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Paul wrote, in post # 2598

The core concept behind technology is the 'whole product'. A whole product is the combination of technologies, products, services and sales which delivers on the breakthrough value proposition of the discontinuos innovation.

This really got me thinking more about 'whole product' as Paul gives the elements that comprise the value chain (technology, products, services and sales which deliver...) and what I've been dwelling on is the "which deliver" aspect and how that might relate to the value chain completion for Internet enabling products and services. Meaning, technology products and services that leverage the Internet to deliver their service, their promise to the customer may be fighting to 'tornado' (hypergrowth and mass market adoption), but something is lacking in ability to complete the value chain, a condition that could be holding it back.

It is a somewhat new Gorilla Game category. Internet dependent products and services that use the conduit of the Web to deliver their ultimate benefit to the end user. Desktop PC operating systems rely the PC makers and microprocessors but the conduit to deliver the benefit of the product is the physical world. Cisco's Gorilla stature is dependent on the Internet but, more in the building of the Web, the network. Oracle in databases but, not so much delivery of capability through the Web either. Web-based software companies who's promise of benefits are manifest through the Net and delivered through the use of it is something quite different I think, though. The Web and its capabilities (bandwidth) is as much a part of the value chain for candidates of Gorilla-dom in this 'area'; sales and delivery of the service.

On the surface it's not really that obvious when you read about companies like Amazon and Ebay and AOL doing hundreds of millions and billions of dollars in sales a year on the Web, the way we log on and chat and surf from page to page for hours on end. It gives the impression that the Web is capable, robust and secure enough to handle all the day to day activities of life and business. But peer deeper into the prospects of performing more and more business activity; interactive trading communities, real-time 'live' work flow management, file and application sharing, design and management collaboration, cyber-conferencing and the trillions of transactions that take place each and everyday in America and the World for that matter. Is the Web up to this task? I don't know, maybe it is but, I doubt it. I'm certainly not questioning that the Web will continue to improve on itself over time, people like Dirty Dingus are hard at work seeing to this (stop screwing around on these boards and get it done, DD). How much, if any, consideration should the Web be given as an enabler of the complete value chain for those Gorilla candidates using the Web as a conduit? To go to the extreme opposite, if the Web didn't exist at all, would their even be a BEA or AppServer product category in existence? So, how dependent is the take-up of these types of products by businesses, on the robustness of the Web? What is the level of implementation complexity, which is as much about breaking old habits, at the user end in getting business partners and consumers to use the Web as the primary means of communication and how much does this effect adoption?

Tom
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No. of Recommendations: 10
Tom,

I like to think of the Internet in the context of highways. As roads were built, the quality had to be constantly improved to first accomodate wagons, then slow-speed automobiles, and ultimately high-speed automobiles. A comparable analogy will surely fit the growth of the Internet to meet the changing needs of the world using it.

When Moore speaks of the Internet as the mother of all tornados, the Internet itself may be knocking down just one or two bowling pins at the moment. The opportunity is so massive that it's easy for us to confuse the massive growth with that of a tornado, when I suspect that it has barely crossed the chasm.

So, how dependent is the take-up of these types of products by businesses, on the robustness of the Web?

Very dependent.

What is the level of implementation complexity, which is as much about breaking old habits, at the user end in getting business partners and consumers to use the Web as the primary means of communication and how much does this effect adoption?

The complexity is not just the barrier; it is also the cause of the pain. When the pain is severe enough, people will change their ways with the help of new products.

The products that will have the easiest time of getting adopted will be those that are the most continuous for the end user. With each product category that is only ever so slightly discontinuous for the end user, we'll gradually migrate across a rather wide spectrum of product categories that compared to the way we live today will look very discontinuous. But because we'll get there with incremental levels of slight discontinuity, it will be percieved as being more continuous than discontinuous.

I hope I'm right about all the above. If I'm not, my decision to invest solely in technology for the next thirty years if I'm fortunate enough to live that long will prove to be a horrible decision.

