system two

system two
start-up thinking in the enterprise

Monday, 22 February 2010

Google shopping - a game changer....

Its apps like this that are starting to disrupt the balance sheets of offline businesses....

Monday, 15 February 2010

fundamentally misunderstanding social media...

No social media presence, no decent SEO and a product that misses the point of "social media" by a country mile


Thursday, 11 February 2010

The backwaters and the lanes pt2...

At the heart of the writings of the philosopher Thomas Hobbes is the idea of a social contract. A tacit agreement, born from the simple logic of self preservation, that asks the individual to turn their back on a gruesome, free for all, "state of nature" and, foregoing certain rights, agree to live bounded by a set of rules, for the mutual benefit of all.

When I encounter you, I agree not to take your life and possessions, on the basis that you have consented to the same, and, having made that tactic agreement between ourselves, we both understand our lives will be more comfortable and stable because of it.

This contract has underpinned human civilization since communities’ first coalesced. Now, more than 10,000 years later, the giant tech and media companies of the world are asking us to sign another. Asking us to forgo the wild, decentralized, open web of today – and allow them to re imagine it – as an easier, friendlier, more beautiful place – but one where control is ultimately ceded to them.

The logic of Hobbe's original contract was unshakable. We have all of us lived by it for millennia. Acquiescence in this new case isn't anywhere near as compelling.

Fox news as an independent arbiter of rational news reporting anyone?

Come into our closed world, Murdock and Apple are saying. Where applications work at the touch of a button and where media is perfectly tailored to your interests (and prejudices). Yes we’ll charge you a small fee, but look at the utility, look at the time you save, look at the other beautiful people around you.

In many ways we should all be glad for Google. If the power wielded by the old titans of technology and media were not balanced by this new gorilla, we should likely have to invent it. Lets just hope Larry and Sergey don’t start reading any Leviathan anytime soon....
Nevertheless, in the meantime, as both Apple and News Corp nudge their pliant tribes down a path of propriety, controlled networks, the first sniff of future thought control and manipulation is already in evidence. Vast areas of the web are already less easy to navigate because of Apple's technology. 85% of the world’s top 100 website use flash. They don't work work on an iPad….

If the web is anything, it is a manifestation of mankind’s desire to live unbounded; to live unbounded by teh limits of the physical world; to discover something about himself precisely because, we can’t be 100% sure of what’s at the other end of a link. At some primal level, we intrinsically know the web to be good for us and our society. It heals and educates. It exposes special interest and tames big business. It widens our awareness of our world and the people in it. These properties flow directly from its backwaters and lanes - its ramshackle content and decentralised nature.

It is in this chaos many have found a refuge and we relinquish it at our peril.


interesting post here which seems to come to the same basic conclusions...

and there

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Bill's rules....

Its 1563. Inflation doesn't exist. It wouldn't be invented for 200 years.

I'm in the market and I approach Bill's stall.

"2 Turnips please bill"

"That's 1 penny please Mark"

Thanks Bill, see in the pub later.

"Yeah, definitely, see you then"

A year later, crops have failed, the general population is starving. I approach Bill's store.

"2 Turnips please Bill"

"That's 5 pennies please Mark"

"But, Bill, it was 1 last year"

"Yeah but there aren't enough turnips to go around, so I've raised the price"

"But I'm your mate and you've still got some left on your stall. My kids will die if I don't bring some turnips home"

If Bill is human, if Bill has a soul, if Bill has a connection to me - then he sells me turnips.

Forget everything you think you understand about the "principles of the free market". If there is a human need, if one human looks into the eyes of another, and sees genuine need, even Darwin in his later writing made it clear, that would trump exploitation.

And yet we live by Bill's rules - blindly. At the point where scarcity means human need is greatest, instead of compassion, we must, apparently by the simple logic of capitalism, chose exploitation.

That is nonesense. It is fundamentally inhuman. In 500 years time. When our technologies have bought us together in more meaningful ways. How much of capitalist thinking will have survived I wonder?

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

If its too polished - we don't believe it...

Clever - but too slick. Doesn't feel authentic. The production values are too high.

Close - but no cigar....