Friday, October 28, 2011

Evernote:iPhone Mod is a Steve Jobs Tribute Apple Would Be Proud Of

From Evernote:

iPhone Mod is a Steve Jobs Tribute Apple Would Be Proud Of


 

iPhone Mod is a Steve Jobs Tribute Apple Would Be Proud Of

Published on Cult of Mac | shared via feedly mobile

We’ve seen a shedload of Steve Jobs tributes since he passed away on October 5, but when it comes to paying tribute with one of the devices Steve created, this is the most impressive we’ve seen so far. This iPhone 4 mod was devised by a Chinese student, and it’s a tribute Apple would be proud of.

A 19-year-old student from Hong Kong took the famous picture of Steve’s silhouette inside the Apple logo and recreated the image on the rear panel of his iPhone 4. It’s an elegant and beautifully designed tribute that’s by far the best iPhone tribute we’ve seen.

[via M.I.C. Gadget] Similar Posts:

Fan Pays Tribute to Steve Jobs With Amazing Haircut (updated) Readers, Send Us Your Tribute Pictures for Steve Jobs Cool Transparent iPhone 4 Rear Panel Now Available to Purchase Here’s to the Crazy Ones – Including Steve Jobs [Video] Steve Jobs Is Parked In a Handicapped Spot, And His Car Is Probably Still There

feedly. feed your mind. http://www.feedly.com

Friday, October 7, 2011

#Twitter goed voor 139,5 miljoen advertentieomzet

From Evernote:

#Twitter goed voor 139,5 miljoen advertentieomzet

Twitter zal wereldwijd in 2011 een advertentieomzet draaien van 139,5 miljoen dollar. Goed voor een stijging van 210 procent in vergelijking met de omzet in 2010, die toen uitkwam op 45 miljoen dollar. 

Dat blijkt uit een onderzoek van eMarketer, die ook voorspelt dat Twitter in 2013 uitkomt op een omzet van bijna 400 miljoen dollar. In 2012 zal Twitter een verwachte omzet draaien van bijna 260 miljoen dollar.

Volgens een analist van eMarketer is vooral de Twitter-advertentiedienst Promoted products populair gebleken in de Verenigde Staten.

Naar verwachting zal Twitter binnenkort een advertentieplatform lanceren waarmee adverteerders, ook de kleine en middelgrote partijen, zelf advertentiediensten kunnen afnemen. Tot nog toe begint het minimale budget voor een adverteerder bij 10.000 dollar.

Twitter heeft het afgelopen jaar volop geëxperimenteerd met advertentiediensten. Zo is er Promoted Tweets waarmee merken tegen betaling hun tweet bovenaan de zoekresultaten kunnen tonen. Promoted Trends geeft adverteerders de mogelijkheid hun merk te tonen wanneer er op een bepaald topic wordt gezocht. Met Promoted Accounts verschijnen merken en andere geïnteresseerden tegen betaling in het lijstje waar Twitter advies geeft wie de gebruiker zou moeten volgen, de zogenoemde ‘who to follow’-lijst. Ook biedt Twitter adverteerders sinds kort de mogelijkheid om advertenties te plaatsen in de timeline van twitteraars, zonder dat deze de adverteerder volgen.

Op dit moment komt 96 procent van de advertentieopbrengsten van Twitter uit de Verenigde Staten. In 2013 zal dat percentage gedaald zijn naar 88 procent.

A global mood ring called #Twitter

From Evernote:

A global mood ring called #Twitter

October 7, 2011 to Statistics  •  Share on Twitter  •  Add Comment

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In a follow-up to their mood maps, Scott Golder and Michael Macy of Cornell University look at mood cycles during the hours of the day:

They found that, on average, people wake up in a good mood, which falls away over the course of the day. Positive feelings peak early in the morning and again nearer midnight, while negative feelings peak between 9pm and 3am. Unsurprisingly, people get happier as the week goes on. They’re most positive on Saturdays and Sundays and they tend to lie in for an extra two hours, as shown by the delayed peak in their positive feelings. The United Arab Emirates provide an interesting exception. There, people work from Sunday to Thursday, and their tweets are most positive on Friday and Saturday.

It's strange that good mood peaks around midnight. Maybe the people who are in a bad mood slowly go to sleep, leaving only those in a good mood to tweet. Then again, negative mood also seems to peak around midnight. Peculiar. I don't have access to the full article, so if anyone does, I'd be interested to hear Golder and Macy's interpretations.

[Discover Magazine via @albertocairo]

#Swype, The Maker Of Speedy Virtual #Keyboards, To Be Acquired By #Nuance For $100 Million+

From Evernote:

#Swype, The Maker Of Speedy Virtual #Keyboards, To Be Acquired By #Nuance For $100 Million+

Clipped from: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/vBJINRsKcEs/

Rip Empson is a writer at TechCrunch. He’s not here to make friends, he’s here to WIN, and don’t you forget it. You can reach him at rip[at]techcrunch[dot]com → Learn More

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Swype has been blowing minds since it first launched at TechCrunch 50 back in September of 2008. For those unfamiliar, Swype is the maker of an awesome app that allows users of touchscreen mobile devices to type messages with one swipe of the finger or stylus motion across the screen keyboard. The alternative (and patented) input method has proven to be super speedy, allowing data entry at over 40 words per minute, and has swept across Android devices.

