Category: Innovation

InnovationTechnology

Innovation and Market Shifts – at warp speed

Recently, Adobe announced that it would no longer work to support Flash on mobile devices. On October 3, 2011, it announced it was also going to acquire PhoneGap – a tool that is used to take one piece of content and output it to all the major mobile device platforms.

 

Let’s not assume that Adobe is going to take over the world, but they’ve done a great job keeping up with the needs of the market. (Remember, Adobe acquired the Macromedia Suite – Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash – which has been the primary suite used by web developers around the world over the last 10-15 years).

Adobe isn’t the only company fighting to stay on top of the market. WordPress (blog, website and content management technology) has continually added templates (including purchaseable templates created by power users) and newer blog technologies like Tumblr and Posterous are even more forward building in widgets/gadgets that make their sites perfectly situated for leveraging social networks and information sharing with like minded individuals. Think Twitter with larger text limits. Drupal and Joomla are now the primary sites for serious web developers and constantly innovate with their templates.

Blogger, not to be outdone, has just added a powerful dynamic template. The new twist allows any user of the page the ability to display the page in a way that meets their personal viewing needs.

Pinterest has taken the world by storm as a kind of Delicious (popular bookmarking site) on steriods – you save what you like and others can view what you like and “re-pin” items they like. Driven by pictures vs. text links. Great way to share ideas, get more exposure to your product and ultimately find more business contacts.

LinkedIn, the online networking site, has made great strides with the groups and sharing features. I posted a job posting to a group of designers and was able to provide a friend 30 applicable resumes within 48 hours of the posting.

So, what of all this innovation and keeping up with the market?

No one can keep up with it all. What is popular today may be outdone tomorrow.

Keep a few points in mind while navigating this landscape:

  • K.I.S.S.– Keep it Simple Stupid. It’s time to go back to basics. Take out extraneous eye candy, complex designs, and convoluted implementation. The design needs to be simple for customers and for you…especially since you could be switching to different tools each year (or sooner).
  • Don’t jump too fast! – See a flashy new tool? Want to jump in and use it for your website? Not so fast. Create a test site/account and fill it with fake content. Test it with other gadgets, find out how it looks on your mobile device, see how it works with your day-to-day use. Make a list of all the functionality that is there AND that seems to be missing. Compare it to your other site or product. Is it really better? Is it better in some ways and not in others? What are you willing to give up to have it? We all have our own list of technical requirements and sometimes something new won’t help you.
  • Tools aren’t necessarily the answer– we’ve got hundreds of technology tools to choose from for websites, project management, photo management, social networking, online communities, photo editing, and more… I used to work for a boss that had me try out new tools every day of the week. It started to detract from my day job. I started to realize that tools are there to assist us, but they aren’t the point. They should support your business. Not the other way around – unless you are selling tools.

The market will keep shifting thanks to continued innovation. That will bring great possibilities for us all. Something that will best meet your needs may not have been invented yet, but is soon forthcoming.

The key is to stay true to your roots while being willing to test new ideas and technologies, but remember that you don’t have to use them.

Good luck!

Photo of Bryan Alexander
AuthorBloggingInnovationMobile Apps

Villager Bryan – Author and Speaker

Bryan Alexander

Author, Professor, Blogger, Consultant, Digital Storytelling Expert

Website: http://bryanalexander.org/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/BryanAlexander

Book: http://www.amazon.com/New-Digital-Storytelling-Creating-Narratives/dp/0313387494

 

Photo of Bryan Alexander

We are excited to welcome Bryan Alexander into Nudge Village! He is a professor, author, blogger – ok, you read it above!

He’s quite the visionary thinker and has some great thoughts to share on digital storytelling. I (Chief Nudger speaking here) get to see him in a workshop in November and have just purchased his book.

As with other villagers, sometimes it is best to use what someone has already written up about them.

Here’s what others have said:

http://bryanalexander.org/about-bryan-alexander/

Take a look at his thoughts on mobile:

Welcome to Nudge Village Bryan!

Photo of Mark Oehlert
BloggingInnovationMobile Apps

Villager Mark – Blogger and Innovations Evangelist

Mark Oehlert Photo of Mark Oehlert

Innovations Evangelist/Blogger

Website: http://blogoehlert.typepad.com/

Twitter: twitter.com/moehlert

Delicious: http://delicious.com/moehlert

Mark Oehlert was blogging and tweeting before most of the world. In fact, for a while 3-4 years ago, he was considered one of the top tweeters out there and still has a large following (over 4,000) that pay attention to what he has to say.

