- z2012-03-09- Rao Halls Law Industrialization Gilded Age
Venkatesh Rao posits a HallsLaw as analog to Moores Law during industrialization. The unsung and rather tragic hero of the story of interchangeability was John Harris Hall (1781 – 1841), inventor of the Hall carbine. So I am naming my analog to Moore’s Law for the 19th century Hall’s Law in his honor. The story of Hall’s Law is in a sense a prequel to the unfinished story of Moore’s Law. The two stories are almost eerily similar, even to believers in the “history repeats itself” maxim... Hall’s Law: the maximum complexity of artifacts that can be manufactured at scales limited only by resource availability doubles every 10 years... I believe this law held between 1825 and 1960, at which point the law hit its natural limits. (Note this covers 2-3 Technological Revolution-s in the Technological Revolutions And Financial Capital model.)
He provides 16 points of comparison between the 2 laws/periods.
5. The newer, younger “Digital Native” tycoons, starting with Mark Zuckerberg, map to the post 1890 3rd generation innovators who were native to the new world of interchangeability rather than pioneers, similar to the early 20th century automobile and airplane industry tycoons...
- 7. Each era enabled, and was in turn fueled by, new kinds of warfare...
10. The InterNet and Cargo Container shipping taken together are to Moore’s Law as the railroad, steamship and telegraph networks taken together were to Hall’s Law. The Electric Energy grid provides the continuity between Hall’s Law and Moore’s Law.
- 11. Each era changed employment patterns and class structures wholesale...
13. At the risk of getting flamed, I’d say that Seth Godin is arguably the Horatio Alger of today, but in a good way...
14. Hall’s Law led on to the application of its core methods to people, leading to new models of High School and College Education and eventually the perfect interchangeable human, The Organization Man. Moore’s Law is destroying these things, and replacing them with Y Combinator style education and Co Working spaces (this will end with the Organization Entrepreneur, a predictably-unique individual, just like everybody else).
15. Hall’s Law led to the industrial labor movement. Moore’s Law is leading to a new labor movement defined, in its early days, by things like standardized term-sheets for entrepreneurs ( the 5 day/40 hour week issue of our times; YC-entrepreneurs are decidedly not the new capitalists. They are the new labor. That’s a whole other post).
He then does a nice comparison of today to the Gilded Age. Hall’s Law created a culture that was initially a layer of fake gloss on top of much grimmer realities. Things were improving dramatically, but it probably did not seem like it at the time, thanks to the anxiety and uncertainty... We are clearly living through a New Gilded Age today, and Bruce Sterling’s term “Favela Chic” (rather unfortunately cryptic; perhaps we should call it “Painted Slum”) is effectively analogous to “Gilded Age.” We put on brave faces as we live through our rerun of the 1870s. We celebrate the economic precariousness of Free Agency (Free Agent) as though it were a no-strings-attached good thing. We read our own Horatio Alger stories, fawn over new Silicon Valley millionaires and conveniently forget the ones who don’t make it... If the Moore’s Law endgame is the same century-long economic-overdrive that was the Hall’s Law endgame, today’s kids will enter the adult world with prosperity and a fully-diffused Moore’s Law all around them. The children will do well. In the long term, things will look up. But in the long term, you and I will be dead. (Economic Transition, Raising Reality Hackers)
- z2013-02-10- Writely Creator Now At Box
Sam Schillace, creator of WriteLy, is working on Collaboration Ware at BoxNet.
When he started at Google, his team was about 40 people. By the time he left, it had grown to 600. But despite its size, Schillace said, Google Docs was never a huge priority at Google because of its minimal effect on the company’s bottom line.... Fast-forward a few years and there’s “not a lot of room for the feral programmer at Google anymore.”