Today, thanks to the reporting of one Michael Arrington via Uncrunched, we’ve learned that Swype has been acquired by Nuance (the makers of voice recognition technology) for over $100 million. The deal was confirmed by the Wall Street Journal, which pegged the numbers to be between $100 and $150 million.

The official announcement is expected to be made tomorrow.

Nuance, which has a market cap of about $6.7 billion, has been on an acquisition roll of late, snatching up speech recognition software company SVOX in June, at the same time announcing the close of its $157 million acquisition of software developer Equitrac.

The speech recognition giant has also been in the news of late, as it is has been in negotiations with Apple over licensing for Lion OSX. What’s more, while Apple did not confirm, MG held that Nuance is also a large part of the technology behind Siri, which will be native on all iPhone 4Ses. As MG wrote yesterday, “even if Apple wanted and tried to come up with their own voice technology backend for Siri, they would have a hard time doing so without infringing on some of Nuance’s patents. Patents which Nuance CEO Paul Ricci is very well known to enforce to their maximum extent”.

What’s more, it will be interesting to see how Nuance resolves the fact that it now owns both Swype and T9, another predictive text app. And, as Mike wrote, it just so happens that T9 “competes directly with Swype” and was also founded by Cliff Kushler, the very same guy who co-founded Swype. Will the two products join forces, or is T9 headed for the trash heap? I’m sure Nuance will have more information on that tomorrow, or in the coming weeks.

Swype had raised just under $14 million in outside investment since 2008 and just closed its series C back in July. The acquisition is a big win for the startup, its investors (Samsung Ventures, Nokia Growth Partners, Benaroya Capital, DoCoMo Capital, Ignition Partners, and more), and for Nuance. With Swype’s app appearing on (what will soon be) 100 million devices, and smartphone and touchscreen adoption skyrocketing, these technologies will no doubt be a big part of our mobile future.

Company: Swype
Website: swype.com
Launch Date: October 7, 2011
Funding: $13.9M

Swype creates text input technology for screens. The patented interface enables users to create words with one continuous finger motion across an on-screen keyboard. This approach provides a faster and easier way to write. Swype delivers single-tap, multi-tap, predictive and “swype” motions for both stylus and finger based input. In addition, the application is designed to work across a variety of devices such as phones, tablets, game consoles, kiosks, televisions, virtual screens and more. Seattle based Swype...

Learn more
Website: nuance.com
Launch Date: October 7, 1992
IPO: NASDAQ:NUAN

Nuance Communications, Inc. provides speech, imaging and keypad solutions for businesses, organizations and consumers worldwide. The company’s solutions are used every day by people and businesses for tasks and services, such as requesting account information from a phone-based self-service solution, dictating records, searching the mobile Web by voice, entering a destination into a navigation system, or working with PDF documents. The company, through the acquisition of Philips Speech Recognition Systems GMBH (PSRS), provides speech recognition solutions for the European...

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Monday, October 3, 2011

#Steve Jobs in 1995: "I've got a plan that could rescue #Apple"

From Evernote:

#Steve Jobs in 1995: "I've got a plan that could rescue #Apple"

Yesterday we told you that Fortune was publishing a Kindle ebook called “All About Steve.” The ebook is a collection of 17 stories and interviews with Steve Jobs drawn from Fortune’s articles. Now, while it’s nice that Fortune is collecting all their interviews in one place, its no shock they are doing this either. After all, its previous Kindle-only, Apple-themed title, “Inside Apple,” landed on the Kindle top ten bestseller list and earned a boatload of money.

For those of you who don’t want to shell out $10.99 for an ebook of reprinted articles, Apple 2.0 editor Philip Elmer-Dewitt has pulled some choice clips from some of the Fortune interviews. The best quote, however, is one that have heard before. In 1995 Steve Jobs told Fortune’s Brent Schlender, “You know, I’ve got a plan that could rescue Apple. But nobody there will listen to me…”

As was always the case, Steve Jobs wasn’t just blowing smoke. Just two years later Jobs was back at the company and led the greatest turnaround in corporate history. Apple was transformed from a company on the brink of self-destruction into one of the most respected, recognizable and valuable companies in the world.

© 2011 AOL Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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#PayPal On Barriers To #Google Wallet: Mass Adoption Of #NFC Is Years Away

From Evernote:

#PayPal On Barriers To #Google Wallet: Mass Adoption Of #NFC Is Years Away

Clipped from: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/wG2TT49oWTE/

Leena Rao currently works as a writer for TechCrunch. She recently finished graduate school at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where she studied business journalism and videography. From 2004 to 2007, she helped lead Congresswoman Carloyn Maloney’s community outreach and relations efforts in New York City. 

