Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What is in your shoe?

In India, I have seen people stash cash and/or valuables in their shoes / socks. Especially, while traveling in public transportations, it is a good way to avoid pick-pockets.

Interestingly, a shoe company called ArchPort has taken the same metaphor and designed a shoe that not only protects the soles, but also protects valuables. These shoes and sandals have a small locker in the sole, where cash, keys, coins etc can be stored. See the pictures below:

I am not sure if these shoes will score any points in comfort or style, some key attributes that we look for in shoe. But, it definitely gets my thumbs up in creativity!

So, watch out for the shoes. There may be more to them than just soles ...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

From the Innovator's Dilemma

One of the most interesting and relevant books that I have read so far is the triology, starting with "The Innovator's Dilemma". I often read the book(s) to remind myself about complacency, stagnancy, comfort that is being developed, the success trap ... of many companies in industry that I work in, or of companies in adjacent industry ... or of companies, which are in their most glorious days today. Or, I often observe these companies and their moves to understand their response to the disruptive technologies or their preparedness for the same.

A glaring example of a flourishing industry that saw the death of many of its leading firms, as explained in the book is that of Disk-Drive industry. I am sure, you got the point. However, the author's explaination on how he chose this industry as an example to prove his theory of "How Can Great Firms Fail" is equally exemplary. In author's own words:

"When I began my search for an answer to the puzzle of why the best firm can fail, a friend offered some sage advice. 'Those who study genetics avoid studying humans,' he noted. 'Because new generations come along only every thirty years or so, it takes a long time to understand this cause and effect of any changes. instead they study fruit flies, because ther are conceived, born, mature and dies all within a single day. If you want to understand why something happens in business, study the disk drive industry. Those companies are the closest things to fruit flies that the business world will ever see.' "

Disruptive changes in the Disk Drive technology defined a whole new paradigm of performance. And the adopters of these technological changes were the new entrants into the market and not the incumbent leaders - engrossed in listening to their customers and engulfed in success trap.

Interesting ...

Monday, October 08, 2007

Content Plagiarism and a piece of cake ...

Recently, I have been quite interested in the problem of web-based content plagiarism.

I own the content on my page and it is my intellectual property. I do not mind if someone else copies my content as it only validates my authority on the subject. However, I definitely demand credit for the piece of information extracted from my site. If a site earns revenue with stolen contents, I would like to see a fair distribution of the monetary gains.

The intention is very clear - copy what I permit you to copy, give me the credit and share with me the benefits that you earn off my content - and I do not mind. This, also is the point of contrast from the more familiar concept of DRM.

Where as DRM is restrictive, a company came up with an innovative solution that offers protecting the Intellectual Property, but in most liberal way. Attributor, based in Redwood City has launched a product to track and report back on the copied content, sniffing billions of web pages.

By far, Attributor has the first mover advantage with AP and Reuters already Attributing. There is another solution offered by blogwerx "Sentinel", which promises to solve similar problems. I do not see this company very promising for several reasons [read thumbs down on investment, team, state of product, product vision, initial beta hiccups] - the Home Link on their website does not work, if anyone is reading. A May blog by the CVO (Chief Visionary Officer, eh... ) states that "Sentinel is not dead as yet". Not updating the post for next 5 months is not being alive either.

I found another cool tool, which may not have serious business potential and / or relevance - but the simplicity of the tool caught my attention. My feminine instincts would like to call it "cute". Check the Duplicate Content Tool here. This tool compares two websites on the similarity of textual / HTML content.

The success of this or any other clones in this space would be based on the business value that these solutions promise to bring to the publishers of content and the business/revenue model that they adopt.

Plagiarism of web-content is definitely a problem, the solution for which seems to be evolving. This could be disrupting for many players in the web world. A worth following up proposition for the days to come!

And as far as I am concerned, my birthday cake has "Happy Birthday to Amita" written and I get to cut it! You can share as much of it as you wish - if you are invited to my party... That is the point!