Mark keeps a day job with the Department of Defense, but is often tweeting, speaking at conferences and generally trying to help organizations innovate in how they work, share knowledge and perform using some of the forward thinking social networking and sharing tools of today. Many of us that worked with him over the years can attribute our involvement with Twitter, Facebook, SocialText, Foursquare, Delicious and other sites to Mark “evangelizing” them around the office space.

When I (Chief Nudger talking here), asked him about how to blog the right way a few years ago, I still remember the jist of his answer – don’t write the way other people want you to write. Write what you think and how you want to write it. The right people will read it. If you aren’t writing your true thoughts, people will see through it.

Anyway, here’s a little more from Mark’s actual bio since it says it best:

Mark Oehlert is a recognized expert, author and speaker in the fields of innovation, emerging technology and game-based learning. He has worked in the e-Learning field for 10 years, bringing his unique insight as a trained historian and anthropologist to a range of challenges from performance support to mobile computing and learning strategy development. Mark served as a Learning Strategy Architect at the global consulting firm of Booz Allen Hamilton, working with a range of clients in formulating enterprise-wide learning and technology strategies. He also supported the Advanced Distributed Learning initiative for many years as the Deputy Director for Communications where he acted as the leadership team’s primary e-Learning research coordinator. Mark also served as the Director of Learning Innovations at the MASIE Center, a think tank focused on learning strategies in the corporate space. Mark now serves as an Innovation Evangelist at the Defense Acquisition University – A U.S. Department of Defense university focused on improving the learning outcomes for over 150,000 acquisition personnel.

Welcome to Nudge Village Mark!

Orbiting the Giant Hairball book cover
BooksIdeasInnovationInspiration

Orbiting the Giant Hairball

A few weeks ago, on of the directors of our division gave me a book that he thought I’d enjoy. He asked me to read it and give him feedback. He also said, “apparently people really love it or hate it – engineers hate it.” Well, if that isn’t motivation, what is?Orbiting the Giant Hairball book cover

So, book in hand I got on my flight across the country to my brother’s wedding.

And, I loved the book!

It is called “Orbiting the Giant Hairball” by Gordon MacKenzie.

It is about a creative guy that worked at Hallmark for MANY years. But, he moved around a lot and started a lot of great things within the company – an intrapreneur.

However, this book offers great ideas on taking action if you are an entrepreneur as well.

As an example, Gordon (the author), moved with a small group to a new work area. Instead of defaulting to the same desks and a Dilbert type cube farm, he asked for something different – to find furniture at thrift and antique stores.

After the “not sures” and the “you can’t do that” people died down, the right person gave him permission to move forward.

Each person ended up with their own unique desk, decorations and lighting.

The cost? A little less than if they had created a cube farm.

The cost for the employees? What is the MasterCard ad? – Priceless! They were motivated, they were focused, they were creative and ….other divisions wanted to do it too.

The creativity cost less than the typical model and productivity went up.

Gordon shares this story, and many others, in a creative array of book pages – some are plain, some have little doodles, and others are just plain written like they are a sheet of notebook paper. So, the guy practices what he preaches on creativity.

When you get a chance, buy a copy on Amazon.

Part of the table of contents of Orbiting the Giant Hairball

Excerpt from the Table of Contents

P.S. Guess I’m not an engineer. (-:

InnovationInspiration

Need innovative ideas? – TED.com

There is so much information out there on the Internet that you’d think we’d all know where to go for great ideas.

But, there are so many resources it can be overwhelming.

Here’s just one – http://www.ted.com – which has thousands of video talks about innovation, ideas and even “jaw dropping” concepts. (At least that is one of the rating options they give to their readers)

Their tagline is “ideas worth spreading.” And, they are right.

Many people pay around $10,000 just to attend their conference each year and around $1,000 just to have access to the videos from the conferences each year. The ideas are that important. Yet, many of the videos are free on their site.

Once a month (or more) it is worth taking an hour or two and just browsing videos on Ted.com.

You’ll see what is coming. It may spur another idea for your business. You may find something to share with an innovator you know.

Do you know of any other sites we should check regularly? Please share with us and we’ll post it here.