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As you may have read, Google officially launched its mobile payments platform Google Wallet recently, which allows you to pay for products in the real world by tapping your NFC-enabled Android phone against a compatible card reader. Shortly following the initial announcement of the technology in May, payments giant PayPal went on the offensive, filing a lawsuit against Google and two former PayPal executives who now are in charge of mobile payments at Google. Allegations of “misappropriation of trade secrets, and “breach of fiduciary duty” were thrown out against these individuals. Clearly, it’s messy. While the lawsuit itself spoke volumes about PayPal’s view on Google Wallet, the eBay-owned company has not really commented on Google Wallet over the past few months. Until now.

We sat down with PayPal’s director of communications, Anuj Nayar, who candidly gave me the company’s opinions on Google Wallet and NFC technologies. We know that eBay and PayPal have a somewhat interesting view on NFC technology. In a recent earnings call, eBay CEO John jokingly said merchants refer NFC “not for commerce.” But PayPal has dipped its toes in the NFC pool with support for Android, which Nayar explains as ‘keeping an eye’ on the technology.

Nayar says that one advantage he sees with PayPal’s payments platform vs. Google Wallet is that “we’re not asking anyone to do anything different.” He points to the fact that in order to use NFC right now, many consumers would have to change phones to the NFC-enabled Nexus S. “There simply aren’t that many NFC enabled phones out there and we don’t see NFC as something that will happen very quickly,” he explains.

Another challenge to the adoption Google Wallet’s platform and NFC, says Nayar, is trying to get merchants to change their behavior. As my colleague Greg Kumparak wrote in his review of Google Wallet, merchant adoption is still limited.

Nayar says that mass adoption of NFC is still at least three years away but even then, the technology will not replace mobile payments all together. Of course, he explains that PayPal is watching the NFC space closely (by launching their own integrations), but the sense is that the company isn’t heavily investing in the technology because of some of these barriers to adoption.

An area where PayPal is investing in is a comprehensive solution for in-store merchants to integrate PayPal into the checkout experience. Later this year, PayPal will be rolling out a one-stop shop for merchants, both online and local businesses, to manage payments from customers. Details are sparse but PayPal says that new features will include location-based offers, making payments accessible from any device and offering more payments flexibility to customers after they’ve checked out.

And soon, you’ll also be able to use PayPal in physical payments gateways at stores as well (where you would normally complete the credit card swiping process), and will have the ability to access realtime store inventory, receive in-store offers, and real-time location-based advertising from stores. The company is expected to announce a number of in-store partnerships with large retailers in the near future.

Nayar says that PayPal’s solution is more complete for merchants, and is capitalizing on a huge factor in the end-to-end shopping experience—data. He explains that relevant data and personalization will play a big role in the new payments experience, so that PayPal’s 100 million-plus users will be able to see more relevant offers and experiences and merchants will be able to target customers.

PayPal isn’t the first payments company to go on the offensive against NFC. Keith Rabois, COO of mobile payments company Square, said last week at GigaOm’s Mobilize conference that NFC “has no value proposition for consumers and merchants.”

Still it’s hard to ignore the fact that Google, as well as other mobile tech companies like HTC, LG, Motorola, RIM, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, are making major investments in NFC. Even credit card companies are making bets on NFC as well. And MasterCard, who is a partner in Google Wallet, has said that NFC is a “five-to-ten year effort.” As my colleague Sarah Perez points out, the merchant adoption hurdle to NFC is valid, but contactless infrastructure is already in more locations than consumers may realize, even if it’s somewhat underused.

While there’s no crystal ball to tell us whether NFC will be around in a few years or ten years, clearly PayPal isn’t making a huge bet on the technology and is investing in other in-store technologies. However, even if NFC is years away from mass adoption, Google is gambling that being early to the game will help the company dominate the mobile payments market in the future. It will be surely be interesting to see whose foresight pays off in five years.

And in case you were wondering, Nayar says there are no updates to the status of that PayPal v. Google lawsuit.

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#Facebook vs. #Google+ – A Tale of the Tape

From Evernote:

#Facebook vs. #Google+ – A Tale of the Tape

Clipped from: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheNextWeb/~3/59PIlw07uTc/

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It’s easy to draw comparisons between Facebook and Google+. Sure, the two products are both “social networks” in which you can add friends, share content, and interact. But the two are actually very different and serve very different purposes. A lot of people in the press decide to use headlines like this to make an interesting story, but once you really dive into each product experience, you can tell that the two are not alike at all. There is one battle though, and that’s a battle of developer agility, uniqueness, and user base. That’s the only “vs.” here.

The purpose

The purpose of Facebook is to connect friends and friends together, so that you can keep in contact with them. Facebook is where you announce a new relationship, show everyone who your mother is, and get kudos on your birthday. It’s a very personal experience, and with the new timeline profile display, the experience got even deeper and more personal.

Google+ on the other hand is more about discovery. Discovery of content, and perhaps making some new friends, or being impressed by a current friends interests in a new way. Sure, Facebook has a news feed and you can watch the links and videos trickle in there, but Google+ has a different experience, one that now includes search.

Google+ is driven by search, and Facebook is driven by human connection.

It’s a classic Robot vs. Human. There’s no “winner” here, the two are different experiences.

The agility

I’ve been watching Facebook and Google very closely for the past few years. The last Six months has been the most active for the two companies when it comes to social. It’s not so much a feature war, it truly is a battle of quality.

