John Sviokla

Seeing Around the Corner: Can You Know What Innovations Are Coming?

I was talking with my friend Chris Curran today, our CTO, and he said, “you ought to write a post about ‘seeing around the corner’” (Chris also mentioned the Israeli designed corner gun in the image below.) One the great challenges leaders face is estimating what disruptive technologies, competitors, and business models will emerge.

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Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube & Now Foursquare? The Loosely Coupled Operating System for the Web…

Not long ago, I was presenting along with some folks to the senior executive team at a large division of a massive insurance company. I had the great pleasure of listening to Eileen Naughton of YouTube, when she referred to Google as the operating system for search, Facebook as the operating system for social, Twitter as the operating system for real time and YouTube as the operating system for video. I found her characterization of the services fascinating and useful. 

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Innovations in Attention: The Need for Filters and Feedback

Howard Greenstein has a nice article on Mashable which notes why feedback and filters are necessary in social media.

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What’s Your Mind-Diet? Clay Shirky versus Nick Carr

There has been a wonderful debate going on in the pages of the Wall Street Journal between Clay Shirky and Nick Carr. Carr became famous for his IT Doesn’t Matter article and has ridden his technology contrarianism to a fantastic intellectual franchise. I have yet to read his newest book, The Shallows: What the internet is doing to our brains, but according to reviewers I respect like Mark McDonald over at Gartner, the book seems to be a worthwhile review of relevant literature showing how the use of new media, including new digital technologies, can cause poorer performance for  important thinking tasks. 

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Innovation Lessons from BP’s Misery

The ongoing tragedy of BP’s well disaster makes me both sad and mad at the same time, and I’ve been trying to think if there is anything useful to learn from this difficult situation. As I’ve been reading about the tragedy, I think there are at least three things that leaders who are performing large scale innovations can learn from.

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Innovating at Scale in a Successful Company: What Microsoft Could Learn from Lotus

One of the most challenging things for a large successful organizations is to create an innovation large enough to make a difference. When a company’s on the brink of death, they will entertain many radical alternatives, but economic health is the enemy of change — which is one of Microsoft’s great problems.

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You Robot: An Innovation in Conversations?

I have been a big believer in the idea that we need to reinvent the meeting. Seth Godin wrote an interesting post about how to use the iPad to improve meeting productivity. This past weekend, I was reading about a new remote controlled video presence by Vgo Communications of Nashua, New Hampshire that they hope will revolutionize meetings by allowing a person to move a slender white robot — equipped with all the capabilities of a video conference system and the ability to move around an office, factory, hospital or any other location by remote control. This Boston Globe Video shows the device in action. It is a virtual presence for a remote person.

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The Importance of The Sales Cycle in Getting an Innovation Off the Ground

Time hurts all deals. — Anonymous

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Why Amazon Will Innovate Past Kindle and Microsoft’s Bing Will Never Win

When I bought my iPad it was very easy to download my new Kindle application to read all my books I bought on Amazon, and I’m sure that Jeff Bezos knows that my Kindle may be replaced. Bezos can do this because he’s not in the book reader business, he’s in the book seller and publisher business (along with many other products). Bezos is not cannabalizing his core. 

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Do You Curate Your Audience?

Earlier this week, in a hot New York City, I was having some tea and lemonade with a dear friend who is a  senior publishing executive. When our conversation turned to exploring the future of publishing she said, “our folks say our core value is to curate content”. I suggested that the real challenge for any publisher today is not just to curate content, but to manage audiences for the authors. She said, “in other words we need to curate audiences”.

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