“The other technical problem is, ‘what’s the next generation of the web app itself,’” he noted. “Where do we go with that and what does that need to be in order to be successful?”... a bigger challenge might be figuring out how to build a collaboration application in the age of powerful mobile devices and cloud computing... “The interesting challenge is to have one foot in many worlds at once,” Schillace said — mobile, web and desktop, consumer and enterprise... Schillace is inclined to look at what a company like EverNote is doing to enable creation and collaboration “outside of that paradigm of word processor, spreadsheet, presentation.”... With the advent of Evernote and the erstwhile Google Wave, documents have become more abstract, mixing images, text, communications, web pages and whatever else onto a digital Universal Canvas. “Underlying all of this, what’s really going on is the business interaction you want to have,” Schillace said. “The point of the document is you usually either record something for yourself or to have an interaction with another human being. And I think we can gradually start peeling away layers of artifice and try to get down to the raw core of that interaction.”
Hmm, does a Software Forge that has Transclus Ion and is MobIle-friendly fit the bill?
Sept'2013 update: Box has announced the beta release of a new Co Editing solution, BoxNotes, integrated with the Box file share-and-sync foundation.
- z2005-05-10- Company Hackathons
Hack Athon-s were held at JotSpot and Atlass Ian (Conflu Ence Wiki Engine) to spur Innovat Ion (and give EnginEer-s a sense of Engage Ment outside the Block And Tackle of their normal days).
A couple of the JotSpots deliverables were:
Update: Kathy Sierra on Squirrel Eiserloh and the Ad Lib Game Design Society. The idea can be mapped to virtually anything for which you want to encourage maximum creativity, innovation, and most importantly... getting something done. While it may be a Big Deal to start your own FooCamp/BarCamp-style self-organizing conference, the total immersion "ad-lib jam" model is something we can all start in our home town, wherever that may be... A big part of what makes this work is that you are not in your normal environment. No kids, no chores, no I-should-be-doing-something-else. More importantly, it's the energy of the other participants that makes this so effective. You know exactly what I'm talking about if you've ever been in a highly engaged group where everyone's really cranking and you can almost feel the brain power and creativity rippling out of each person's head like WiFi. The ALGDS seems oriented toward all the attendees working together on a single idea, but Kathy seems to be discussing just having people working independently in the same place/time maybe in the same genre.
- z2010-05-15- Rader Knowhow Coaching
Gregory Rader on the gap in the InterNet's offering: CoachIng for KnowHow. The internet currently provides two things very well. At one extreme all the information ever created is at your fingertips. Anything you might hope to research or learn about is a Google search away... At the other extreme is WisDom. This also is very easy to find on the internet. Web portals feature quick tips on how to achieve this or that goal. Myriad blogs provide motivational material and all other manner of advice (SelfHelp)... In between these two extremes something is lacking. I am going to refer to this middle ground simply as knowledge. It is the stuff that enables you to apply information... if you are seeking the knowledge necessary to achieve a complex goal then you are likely to be frustrated by the lack of Action Able knowledge available... We need to stop looking for teachers (people who disseminate information) and start looking for coaches (people who accelerate the discovery and MastEry of knowledge).
Or maybe just Out Sourcing makes more sense? Certainly it has the potential to dramatically reduce the barriers faced by first time product designers. Unfortunately that process doesn't seem to provide much LearnIng to give you future independence/options. In my previous post I posed several questions as examples of knowledge problems that are not easily answered by the abundant information on the internet... The answer to those questions perhaps need to come from the platform or service that inventors graduate to after finding initial success on QuirkY.
Apr'2011: now he frames that missing-middle being about helping people search for a PurPose. (Maybe there are 4 areas, and PurPose comes between KnowHow and WisDom? Vs DIKW?) This gap explains the preponderance of people who want to start a business but haven’t yet found that perfect idea... They are like the people who say they want a boyfriend/girlfriend but can’t in any way describe the person they are looking for... Any achievement opens up an Adjacent Possible, that compels continued striving. As applied to this discussion, it should be noted that the word “purpose” is carefully chosen. Purpose does not mean “individual Business Model (Making A Living)”. It means a consistent mode of action justified by individually accepted MeanIng or ValUe. Meaning and value are context dependent. As our environment changes so too will our sense of meaning and value. The argument above cannot suggest that finding purpose is the endgame…a discovered purpose by definition implies striving to achieve it…and an achieved purpose implies a new search... In our current environment anxiety results from the recognition that the space is now open…that we could be achieving so much more if we only knew better where to direct our efforts.
