Monthly Archives: December 2007

The Myths of Innovation

Scott Berkun’s The Myths of Innovation is a refreshingly unpretentious read–one that I accomplished straightaway in an afternoon (off).

Here are my takeaways–all quotes are Scott’s unless explicitly noted otherwise:

  • Innovation as an accumulation of smaller insights…connecting pieces…realizing picture (puzzle); therefore, take action to enable insights to occur more freely.
  • Work passionately and take breaks to let the mind wander and the allow the subconscious to work on our behalf.
  • Epiphany as an occasional bonus of working on tough problems
  • “It is an achievement to find a great idea, but it is a greater one to successfully use it to improve the world.”
  • “The secret tragedy of innovators is that their desire to improve the world is rarely matched by support from the people they hope to help.”
  • “The greater the potential of an idea, the harder it is to find anyone willing to try it.”
  • “Innovative idea are rarely rejected on their merits; they’re rejected because of how they make people feel.”
  • Is your desire to find new ideas to conquer greater than your desire to protect the success you already have?
  • “Wise innovators–driven by passion more than ego–initiate partnerships, collaborations, and humble studies of the past, raising their odds against the timeless challenges of innovation.”
  • Imagination > Knowledge > Information
  • I’ve put knowledge above information for some time know, but Albert Einstein’s belief that “imagination is more important than knowledge” (stated on page 83) captured my attention.
  • How can content-centric applications do a better job of capturing the user’s imagination, let alone increate the knowledge derivative?
  • “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.” -Linus Pauling
  • Does this sound like your team? “Ideas flow between people easily and in large volumes. Conversations are vibrant with questions and suggestions, prototypes and demos happen regularly, and people commit to finding and fighting for good ideas.” If not, why?
    • Actually commit reminds me of something U2 bassist Adam Clayton said while being interviewed on the How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb DVD. His comments are captured here, although I recall them to be slightly different on the DVD.
    • A group of people, a team or a band, has to commit before any real business can take place. Too often I see groups form for one reason or another without mutual commitment, and typically it’s just a matter of time until they disband, leaving some frustrated and others numb.
  • “Successful innovators compare their ambitions to their capital.”
  • “Sorting out the meaning and impact of innovations is more complex than the task of making the innovations themselves.”
    • “What problems does this innovation solve? Whose problems are they?”
    • “What problems does this innovation create? Whose problems are they?”

    Update 12/1/2008: For more of my book reviews and to see what else is in my book library (i.e. just the business-related or software-related non-fiction therein), please visit my Books page.

    After Christmas "sale"

    Well, actually it’s a give away (as in free).

    Recently I took my family to a “Deacon Dave’s” to see his Christmas light spectacular. (One of his assistants said the power line to serve draws 400 amps!) I took several pictures without flash just after dark, trying to capture the effect of all of the (250,000+) lights, especially in the trees.

    Anyway, I’ve been using the Cutline theme for my blog for awhile now. Cutline works with 770 by 140 pixel images. So, for those of my fellow Cutline users, here are some banner-sized images of Christmas lights you can use in the future.

    As Daffy Duck said to Speedy Gonzales in Bah-Humduck!, “Fleas and eggnog!” :-)

    Update: I see that Cutline 2.0 has increased its header image size from 770×140 to 896×163. So, the above images are natively sized for Cutline 1.1. If you want me to produce 2.0-native images, please let me know (via a comment). Thanks.

    Reach beyond existing demand

    I just finished reading Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant, and it’s caused me to reevaluate the potential impact of ideas as related to content, its management and the value derived from both.

    While I will post more specific thoughts on Blue Ocean Strategy shortly, I thought it worth quoting the authors’ challenge of two conventional strategy practices: focusing on existing customers and driving for finer segmentation to accommodate buyer differences:

    To maximize the size of their blue oceans, companies need to take a reverse course. Instead of concentrating on customers, they need to look at noncustomers. And instead of focusing on customer differences, they need to build on powerful commonalities in what buyers value. That allows companies to reach beyond existing demand to unlock a new mass of customers that did not exist before.

    Do you struggle to maintain content, whether it be documents, pictures, videos, etc. at home or at work, yet you don’t see the point of a content management system? What makes you a noncustomer?

    Given ECM or content management in general, what do you value? Say it’s time. How could adopting ECM save you time or multiply your time to focus on other priorities? If you’ve already adopted ECM, how could your system demonstrate it values your time more? Where is your system costing you time rather than valuing it?

    Is ECM so unique as to only apply to an enterprise–whatever that means? If you have ECM deployed at work, what do you wish you could leverage at home? Is working with content outside the enterprise all that different from features and functionality you’ve come to rely on at work? What differences, if any, are perceived, not real? Why?

    Update 12/1/2008: For more of my book reviews and to see what else is in my book library (i.e. just the business-related or software-related non-fiction therein), please visit my Books page.

    What’s new in DFS 6.0 SP1

    The following new features are provided in EMC Documentation Foundation Services (DFS) for Documentum 6 SP1, which officially released yesterday (12/21/2007):

    • Support for deployment using IBM WebSphere and Oracle application servers
    • Productivity layer for .NET consumers
    • Object service enhanced to support external sources

    DFS now supports free-standing deployment on IBM WebSphere V6.1 and Oracle Application Server 10.1.3.x. This means that the EAR file containing out-of-the-box core platform services, emc-dfs.ear, can be successfully deployed into these application servers. Deployment of core platform services via an installer continues to be BEA WebLogic based–either alongside the Java Method Server app server instance established during Content Server installation or into a cluster-ready, separate middle-tier deployment during standalone DFS installation.

    The DFS SDK now includes a.NET productivity layer (consumer library) for development of .NET-based DFS consumers. The .NET productivity layer is functionally equivalent to the Java productivity layer, with the exception that a .NET client can consume DFS services only remotely (as web services).

    The DFS .NET productivity layer is Common Language Specification (CLS) compliant; therefore, you are free to develop above DFS using your CLS-compliant language of choice (e.g. C#, VB.NET, Managed C++, even IronRuby, IronPython, etc.). Samples of C# DFS consumers are provided in the SDK as well as new XML Documentation (i.e. C# equivalent to Java’s Javadoc) and HTML Help (.chm) documentation.

    DFS service development tools have been enhanced to provide a facility for generating CLS-compliant .NET productivity layer support for your won services, too. The DFS .NET productivity layer is based on Microsoft’s Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) framework within .NET 3.0.

    The core platform Object service has been enhanced to support retrieval of content from external sources accessible to the Search service. Since its initial release in D6, the core platform Search service getRepositoryList operation returns a list of available sources–both managed sources such as Documentum content repositories and external, unmanaged sources such as Google or anything else supported via an ECIS adapter. (You can checkout the source of several ECIS adapters via the EMC Developer Network (EDN) Component Exchange.). The Search service execute operation returns the result of a search query run against a list of sources, both managed and external. Now with SP1, the Object service get operation can retrieve content from the external sources in addition to managed sources, based on the search query results.

    There’s more to tell, but I have some Christmas shopping and gift wrapping to do! :-)