It’s for the Future of Computing

So I just took on a really cool project: I’ll be presenting to a group of high school students from all around Southern California on careers in computing! A friend of mine is on the board of the organization that organizes this event and he asked me to participate. The event is on March 1st, so that should leave me a good amount of time to prepare.

I can’t begin to explain how excited I am about this project. I’ve been so fortunate to have had a pretty successful career in computing so far and I’m happy to connect with students again. I was actually a TA back at UC Irvine, so it would be great to be back in that atmosphere.

I think the biggest reason why I’m so excited for this project is because I’ve been so excited about computing and how pervasive it is today. Computing touches so many different aspects of our lives, it’s hard not to get excited! It’s mind-boggling to think about the things that we have today that we didn’t have 5 years ago. Imagine where we’ll be 5 years from now…

I’d like to try a little experiment: I think it would be great to crowdsource the creative process for developing this presentation. Because the topic is so broad and so deep, I want to make sure I present the material in a way that fulfills what I think the job this presentation is hired to do — to motivate students to discover their true potential with the help of computing.

As I go through the process of brainstorming, outlining and creating the story, I will share the process here on my blog and on various social networks. If you’re interested in contributing your thoughts and ideas, I would love to hear them!

The Over-Service Blind Spot

In one of Horace Dediu’s old podcasts, he discusses with James Allworth, among other topics, the importance of measuring when a product has reached “good enough,” based on the current basis of competition. For a company, recognizing when you’ve reached this point is important, as incremental improvements to the product once you’ve hit this point is over-service, exposing it to low-end disruption.

Horace cites that not only has Apple been a serial disruptor, it has also shown evidence of being able to self-disrupt. He also states that over the last several years, he has struggled with trying to measure this point of good enough for the iPhone — there doesn’t seem to be any good public data points that suggests this. He goes on to explain that Apple however has a good built-in mechanism to detect whether they have reached this point with the iPhone: by concurrently selling the current version alongside the previous version of the product. The idea is that if Apple sees that consumers continue to opt for the previous version while the latest version is in the market, this would serve as a signal to them suggesting that they’ve hit good enough.

This was interesting to me and I started thinking: Do other companies actively do this? How does this overlay with software companies?

My mind then quickly jumped to Software as a Service (SaaS) companies: Does the practice of automatically delivering the latest versions of software deprive them of the valuable of data of knowing when they’ve hit good enough? Is the model itself more susceptible to disruption because of this blind spot?

Continue reading “The Over-Service Blind Spot”

Simple Math: Social Engagement

Twitter Follow < Retweet < Mention < Email Subscribe < Email Click-through < Text Message < Phone Call < Video Chat < In-person Chat < Recommends You to Others < Recommends You to Friends < Recommends You to Loved Ones < Sends You a Card for the Holidays < Sends You a Card on Your Birthday

Not exhaustive, but you get the point: Move to the right as much as possible