Archive for December, 2003
Jeremy Zawodny recently posted his thoughts on 2004 and beyond.
I’ve been tempted to write one of these for a while, but have been holding off because I keep asking myself “who am I to write about this’.
Well, I still don’t know who I am, but I see no reason to hold back either ;-)
While Jeremy sees many technical innovations, I actually imagine a much larger business shakeup.
A few key areas that I’m going to predict:
Open Source Business has become my staple of late. There simply aren’t enough books about it. Seriously. I can only find 2 good ones. But, I honestly believe OS will hit mainstream businesses with surprising force.
For some businesses this will be the simply sharing of information among employees (a la “knowledge empowerment” of the 90s). For others this will be opening up processes to peer groups. For others this will be individual projects being done in an open manner. And for others it will be ‘sponsoring’ Open Source projects. Whatever it is, the next 2-3 years will see the adoption of open principles across several fronts.
Increasing accountability, visibility, trust and relationship with customers, the fact of the matter is that Open Source will become a strength, not a weakness. I can’t say if this will be the end of things like patents, I really don’t think so, but it will certainly make for interesting changes.
I honestly expect software to become more and more commoditized. Not just software though, consumer electronics, peripherals and even services will become increasingly commoditized. Companies like Sony and Apple will have their work cut out for them to ensure that the public continues to buy ‘the image’ over ‘the product’. After all, the iPod is really just a harddrive on wheels. Anyone could make it. It’s the image consumers are buying, at least for now.
We’ve been seeing this process as Dell and Microsoft enter various new markets, but it will only continue to happen. We’re seeing the beginnings of it with things like Instant Companies (subscription required).
Blogs will become more and more mainstream. It’s already happening with major news sources quoting blogs, some blogs becoming more popular than news sources, etc. It will only continue to happen.
Companies will increasingly open their businesses up by allowing key individuals to start blogs. The most popular and most useful will, of course, be those that don’t require corporate oversight. Where a blog can be sponsored by, but not run by, a company.
A perfect example would be if Adobe (or Macromedia or AliasWavefront or … or … or …) were to have their lead designers / developers start blogs about the next generation of software. Designers would flock. Daily.
Companies will continue to adopt this relationship and trust-building tool. Expect several new high-quality books that examine this purely from the marketing and ‘mindshare’ position.
Speaking of which, expect ‘mindshare’ to become a buzzword next year, or at least something like it. I’ve found myself using it during several talks, in spite of myself, and found people understood what I meant.
The whole Oracle / PeopleSoft thing was just the beginning. Expect more. Don’t expect Microsoft to use much of their warchest for this. If they do, expect an outcry. If they don’t, expect an outcry.
I could easily see areas such as gaming, consumer electronics, storage, networking, wireless networking and inventory control (RFID in particular) experiencing this. Other areas could include anything Homeland Security related and trends-related companies.
Fun fun, add your own :)
I’ve hurt myself. Badly. From smacking my head severely on my desk.
Last week I got a new machine here at work.
I forgot to install AntiVirus. I’m infected with Welchia.
It’s a quick fix, but it’s a pain that I forgot. Hurting myself doesn’t seem to make me feel any better.
My recent post on Sunk Costs spawned a bit of a realization: much of my job is doing internal sales.
While I don’t so much mind the task, I’m actually rather good at sales, I have realised that for someone in my position it may not be the most ethical … maybe ethical is the wrong word … position to take.
While I did recently take the right position in terms of the Mac evaluation, that’s only because I felt there was a conflict of interests (since I’m generally not a pro-Mac person).
But I can’t always do this, it’s really not a very good use fo resources.
On the one hand I’m trying to do what’s best for my company. On the other, should it be my job to sell (or “champion”) causes constantly?
I don’t know.
This week’s Carnival of the Capitalists is up, thanks to Todd @ A Penny For.
This week I am once again wrangling on the whole Open Source thing. I really can’t get it out of my head.
There are some fantastic entries this week. I particularly enjoyed “Beware of Headhunters“.
Next week’s CotC will be over at Rob Sama’s.
Send him your entries at capitalists-at-elhide.com. For more info, check out the Carnival of the Capitalists Homepage.
Poor David’s been hit by the realization: blogging can be a lot of pressure.
Sure, we all say it: blog when you want, about what you want, and just be yourself.
But the fact of the matter is that there are stages in the evolution of a blogger. Very real stages. Almost like we’re growing up, in some odd way. And at each plateau, as in life, there is a stress to reach the next level and to perform.
The way I see it, there are 5 key levels to a blogger’s “maturing”:
Young Pup Blogger
This level of blogger is categorized, often, by a spree of posts every day about just about everything under the sun. Blogging is new, fresh, and the young pup wants to experience everything to the fullest.
For many, this stage will only last a couple of weeks as either the thrill wears off or people actually start to read the blog in question. Often the first link back to a blog will trigger stage 2. In this stage, the Young Pup is blogging for himself.
Ouch. Plateau 1. Big plateau. My estimation is that roughly half of the blogs that fail in the first year fail at this stage. It’s undoubtedly the hardest one. It is characterized by the blogger realising that blogging can be work, at least this stage.
Often the blogger will want to keep going, but because it has become ‘work’, the posting becomes less frequent and when the blogger is posting it’s either about inane things or about “valuable” things. In this stage, Plateau Blogger is blogger either out of obligation or out of a realisation that “this too shall pass”. Either way, it’s no longer about the love.
This stage can last days, weeks and sometimes even months. It often depends on the blogger’s honesty with himself.
This stage is perhaps one of the better ones to watch in a blogger’s maturing. It’s where the blogger comes into his own, so to speak. Finds his voice. Realises the freedom of blogging and becomes excited again. Often this is kicked off by people finding his blog, enjoying it and telling others about it. Telling others is key because it will often boost our poor little guy’s self confidence and get him excited again.
The Familial Blogger’s posts are characterized between a rough balance of what he wants to write about and what he expects his audience wants to hear. In reality most bloggers stay in this phase for quite some time. Posting frequency is often whatever “feels right” and in many ways the blogger is fairly relaxed as himself.
All things that go up… Must come down. At some point our little guy realises that others are watching. He is influencing people. Loads of folk are reading. And he feels that “wow, I’ve got influence” buzz. He tries out some experiments in influencing folk, often to little success.
This blogger feels he is god in his own domain and acts as such. When met with resistance he’ll often say “well, if you don’t like it, leave” or something to that effect. A bit of a pompous bastard, really. For a while it’s fun, but the problem with thinking you are god is that you often won’t live up to your own expectations. Also, you aren’t actually focussing much on blogging, at least for the sake of it.
Many blogs will die at this point as well, because transitioning to the next stage can often be painful and humbling.
The Real Blogger is the evolved blogger. He’s caught the bug. He’s lived through a few downtimes. He’s been insulted, complemented and laughed at (and with). He’s found his voice, has readers and has hit a stride.
This stage is characterized not by the blogger finding his voice, but actually being his voice. Sure, he’s found the love again, but that’s a given. No, in this stage blogging has become part of who he is. He might enjoy the occasional self-important smug grin but, by and large he blogs because he can’t help it.
He enjoys it, is addicted to it even. He will often let readers into his life in a brand new way. Being open, honest and even asking for new ideas to help form his opinions. His ways aren’t set and he has realised he is part of the larger blogging community.
Looking back on this, I can see I certainly have a way to go. And no this isn’t me trying to influence folk. This is me waking up on a Monday morning :-p
Ah well, I certainly do have a ways to go.