Facebook has done amazing things with Photos and Videos, and most people take it for granted. Its service is rarely disrupted, the way it displays photos and video are elegant, and it’s amazing to think that these projects were started during a famous Facebook hackathon.

Google+ is Google’s first real social venture. The company has been working on it for years we’re told, and it shows. The Google Hangout experience is amazing. People think of Skype first when they think of video conferencing, but honestly Google+ destroys them with its handling of a large room of people talking in a video hangout. The video switches as people talk automatically, that alone is absolutely awesome.

The speed is not as important as the quality of the work, but both companies have exhibited that each can do both. No wonder the two are battling for talent. The survival of the fittest is at play here.

The business

Again, this is a man vs. machine model. Sure, Facebook has algorithms, but those algorithms are based on interpersonal relationships and interactions. Google doesn’t focus on connections so much that we can see yet, and as usual is focused solely on data.

There is no “winner” here yet. I have said for years that “the people are the platform”, and I still believe it to be true. The people who use a service are vastly more important than the service they’re using. Zynga would not be so popular on the Facebook platform unless there were people obsessed with playing its games and sharing every single mundane milestone they hit on said games.

Facebook flopped with project “Beacon”, its way of using people to sell product. However, seeing Spotify’s early success on Facebook’s platform shows the true power of people. Spotify is going to be a huge company with huge success, and huge profits.

Google on the other hand bought YouTube. A purchase that goes overlooked quite a bit, and that’s exactly what it wants. We all use YouTube, and Google has added its search and Adsense infrastructure to it, and it’s a beast.

Two different models of monetization here using two different approaches.

The end game

You may very well want to use both services. It truly shouldn’t be a one or the other, or a one is better than the other thing. Black and white doesn’t apply here. Things aren’t binary, even when it involves computers.

Facebook will be around for a long time, don’t believe the hype-creep on that. The company is not MySpace, and Mark Zuckerberg is not Tom. He is brilliant, the team he surrounded himself is brilliant, and its doing things to enable us to engage with people we haven’t talked to in years, and people we talk to everyday in ways we didn’t think were imaginable.

Google has opened up the world’s information for us. By typing a word into a search box, we can immediately get all of the information that we want. In seconds. Remember when you forgot who starred in that movie you liked? You had to call your brother, mom, uncle, cousin, and best friend. That was BG. Before Google. Google changed the world, and continues to do so.

You may complain about changes, and you may complain about features, and you may want to start a vs. war with Facebook and Google and that’s fine, because everyone is entitled to an opinion.

The real truth is, that we use these services for free. We do absolutely pay with our information and data, but that data is something we’ve shared since the beginning of time. It’s just now being stored.

Why not use Facebook and Google+? You might end up being the true winner.

Sources: Photo

About the Author

Drew Olanoff is The Next Web's West Coast Editor. He coined the phrase "Social Good" and invented the "donation by action" model for online charitable movements. He founded #BlameDrewsCancer. You can follow him on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, or email drew@thenextweb.com

#Discovr, Great #Music #App for #iPad interactive map of the #Appstore

From Evernote:

#Discovr, Great #Music #App for #iPad interactive map of the #Appstore

After releasing the great Discovr Music app for the iPad, Filter Squad recently launched Discovr, a visualization app that behaves as a recommendation engine for Apple's large repository of apps.

Discovr provides an interactive map of the App Store and makes its easy to discover new apps for the iPhone & iPad. It has been a Number 1 app in 17 countries including the US, Japan, Australia, and Germany.

#Nike+ City Runs

From Evernote:

#Nike+ City Runs

Nike+ involves the placement of a sensor underneath the footbed of your Nike running shoe in order to collect data about where you've run, how long it took and where you can improve over time - since each individual run becomes part of a collective historical database. Even though Nike+ website already gives individual users a variety of features to make sense of their personal data, the collective analysis of this growing database is remarkably promising.

The interactive collective YesYesNo developed an installation for Nike's retail stores to visualize a year's worth of runs uploaded to the Nike+ website. With custom software, the installation plays back runs throughout three cities: New York, London and Tokyo. The runs showed tens of thousands of peoples' runs animating the city and bringing it to life. The software visualizes and follows individual runs, as well as showing the collective energy of all the runners, defining the city by the constantly changing paths of the people running in it.

#Google Chrome Gearing Up To Launch On #Android

From Evernote:

#Google Chrome Gearing Up To Launch On #Android

Clipped from: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/AndroidNewsGoogleAndroidForums/~3/-bTdnYsTqV8/

The first thing I asked myself when I started with Android was where is Chrome? I’m sure plenty of you asked yourselves the same question, or like me, just shrugged it off assuming the underlying core of the stock browser really was Chrome. The truth of the matter was Android and Chrome were separate teams entirely with really no interaction between the two. It seems Google now has a build target revision up meaning an actual Chrome browser for Android should be right around the corner. There’s mention on the Chromium revision log that Chrome for Android will include a lot of the features that you’re accustomed to on the desktop version. It will also have support for the open source Skia 2D graphics library. It’s unknown exactly how Google plans to position Chrome for Android and I wonder to what extent, if any, they will allow the desktop version to communicate with the mobile and if Chrome extensions will exist on mobile. Maybe the Nexus Prime will give us a taste of Chrome with ICS at the Unpacked event in Oct. Wishful thinking I know, but in either case we should be seeing some Chrome on Android love very soon. Hit us up with your thoughts right down there in the comments. How do you think Google will implement Chrome to Android and will it crush the current stock browser?

