Last week I posted about some changes to Facebook’s security policy which could lead to your personal information being shared with 3rd party organizations without your consent or knowledge. At that time I mentioned I would be closing my Facebook account and gave a few reasons why. Since then I have closed my account and am happy to report that I have suffered no adverse effects. I have however gotten questions from a number of people regarding my motivations for leaving Facebook. Most of these people mistook my departure from the service as some sort of a rebellion or a ban – a way to get attention from Facebook so that they may change their policy. This however is not the case.
Wondering why twitter isn’t driving the traffic you expected? Can’t figure out why only a small portion of your facebook contacts actually read your site regularly? Valdis Krebs (The Network Thinker) uses network theory and personal experience to give some tips on how Twitter can be used to effectively drive traffic to your site.
Today’s post asks whether an organization’s long term financial health is best served when the organization’s main focus is to increase share price each and every quarter, or if more value is generated by putting the customer their needs first.
Recent literature on the subject implies that the popular trend of the last three decades may not be the best choice – prioritizing share price above all else may actually rob longterm shareholders of wealth that could have been generated with a customer first policy. In the January-February 2010 issue of the Harvard Business Review, Roger Martin (dean of the Rotman School of Management) took a close look at a few companies that put the customer first. Interestingly, many of these companies generated strong shareholder returns compared to the S&P 500 while creating customer loyalty (or because of it).
After some trouble with our previous host, a site crash and some lost backup data, I am happy to report that the site has been restored in its entirety, everything is back to normal and regular posts will commence.
Ian Skerret of the Eclipse foundation posted some info on the keynotes for the Eclipse Summit Europe conference happening later this month. He also links to a podcast by keynote speaker Antonio Bailetti. Bailetti was my thesis supervisor and research mentor while I was working on my masters in Technology Innovation Management. In this podcast he speaks about the OS maturity curve that I posted about here.
This is a quick post. For more info on quick posts, look here.
I’ve been out of town for a few days and am still getting everything back in order. I have a couple new posts in the works and will be publishing one of them soon.
Blue Ocean authors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne have an article in this month’s Harvard Business Review discussing market re-structuring based on strategic decisions. In this post I will discuss how their new ideas can be applied in an open source ecosystem to restructure the marketplace.
Background: What is blue ocean strategy?
Kim and Mauborgne identify two kinds of oceans: red oceans and blue oceans. Red oceans are current markets. Competition exists and players must fight to carve out a share of the market in order to create value. Blue oceans on the other hand are undiscovered markets. Markets with no competition and low cost of entry. By looking for niches parallel to their current markets, organizations can discover blue oceans in order to create and capture a large share of a new market. Blue ocean strategy is based on a finance theory called endogenous growth. Endogenous growth theory states that strategies which promote innovation and openness will result in growth, and that organizations have the ability to change the market they operate in. Read the rest of this entry »
In yesterday’s post I mentioned that organization’s views on open source are always changing and they tend to be going in a positive direction. Where open source was once viewed as an arbitrary process-less free for all where anarchy ruled today it is recognized as a legitimate form of software development with decentralized management and lightweight but effective processes. Business’ views on open source began to change in 1995, with the release of Red Hat Linux. Tom Young, then CEO of Red Hat architected a brilliant plan – offer the operating system for free and make it available for download anywhere on the internet. Red Hat was the first distribution of Linux available for free and the first available for download. Young’s plan worked, Red Hat became the Linux standard and organizations began to adopt it. This marked the start of an era where open source was viewed as legitimate by businesses.
Today, use of open source is common practice in many organizations. Projects like Apache & MySql (important parts of the LAMP stack) have commercial support options and still enjoy a majority share of the market. Company PBX’s run on Asterix and projects like Eclipe’s RCP are used to jump-start product development. But this is all old news. This is part of the traditional definition of the value open source provides. Much like open source projects are maturing, so are the businesses that depend on them. Now OSS is recognized as a tool to create and capture value, it is leveraged to create competitive advantage and to identify new markets.
This new breed of manager recognizes that ecosystems can be built around open source projects that not only serve customer need, but also provide stability and value for the organization. Organizations such as Red Hat, Novell and Eclipse have realized this and are leading the way, enjoying profitability as they go.
Based on research being undertaken at Carleton University’s TIM program (of which I am a graduate) Peter Carbone (Nortel) and Tony Bailetti (Carleton) have developed a model of the open source engagements strategies organizations use. Broken into 5 types of interactions, Carbone & Bailetti break down the actions and benefits of each strategy. This type of work highlights the shifting maturity of open source users who now realize that open source can be used for much more than a shortcut to product release.
The Carbone/Bailetti interaction strategy model
In this month’s (September 2009) Harvard Business Review Ram Nidumolu, C. Prahalad and M. Rangaswami take on the topic of sustainability as a driver of innovation. They identified five stages of sustainable development organizations progress through. The five stages are:
- Viewing compliance as opportunity
- Making value chains sustainable
- Designing sustainable products and services
- Developing new business models
- Creating next-practice platforms
I found the article very interesting. They state that not only are organizations able to meet and exceed environmental regulations, green innovators use sustainability as a way to find new markets and increase the profits in their current markets. Open ecosystems have an opportunity that if exploited could lead to new levels of sustainability, growth and stability. In this post I am going to examine the five stages as they relate to open ecosystems. Read the rest of this entry »