Literature, Technology and the search for a Utopian world
Bundling, Unbundling, Disruption and Digital Darwinism
As technology creeps in to every aspect of our lives, we're constantly addressing its need and chalking out how companies can deal with its ubiquity. In that light, couple of interesting things happened in the past week. We had a bit on additive manufacturing or what's commonly referred to as 3D printing. These printers can replicate/print crucial internal human organs, help stranded astronauts and their potential is still being unearthed. We also had the Google I/O conference that showcased some of the coolest products we're going to witness in the coming years.
The 'Internet of Things' or the manner in which 'dumb' objects are connected and interact with human beings is gaining significant traction. Mary Meekers' report predicted a boom in the wearables market and google's products address this gargantuan space. More importantly, android is being cemented as the go-to destination for all technological products, from cars to thermostats.
Clearly, we've all read and witnessed a lot on technology and from a management standpoint, pundits are contextualizing the rapid changes that are happening. Keeping that in mind, we've had some controversies and some fascinating insights this week. For those ardent tech geeks, yes, I'm talking about Jill Lepore's detailed article in the New Yorker calling Clay Christensen's management term 'disruptive innovation', an utter hogwash.
More here - http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/06/23/140623fa_fact_lepore?currentPage=all
A shocked Clay responded that a person of Jill's reputation should seek to build on information or offer an alternative, rather than trashing an established management term. Tim Lee jumped to Clay's defence and answered a few Lepore fans on what disruptive innovation means (again) and how the theory still holds water, even if its founder hasn't been able to capitalize on it.
The Sumptuous article had this particularly superb quote - "It's true that journalism is a profession that, like the practice of law or medicine, has obligations beyond the bottom line. But the New York Times isn't a non-profit organization like a university or museum. It's a business."
More here - http://www.vox.com/2014/6/17/5817824/disruption-is-a-dumb-buzzword-its-also-an-important-concept
If that wasn't enough controversy and solid reading for a week, Marc Andreessen had a tweetstorm (Trademarked by Marc, by the way) that got a lot of his followers thinking on the phenomenon of bundling and unbundling.
A lot of us are writing, reading and ideating about technology. Marc Andreessen took to twitter to coin the terms 'bundling’ and ‘unbundling.’ For those of you who don’t know Marc, in some way or the other, if you use the internet, Marc has had a huge role to play in it. This could very well be a theory alongside the likes of disruptive innovation by Clay Christensen, should Marc decide to elaborate. Nevertheless, it’s always good to pick on the best minds in the business.
I also managed to sneak in a question to Marc and asked if Google is an unbundler, the way it’s divided into many separate operations. He said, “They had been an unbundler but now they are bundling every possible way they can!” OUCH.
Though I have to disagree with Marc (its the virtue of the internet that anyone and everyone can have an opinion
even if they're not qualified in the field, ha ha) it still begs the question of how disruptive companies life Facebook and twitter can disrupt, without a mobile interface. On that note, picture it for a moment, when Sunder Pichai of Google took over the Android project, it started off as a minuscule project and now it's reshaping every possible field.
That's a wrap up form me on a few things that caught my attention on everything technology. If you're still with me and have the appetite for more, here's a profile on one of the most influential and powerful man on everything mobile - http://www.businessweek.com/printer/articles/209549-googles-sundar-pichai-is-the-most-powerful-man-in-mobile