#Samsung Galaxy S II available on #AT&T now for $199

From Evernote:

#Samsung Galaxy S II available on #AT&T now for $199

Clipped from: http://androidandme.com/2011/10/devices/samsung-galaxy-s-ii-available-on-att-now-for-199-or-149-on-amazon-wireless/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=samsung-galaxy-s-ii-available-on-att-now-for-199-or-149-on-amazon-wireless

The Samsung Galaxy S II continues to make the rounds on the U.S. carriers and todays stop finds it on AT&T. There are plenty of new phones due for release in the next couple weeks and months, but unless you are a diehard early adopter the Galaxy S II is unlikely to disappoint. The international release was praised by many reviewers as the best Android phone to date and AT&T stuck with that same design in their version of the SGS2.

Here’s a quick spec refresher:

  • 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display
  • 1.2 GHz Samsung Exynos C210 processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8MP rear camera
  • 2MP front-facing camera
  • NFC
  • Android 2.3.4

With the exception of the screen resolution and possibly the OS version those specs line up favorably with most of the devices launching through the end of the year.

If you are signing up for a new account and want to save some cash you can get the AT&T Galaxy S II through Amazon Wireless

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 for just $149.99 with free 2-day shipping.

Anyone planning to head out to their local AT&T store or click that buy button today?

Source: AT&T

Sean has been obsessed with mobile since first using his dad's bag phone and Android has been on his radar since its earliest days. For his thoughts on gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe you can also find him at Technogasms.

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Serious #Games for #Strategic Planning in #Innovation

From Evernote:

Serious #Games for #Strategic Planning in #Innovation

Clipped from: http://innovationgames.com/2011/09/serious-games-for-strategic-planning/

Adobe puts Innovation Games to Work

Who hasn’t shuddered when you get the email about required attendance at an all-day strategy meeting? In common parlance that translates to 8 hours trapped in a conference room with PowerPoint, coffee and catered lunches—if you’re lucky. Strategy meetings don’t have to be death by PowerPoint, though. They can be engaging, profitable and energizing—especially, if the participants are actively involved. Our recent experience producing a two-day strategic planning meeting for Adobe Systems’ Globalization team is proof of that day-long meetings don’t have to be boring.

Three Adobe team members—Francis Tsang, Senior Director of Globalization; Jean-Francois Vanreusel, Director of Localization; and Janice Campbell, Sr. International Program Manager 2 – recently shared with us their perspectives on how and why using Innovation Games® was crucial to the event’s success.

Why did you decide to use Innovation Games for your strategy meeting?

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Spider Web and Speed Boat games on the wall during Adobe's Globabalization Team's Strategy meeting.

Janice: We had read Luke’s book, Innovation Games: Creating Breakthrough Products through Collaborative Play, in our Globalization Book Club, and decided to find a way to “put into play” our learnings from the book. Much to our delight, Luke was already working with some product teams at Adobe. What if Luke could help us drive the creation of our 2012 localization roadmap and three-year strategy?

Can you tell us a little bit about the strategy meeting and how you used Innovation Games?

Francis:It was a two-day meeting, with 40 participants, focusing on Adobe’s Localization Strategy. We used the games to help us do short-term and long-range planning around localization and long-range infrastructure needs—not only which languages and problems we may face in our globalization efforts, but also what kind of new localization experiences we want for our end users.

Who attended?

Janice: Along with members of our Globalization team, we invited internal stakeholders closest to the international customer. They represented CSO, ecommerce, product marketing, field marketing, developer relations and CHL, and regions such as APAC, EMEA and LATAM. The event took place during two full days at the end of August.

Sometimes people are concerned about the concept of serious games and whether the techniques can really be used to do “real work”? Did you have any reservations about the games?

Francis: To be honest, I was kind of skeptical in the beginning—how can we do this with 40 people over two days, but after the two days, I found the experience extremely useful. It was much more useful than a cut-and-dry strategy planning session with PowerPoint. The games force you to come down from a conceptual level to an experiential level.

Jean-Francois:
We were a little bit nervous before the event, because we had never experienced this approach. We had also invited senior managers from other teams, and they wouldn’t have shown much patience if things had gone wrong. We took a risk, but it definitely paid off. The energy level during the all event was high. We addressed very serious problems. Using games helped us changing our perspective on these problems and generating more creative solutions

What about Innovation Games made the event a success?

Francis: Putting 40 people together for two days is a huge commitment of time for a company. It’s hard to keep people engaged during 16 hours of strategy planning. Thanks to Innovation Games, 90 percent were in the meeting the entire time. With traditional presentations, you would lose half the people, but the games kept the participants engaged.

Janice:We found that participants built better relationships with each other and communication channels opened up. We gained valuable insight into how an international customer interacts with our products — from the web to software purchase/download to documentation. Using games was a fun way of extracting serious ideas and it allowed people to be more creative and free in their thinking; they were less fearful of peer pressure in vocalizing their ideas.