- z2014-09-14- Sienna Storm Rpg
The Sienna Storm RPG has a couple interesting wrinkles.
Unlike its spiritual predecessors, Sienna Storm has a novel way of guiding players through the twists and turns of its plot: rather than rendering characters and environments in full 3D, Sienna Storm is more like a Comic Book, CardGame and Frederick Forsyth novel rolled into one... No point pussyfooting: it's cheap – Digital Knights was only looking for a comparatively meager $179,000.
Despite their expert credentials and plenty of press at launch, the team raised just $17,049 from 488 (Kick Starter) backers, less than ten percent of their goal, and ultimately decided to cancel the campaign rather than labour on... “It just means that the public expects a game to have not just gameplay concepts, but actual screenshots, gameplay video footage, et cetera,” Filipov said in an interview after the cancellation. “It seems at least 50 or 60 percent of the game needs to be completed before one launches a campaign on Kickstarter.”
- z2014-09-24- Ozzie Talko
RayOzzie's new Collaboration Ware app TalkO is a little bit WhatsApp, a little bit Google Voice, and a little bit Push To Talk app Voxer. The app lets you text, call, send voice or photo messages, and conference call your team — with the ease of today’s top consumer apps. Every message and call is recorded inside one thread, and you can bookmark specific audio bits or messages so people can return to them later (similar to Sound Cloud)... Talko is built around the asynchronous nature of how we talk to each other today. If somebody misses the beginning of a Conference Call, they can hop in midway and listen to what’s happened, or send a quick text to the people on the call, or listen to the call later with the aid of bookmarks and tags to guide the way.
Steven Levy sees the phone call busy being reborn...
On a whiteboard, Ozzie has jotted down a long checklist of emotions easily conveyed by voice, but difficult to decipher in quickly thumbed-out bursts of text: concern, pain, urgency, empathy, clarity, seriousness, confidence, anxiety, trust, strength, accountability, anger, fear, stress, confusion, doubt... The app’s key innovations allow people to build conversations as if they were collaborative documents — adding to these artifacts both in real time and asynchronously... “What’s striking is the fluid nature of going from synchronous [real time, like a phone call] to asynchronous [discrete, like text or email],” says former Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, whose VC firm has invested in Talko... It’s not only invaluable to those who might miss a session, but also to people who are in the room together for the meeting, who can refer to key moments in a playback...
“I live and breathe computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) — that’s my thing,” he says. “I love communications tools.”... his next project, based on a core idea that it was time for the human voice to reassert itself online. One contributing factor to that idea might have been what he saw at Microsoft: a communications breakdown rooted in part by an overreliance on email. “The EMail culture runs deep at Microsoft,” says Ozzie. “Email is an amazing thing. It enables communication, but allows you to posture in a way you would never do face to face.” Hiding behind the conventions of email, it’s possible to passive-aggressively ignore a problem, or subtly orchestrate a position. All too often, even small groups are able to skate around disputes they would have hashed out had they been forced to interact in real time. My experience has been the opposite - email allows refinement of clarity which is harder to do in real-time. A poisonous culture is rarely fixed by technological changes.
Martin Geddes thinks it is a potential game-changer... It shifts the boundary between voice and text, and allows voice to have the emotive urgency it deserves. It places voice in its true conversational context as part of a unified activity stream.
- z2009-11-06- Techcrunch Social Gaming Scams
Tech Crunch is running a series of posts on the scams run through many Social Gaming networks on MySpace and FaceBook. In short, these games try to get people to pay cash for in-game currency (Virtual Money) so they can level up faster and have a better overall experience. Which is fine. But for users who won't pay cash, a wide variety of "offers" are available where they can get in-game currency in exchange for LeadGen-type offers. Most of these offers are bad for consumers because it confusingly gets them to pay far more for in-game currency than if they just paid cash (there are notable exceptions, but the scammy stuff tends to crowd out the legitimate offers). And it's also bad for legitimate advertisers. ZynGa and others.
An update. Arrington calls-out FaceBook for failing to enforce their supposed policies. In the comments someone calls out ZynGa's investors (including Fred Wilson's Union Square Ventures), and Tom Foremski agreed and then posted about it.
