

the CommonCraft Show - simply brilliant!

Lee Lefever produces the most elegantly simple videos called PaperWorks to explain web tools like Wiki and RSS. His style of presentation must be seen to be appreciated. so you can do that right now

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Network Innovation - a lesson from Apple

Innovation | Lessons from Apple | "This approach, known as “network innovation”, is not limited to electronics. It has also been embraced by companies such as Procter & Gamble, BT and several drugs giants, all of which have realised the power of admitting that not all good ideas start at home. Making network innovation work involves cultivating contacts with start-ups and academic researchers, constantly scouting for new ideas and ensuring that engineers do not fall prey to “not invented here” syndrome, which always values in-house ideas over those from outside."

Network Innovation is well described in Wikinomics - with its core principles Open, P2P,Sharing, Global. - Apple appears to have its cake and eat it, violating the key principle of openness, but gaining innovative advantage through adopting other's innovations( think Xerox Altos) and focusing on sleek, sexy,fashionable design.

iTunes is the newest version of Apple's network innovation. Its almost hidden agenda is its insertion as a virus-like component on the Windows platform where, unexpected, it resides as a remora . iTunes and the soon to be shipped iPhone
are stealth invaders of the Windows platform - where any iTunes enabled device, MAC or PC is "recognized" and connected to share any iTunes content. It is a network innovation of mostly unseen and unexpected scope - imagine an Apple networking widget on every Mac and Windows PC. That's iTunes - and guess where iPhone will connect as a Network Innovation?

Who knew?

Monday, June 04, 2007

Yi-Tan on FaceBook and Widgets

The Gladwellian Connector pictured above is Jerry Michalski, founder of Yi-Tan, a collective which uses the chinese symbol above to mean: Conversations About Change.

Here's how Jerry describes what his collective is all about:

"We're here as part of a larger network to explore, prototype, adopt and recommend solutions around social media and technologies that are going to change the way people communicate, collaborate, engage with each other and organise for work and play."

I met Jerry last year at Meshforum 2006, and today accepted his invitation to listen on his weekly Yi-Tan community conversation - sort of a dial-in radio talk show with Jerry as the host. The subject of today's call was a timely exploration of the meaning of the "new" FaceBook
Platform and how it may effect the solution set that Yi-Tan has been exploring.

If you didn't get the invitation in time to hear the conversation, the link above will take you to the podcast archive of the call. Given time, I will attempt to synthesize the conversation, so you won't have to listen to the full hour to get the gist - but here is my takeaway:
"Facebook is emerging as an important player in the intersection between social networks and how people communicate through conversations".

I have just joined as a member of Facebook as you can see from my sidebar, and intend to learn as much as I can what all the buzz is about.



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