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Three games of Prune the Product Tree during Adobe's Globalization Strategy meeting.

Which game played during the event had the most impact? Why?

Francis: While we played many games during the two days, three Innovation Games stand out in my mind: Prune the Product Tree, Speed Boat and Buy a Feature.

Prune the Product Tree, for example, forced us to think about the sequence of events. It helped us understand benefits and costs. Speed Boat is always good to help understand what is slowing you down. Planning is often a one-way street, but Innovation Games counteract that. The game play forces you to visualize the possible anchors. The metaphor helps you understand the big picture/visualize the problem. The most revealing aspect of Buy a Feature was learning what assumptions play a part in ranking options. Specifically, it lets you see what a participant’s self-imposed limitations are.

What really stood out for me, though, is that the act of playing these games gave us insight into how different people look at problems, the different kinds of thought processes in play. We saw this thanks to the debrief process; the act of presenting the game results to the larger group meant other participants got to see how others thought. With other methods, it’s hard to get to the true story.

Jean-Francois:
The Show & Tell game helped create a friendly, playful mood, while helping us highlight critical issues in the way we localize our products. After the event, many participants still referred to the game to justify more investments in certain areas. The Prune the Product Tree game is a close second for me as it generated some very innovative ideas.

Janice: Stories from the field, in the form of the Show & Tell game. While often poignant or funny, the game play helped us experience first hand the hoops international customers sometimes have to jump through when using our products.

Were there any unexpected benefits?

Francis: The game mechanism helped us look at strategy from a different perspective. We gained unique insight. For example, in strategy, you need to look at what could happen, what would happen. The games helped us visualize these scenarios; they helped us model the future.

Jean-Francois: The game-oriented approach really helped build stronger relationships between all our participants. People flew in from around the world to attend the event and didn’t always know each other. Games are an effective way for people to quickly “gel” together, collaborate and deliver great ideas.

Would you hold the event again? What would you do differently?

Jean-Francois: Yes, we would definitely conduct such event in the future. However, I would make the point to include International customers. It would be priceless to hear their stories (Show & Tell) about how they use our products and have the opportunity to collaborate with them on building solutions they seek.

 

To learn more about Adobe’s Globalization Strategy meeting, check out Janice’s blog post, “Strategy Through Games” and Luke Hohmann’s blog post, “The International Appeal of Visual Collaboration Games”.

The "Big Five" IT trends of the next half decade: #Mobile, #social, #cloud, #consumerization, and big data

From Evernote:

The "Big Five" IT trends of the next half decade: #Mobile, #social, #cloud, #consumerization, and big data

Clipped from: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hinchcliffe/the-big-five-it-trends-of-the-next-half-decade-mobile-social-cloud-consumerization-and-big-data/1811

By Dion Hinchcliffe | October 2, 2011, 5:34pm PDT

Summary: In today’s ever more technology-centric world, the stodgy IT department isn’t considered the home of innovation and business leadership. Yet that might have to change as some of the biggest advances in the history of technology make their way into the front lines of service delivery. Here’s an exploration of the top five IT trends in the next half decade, including some of the latest industry data, and what the major opportunities and challenges are.

“Much or most of these topics are in back burner mode in many companies just now seeing the glimmerings of recovery from the downturn. Much has been written lately about the speed at which technology is reshaping the business landscape today. Except that’s not quite phrasing it correctly. It’s more like it’s leaving the traditional business world behind. There are a number of root causes: The blistering pace of external innovation, the divergent path the consumer world has taken from enterprise IT, and the throughput limitations of top-down adoption.

As a result, there’s a rapidly expanding gap between what the technology world is executing on and what the enterprise can deliver. Many now think this gap may actually become untenable, and they may be right. Yet recent large surveys of CIOs continues to show an almost exclusively evolutionary and internal focus. Many feel that a technology emphasis is wrong right now, and they’re certainly right, if it’s not integrated with top priority business objectives. However, these days it’s technology advancements and new digital markets that are often the key to an organization’s future.

At the end of the day, businesses must be able to effectively serve the markets they cater to, and doing so means using the same channels and techniques as their trading partners and customers. Organizations must adapt to the evolving marketplace to succeed. Fortunately, I do believe there are approaches that can yet be adopted to address this increasingly significant challenge.

A tectonic technology shift

One only need look at what’s on the mind of CIOs these days (60% believe they should be directly driving growth and productivity) versus what they’re well known for delivering on. Or perhaps more problematically, what their IT organizations are able to deliver on. Never in my two decades of experience in the IT world have I seen such a disparity between where the world is heading as a whole and the technology approach that many companies are using to run their businesses.

The issues are legion: There are at least five major “generational scale” changes to the computing landscape happening at about the same time: Delivery platforms are shifting (mobility, cloud, social), communication and collaboration channels are being reinvented (Web, mobile, social), the consumer world of technology is driving innovation, and data is opening up and exploding out of the proliferating apps, devices, and sensors that organizations are deploying or are connecting to (but alas, are often not engaging with.) And as you might expect, much or most of these topics are in back burner mode in many companies just now seeing the glimmerings of recovery from the downturn.