--Mike Buckley

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I worte;

What is the level of implementation complexity, which is as much about breaking old habits, at the user end in getting business partners and consumers to use the Web as the primary means of communication and how much does this effect adoption?

To which Mike repsonded;

The complexity is not just the barrier; it is also the cause of the pain. When the pain is severe enough, people will change their ways with the help of new products.

Agreeing with you I would add to your excellent input that I don't think many people realize just how much pain they are in and what relief the Internet could bring even today. Why is that?

Do IT people need to learn to talk more in the language of CEO's? In terms of ROI and cost benefit analysis of what is possible in terms of leveraing technology for business and stop talking in programming language, a language not many CEO's in business today understand? Getting back to my matrix management post, perhaps IT people need to become another dimension of the matrix in addition to sales, engineering, design etc.

Tom
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Tom,

Getting back to my matrix management post, perhaps IT people need to become another dimension of the matrix in addition to sales, engineering, design etc.

Isn't that what has happened? Isn't that the whole point of having a CIO on the executive management team? Is the importance of that officer not reflected in lower levels of management also?

I don't know the answers to those questions. If answer to all of them is "No," you're absolutely right that the IT folks need to be brought into the matrix you describe. And now!

--Mike Buckley

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Isn't that what has happened? Isn't that the whole point of having a CIO on the executive management team? Is the importance of that officer not reflected in lower levels of management also?

I don't know the answers to those questions. If answer to all of them is "No," you're absolutely right that the IT folks need to be brought into the matrix you describe. And now!

--Mike Buckley


Yes, I'd agree it is happening. Yes, I would agree again that's the point of having the CIO on executive management teams. Yes, it draws attention to the importance of the position.

I'm not sure how much weight businesses give to integrating IT into operations. I suspect that IT is not prioritized yet by many (most) businesses (CEO's and CFO's) as a strategic weapon that should actually rank higher than it probably does. That is my opinion and it sounds like I'm speaking from a 'matter of fact' point of view, so read it as only that.

Put another way. When individual consumers become poorer for whatever reason, one of the first things that usually gets cut out of the personal budget is insurance. When the macro-economy starts to sour and businesses start to tighten the belt what's one of the first itens budgeted for that starts to get whittled back? We're living through it right now.....IT spending.

Do you think that has anything to do with the priority that IT spending has in the pecking order of where money gets spent in business? As more CIO's become capable of externalizing the benefits in ROI terms this will change, I'm sure.

Tom

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Tom wrote:
Do you think that has anything to do with the priority that IT spending has in the pecking order of where money gets spent in business? As more CIO's become capable of externalizing the benefits in ROI terms this will change, I'm sure.


The strength of the CIO's cost/benefit analysis can/will carry a great deal of weight, but pragmatist will still balk unless and until they fear their competitive position threatened.

I would suggest the tornado whirls when there is evidence that the early adopters start eating some of the pragmatist collective lunches in the marketplace.

When DELL-like competition starts grabbing market share in other more old-line industries, mass adoption like noone ever seen will begin to occur.

Back in the mid to late Eighties, I could feel the MSFT/Intel winds blowing all around me. In the early nineties, at a conference in the Raleigh research triangle area (one of IBM's homes) I remember well the first evidence of DELL winds blowing. In both instances, I largely ignored the breeze.

Sometimes the devil is in the details. On the other hand, sometimes we cannot see the forest for the trees.

N2;T@blindedbythelight.com
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Nice thinking boarders.

As for getting a CEO to understand, have you heard of the concept of "life cycle costing"? It is a tough concept to sell to someone who wants something built NOW and has a limited budget. It also won't crack many with old ideas of how big something should be. They just do it the old way and pay more down the road then they would have if they had thought it out. Some won't change, but and a big but is that they are being replaced with folks more familiar with the whole picture. How long does it take for a generation to fit in? That, I think, might be the time frame for implementation of the new. My 5th grader last year was the teacher's computer guru.

MichaelPFool

PS, I tried to sell solar 22 years ago based on life cycle analysis. Looking at the typical home built today, the SUV on the road, etc. I don't think even a couple generations got the message across.
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