Nov12: Umair Haque draws parallels to Credit Crisis2008 and predicts a crash in WebAd-s.
- z2011-12-21- Mckenzie Annual Update
Patrick Mc Kenzie gives an annual update on his progress/earning with Bingo Card Creator, Consult Ing, and his new Appointment Reminder app. Things I noted:
Bingo Card Creator made only $22k in profits. Not too inspirational for the One Man Show Life Style.
I integrated Stripe and expected a huge lift in conversions for going from PayPal to a simple CC-based payment system. I tested this extensively in A/B tests. I love everything about the Stripe system, but I have no evidence for “Stripe is better than Paypal/Google Checkout”, “Stripe/Paypal/Google Checkout is better than Paypal / Google Checkout”, etc etc. That said, it might be something as simple as my buttons being ugly. I’ll probably take a whack at it in the future, or better yet, have my designer take a whack at it.
Appointment Reminder is hitting both SmallCo and Enter Prise targets. The SmallCo market gets handled by a Self Service SaaS, which then works as a trial/LeadGen system for the Enter Prise sale follow-up. I Commented to wonder whether this is a FoCus problem.
- z2009-11-04- Blank When Grow Lean Startup
Steve Blank clarifies that a Lean Startup is not a cheap StartUp - it just waits to start spending fast after it has a scalable/sustainable sales model. The goal of an investor-backed startup is not to build a lifestyle business (Life Style Company). The goal is to reach venture-scale (~10x return on investment.) When you and your board agree you've found a repeatable and scalable sales model (i.e. have Product Market Fit,) then you invest the dollars to create end user demand and drive those customers into your Sales Channel. If you confuse Lean with Cheap when you do find a repeatable and scalable sales model, you will starve your company for resources needed to scale. Customer Development (and Lean) is about continuous customer contact/iteration to find the right time for execution.
- z2005-07-08- Lind Fourgw Field Manual
William Lind released a draft of his FourGw Field Manual. While it necessarily deals with military theory, some of it quite complex, at its heart lies a story, the story of Operation David. Here, we drew on the model offered by the U.S. Marine Corps’ Command & Control FMFM. When Captain John Schmitt brought me the original draft of Command & Control, back in the early 1990s, I said to him, “John, the book needs a story that illustrates the concepts the manual is trying to teach.” John wrote a superb story, and ever since that FMFM came out, Marines have told me that they got much more out of the story than from the theoretical parts of the manual. I’m not sure our story is as good as the one John Schmitt wrote, but we have at least tried to do what he did. You can judge whether or not we succeeded.
Some interesting Fabius Maximus comments - Perhaps the structural constraints are too great and the challenges of 4GW too large for the US to successfully wage aggressive 4GW. But there is an alternative. Is the home court advantage decisive in 4GW? Can we can win with a defensive-only posture - second strikes only, but without restraint? (Non Interventionism)
Jul13: there's already an updated word file.
Page linking to Aug'2009 version.
- z2004-07-19- Marshall Biden Interview
Josh Marshall interviews Joe Biden, who might become Secretary Of State under John Kerry. There is no longer nor should there remain the standard for use of force that pertained from the Vietnam War until the time that we lost the election in 2000. And there is an emerging change in the standard... So that I think that what you see is emerging, is that the world has changed, is that a Kerry administration would reflect a willingness to use force unilaterally if one of several conditions pertained: One, international conventions were being violated; they affected American interests; and the international community would not step up to the ball. ... I made a very controversial speech in '94 saying I believe countries forfeit their Sovereign Ty when they engage in certain activities - genocide being one of those activities, harboring terrorist organizations with the knowledge that they are doing damage to other nations... (It) took me a while, and I think he would tell you this if you asked him, to convince Bill Clinton to use force in KosoVo. He kept saying, "The UN will not go." . I said "Don't go to the UN" - and I'm an internationalist - I said "Don't go to the UN. You're going to get No for an answer."
My Intro Blurb:
This is the publicly-readable WikiLog Thinking Space of Bill Seitz (a Product Manager and CTO).
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