I am working with a stealth start up at the moment, and innovation is what it is all about. Their product is neither ground breaking or market creating but it is innovating in areas where the competition are not. In these challenging times it’s more than a little refreshing to see great brains working on problems that can be “re-solved” to business advantage. So I was pleased to see McKinsey have published their interviews with Judy Estrin, veteran guru of Silicone Valley on “how to fix the innovation gap” – well worth 10 minutes of your time to get you thinking about how you can innovate for change.
Two innovations that caught my attention yesterday that I want to mention:
The first is leadership innovation. Behemoth HP announce quarterly product revenues down 18%, the first bad quarter since Mark Hurd took over. The response many expect is sweeping redundancies, in fact he implements a top down wage cutting programme. In a company already in the midst of restructuring this sends a steadying message and retains the skills necessary for recovery and growth.
The second (and much smaller in the global mill pond) is UK mobile phone reseller Carphone Warehouse, who seem to have dipped there toes into revolution, with some senior support staff taking it upon themselves to initiate a new support model via Twitter. Hmmm now that does make me think!
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Tagged Carphone Warehouse, customer support, Guru, HP, innovation, Judy Estrin, Mark Hurd, McKinsey, Silicone Valley, Stealth Start Up, twitter
“The number of people and skill sets required to run computing is an increasing burden on corporate IT.” In a thought provoking article first written for SNS News and republished on Infrastructure 2.0 Cisco’s James Urquhart talks about the new data centre culture.
Finding the right price for Commercial Open Source is the topic of Dave Rosenberg’s post on Negative Approach. There are thought provoking comments about the subject on Michael Coté’s People Over Process pages at Red Monk.
I am moved to say a few words on the passsing of the late, great Palm OS. Palm’s CEO Ed Coligan confirmed it’s demise on an investor call this week.
Innovative, mould breaking and intuitive the Palm OS on the palm pilot and other platforms from brick size to usefully pocket size, introduced a whole generation to the PDA, touch screens and later smart phone’s. Like many before it, it joins the great past-technolgy- in-the-sky.
With fond memories (and a cupboard full of different palm devices) – I salute you! RIP.
Two cool things this week – that is things that I have just come across that do something I need today:
Windows Live Sync – I find myself travelling quite a bit at the moment, this free and simple to use software is keeping my files up to date and where I need them, in my case a server, a laptop, a netbook and a mac. At last software that does what I want at a price I like.
Just Fix It – I am not usually a Redmund groupie, but this is another item that caught my attention, then a day later it presented itsself to fix on a problem on one of our laptops. This is Microsoft’s new button called (funnily enough) “Fix It”. In certain cases when you find yourself looking for help for a problem with MS software you will now find a Fix It button. Basically a bit of active-X later and hopefully your problem is fixed without you working through the fix manually. By chance having read this C-Net Beyond Binary one of our laptops developed a problem, and being Vista volunteered a fix to the problem the next morning, clicking the link gave the usual (or unusual) explanation of what caused the problem and the new Fix It button. So I try it and it works, offers a test to ensure the problem is fixed (it is) and then asks for feedback. I like it! Lets see if it gains momentum…
Ever wondered why your internet connection is running slow, or why you can acess some stuff in a flash but other stuff feels like dial-up? The nice people at M-Lab have released their free suite of internet and ISP testing tools to help you work out what is running slow and why. Is there a deliberate ISP throttle of BitTorrent? then Glasnost is an interesting place to start. These beta tools (and more to come) may well show the paying public some interesting things.