Moreover, workers are now demanding many of these innovations and expecting their organizations to provide something close in capability to what they can get nearly for free (or actually for free) on their own devices and networks. Managers and executives, albeit mostly on the business side, are typically pushing for 1) service delivery on next-generation mobile devices like the iPad, 2) much easier to use IT solutions, and 3) access to better, more collaborative and useful intranet capabilities.

“Easy”, highly mobile, and “social” are the mantras of this new generation of IT. So to is the rapid (read: instant) acquisition and delivery of business solutions. There is a growing realization amongst workers and management that technology, though increasingly complex in itself, can be wielded far more rapidly and efficiently than their currently parochial capabilities are providing.

But this is not a blame game. IT is not necessarily at fault, or at least only indirectly. Instead, it seems to be the entire structure and process through which organizations absorb and metabolize technology. It’s centralized. It’s controlled. It’s top-down. There are exceptions, but in most organizations, technology decisions are made at high levels and then pushed across the organization. This transmission process is slow and unpredictable. It’s also often not supported on the ground where reality reaches the business.

Unfortunately, the slow-pace of IT adoption, hindered by traditional project management practices, endless customization processes, IT backlogs, security concerns, and a dozen other drags on delivery performance, is only part of the problem. The fact that the technology world is largely no longer driven by the enterprise world (as it used to be for decades) is another major reason that technology and business is having a harder time these days aligning.

A few examples will suffice: The endless and seemingly real-time flow of useful and highly innovative new mobile and Web apps for managing travel, money, news, communication, productivity, and countless other key functions is only an inadequate trickle in the enterprise today. The ability to quickly connect, communicate, and collaborate via social conversations, photos, audio, video, and more with anyone in the world is much more limited currently in most businesses. Finding and acquiring new software is just the click of a button in an app store in the consumer world, but an arduous, manual, and failure prone process in most organizations now. User experiences are changing: The aging and slow-to-evolve graphical user interface is being uprooted by touch based interfaces in new consumer apps that work much better in many physical situations. In contrast, the same overhaul is happening an order of magnitude more slowly for business apps.

Where does technology and IT go from here?

If we project these trends forward, what will the outcome be? Is there going to be a final fork in the road for consumer and enterprise technology, with each side looking at each other through a diverging pair of windows, with minimal crossover between the two? Or will the two worlds continue to blur together, as technology cross-pollinates from the growing wall of innovation coming from the Web and consumer technology world? Given the virality and pervasiveness of consumer technology, the latter is by far the most likely scenario.

So what are the key IT trends of the next half decade? How will organizations adapt to them? In a conversation I had recently with the Editor-in-Chief of CIO Magazine, Maryfran Johnson, we discussed what I dubbed the “Big Five”, the biggest technology influences of the next half decade. This includes next-gen mobility, social media (or more specifically social business), cloud computing, consumerization, and big data. We agreed that these five — of all current tech trends — are at top of the list for what most organizations need to be planning for in their current strategies and roadmaps as they update and modernize, as well as (hopefully) out-innovate their competitors.

Below I will explore the approaches that might break the logjam that’s preventing much of the business world from becoming as current with the technology advances as they should. But first lets take a look at each of these technology trends with an eye towards the most up-to-date statement of the advantages they can provide. I’ll also provide a key new insight on overcoming the challenges of adopting them more effectively and successfully.

1) Next-Gen Mobile - Smart Devices and Tablets

It’s obvious to the casual observer these days that smart mobile devices based on iOS, Android, and even Blackberry OS/QNX are seeing widespread use. But comparing projected worldwide sales of tablets and PCs tells an even more dramatic story. Using the latest sales projections from Gartner on tablets and current PC shipment estimates from IDC, we can see that by 2015 the tablet market will be 479 million units and the PC market will be only just ahead at 535 million units. This means tablets alone are going to have effective parity with PCs in just 3 years. Other data I’ve seen tells a similar story.

So, while it’s still early days yet, it’s also quite clear that enterprises must start treating tablets as equal citizens in their IT strategies. So why won’t they? For several reasons:

Challenges to smart device adoption

  • Smart devices have a poor enterprise ecosystem today. Enterprise software vendors and IT departments have organized around older platforms such as Windows and LAMP. Their infrastructure, skills, and relationships are largely built around an older generation of IT. In the meantime, iOS and Android have a lot to learn and to build up to begin to match this world, though they are starting to make progress in this regard.
  • Many of the inherent advantages of smart mobile are anathema to structured IT. From app stores to HTML 5, the large and easy to access application universes of next-gen mobile immediately triggers a security lockdown response (right reaction, wrong response) from IT. I’ve even seen IT departments desire to remove app stores from smart mobile devices entirely. The solution is probably policy-based screening of apps, but that’s a solution a ways away.

Key adoption insight

A likely approach that will scale is to do as JP Rangaswami advocates, and “design for loss of control.” This doesn’t mean letting go of essential control such as robust security enforcement, but it does mean providing a framework for users to bring their own mobile devices to work in a safe manner, including use of apps with business data under certain prescribed conditions. This unleashes choice and innovation and vitally, splits the work of adoption and rollout with users that want to use their favorite mobile devices/app to solve a business problem.

2) Social Media - Social Business and Enterprise 2.0

While mobile phones technically have a broader reach than any communications device, social media has already surpassed that workhorse of the modern enterprise, e-mail. Increasingly, the world is using social networks and other social media-based services to stay in touch, communicate, and collaborate. Now key aspects of the CRM process are being overhauled to reflect a fundamentally social world and expecting to see stellar growth in the next year. As Salesforce’s Marc Benioff was very clear in his dramatic keynote Dreamforce last month, leading organizations are becoming social enterprises.

There now seems to be hard data to confirm this view: McKinsey and Company is reporting that the revenue growth of social businesses is 24% higher than less social firms and data from Frost and Sullivan backs that up across various KPIs. The message is that companies are going to — and have very reason to — be using social media as a primary channel in the very near future, if they aren’t already. It’s time to get strategic.

Challenges to social media adoption

  • Social media is not an IT competency. Simply put, the human interaction portion of social computing is generally not IT’s strong suit. It tends to be treated as just another application to roll out instead of being integrated meaningfully into the flow of work.
  • The more significant value propositions of social requires business transformation. Maintaining a Facebook page and Twitter account is relatively straightforward and necessary, but it usually won’t generate significant growth, revenue, or profits by itself either. The more profound and higher order aspects of social media including peer production of product development, customer care, and marketing require deeper rethinking of business processes.

Key adoption insight

There are a growing number of established social media adoption strategies, but probably one of the most effective is to engage by example. Both leadership inside the company as well as top representatives to the outside world must engage in social channels to show how they’d like change to happen.

Related: Reconciling the enterprise IT portfolio with social media

3) Cloud computing

Of all the technology trends on this list, cloud computing is one of the more interesting and in my opinion, now least controversial. While there are far more reasons to adopt cloud technologies than just cost reduction, according to Mike Vizard perceptions of performance issues and lack of visibility remain one of the top issues for large enterprise. Yet, among the large enterprise CTO and CIOs I speak with, cloud computing is being adopted steadily for non-mission critical applications and some are now even beginning to downsize their data centers. Business agility, vendor choice, and access to next-generation architectures are all benefits of employing the latest cloud computing architectures, which are often radically advanced compared to their traditional enterprise brethren.

Challenges to cloud computing adoption

  • Concerns of control. When jobs depend on IT being up and working, then you can be sure there will be reluctance to adopt the cloud. There’s also little question that not going the cloud route will mean short-term job security, but at what ultimate cost? Never mind that many CIOs and heads of IT just feel they can’t yet trust the cloud, despite many cloud providers being more reliable than internal infrastructure (Google recently reported four nines across its Gmail and Google Apps services.)
  • Reliability and performance perceptions. Widespread outages by Amazon and Microsoft in the past has set back cloud adoption a minor amount, yet uptime is still extraordinary good by most enterprise standards. More of an issue is moving the enormous datasets that enterprises now posses into and out of the cloud quickly enough. Backhaul and other methods will need to improve substantially to address this satisfactorily for large enterprises.

Key adoption insight

Until cloud computing workloads can be seamlessly transferred back and forth between a company’s private cloud and public/hybrid cloud, adoption will be held back and favored largely for greenfield development. Technologies are now emerging to make this possible, however, and for now, companies should invest in cloud standards (to the extent they exist today) to build private clouds in order to be in position to start selectively transferring services out on a trial basis (and being able to bring them back in safely as needed.)

Related: Fixing IT in the cloud computing era.

4) Consumerization of IT

I’ve previously made the point that the source of innovation for technology is coming largely from the consumer world, which also sets the pace. Yet that’s just one aspect of consumerization, which some like myself and Ray Wang are calling “CoIT” for short. Consumerization also very much has to do with its usage model, which eschews enterprise complexity for extreme usability and radically low barriers to participation. Enterprises which don’t steadily consumerize their application portfolios are in for even lower levels of adoption and usage than they already have as workers continue to route around them for easier and more productive solutions. Another decentralized and scalable solution is, as with next-gen mobile, to help workers help themselves to third party apps that are deemed safe and secure.

Challenges to applying consumerization to IT

  • Vendors provide the UX. Usability and low barriers to participation won’t exist until 3rd party vendors, which provide a large percentage of IT (often on lengthy upgrade intervals), get the message and overhaul their apps.
  • Consumer technology often isn’t enterprise ready. At one point, neither was open source, but eventually an industry that provided value-added services emerged. The same pattern is likely to happen with popular consumer apps.

Key adoption insight

Consumerization seems especially pernicious to IT departments because it happens all the time, without their involvement. Stats vary on “shadow IT”, which is in the lower double digits, but much of it is for consumer apps. IT departments can begin programs in partnership with other large companies (to distribute the work) to certify SaaS, cloud, and mobile apps and train workers on data safety, backup, and integrity for example. Longer term, companies will imbue their IT service design, solution acquisition, and delivery with user experience and design approaches and fresh ideas from the consumer world. This will drive more worker productivity, less user sup