Blog posts tagged "innovation"

Henry Blodget: “Facebook’s Approach To Innovation Is The Secret To Its Success”

May 17th, 2010

http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-privacy-innovation-2010-5

Blodget gets the headline right, and nearly everything else wrong.

I’m really surprised we aren’t seeing more people writing and talking about what I see as Facebook’s key competitive advantage: It’s a data driven company, which is nimble enough to act on that data.

When I look at the Facebook engineering culture I see the best parts of what we’ve done at Flickr, scaled up in a way I didn’t think was possible.

And when you look at the work the data team is doing (which you can get a sense of by the tools they throw off), you know that Facebook’s innovation is being tested, put through it’s paces, and extensively analyzed before most of us are aware of it.

This is a unique combination.

Nostalgia

September 30th, 2008

You remember those dark days after the first bust?

You know the ones when all the MBAs left, and the people who loved the Web went on building it — building meaningful, crazy, artistic cool stuff, and the ethos of the social web was born, back before when that meant more then widget crazy/Facebook-tulip-bloom-madness. Yeah, that sure sucked.

Just thinking about it in the light of this week’s market silliness is enough to make me want to go back to SxSW again this year (where the torch was kept alight, like Ireland in the Dark Ages). And I’d sworn off it after this last year, but maybe budgets will be contracting again by then. And those projects that got started out in the darkness, say Flickr, and Upcoming and del.icio.us among others, wasn’t it all much better when the market got back involved and they got serious?

At least thats what reading Fred and Jason on “startup depression” reminded me of.

Religion as Memetic Innovation

November 9th, 2005

I picked up No god but God from the library, on the basis of Rafe’s recommendation. I’ve barely started it, but I find Aslan’s approach of flowing between “religious history” and “factual history” fascinating and enlightening. Rather the trying to find the Truth(tm) of Islamic history, he skillfully cuts between the various truths, both presenting “the Revelation” in matter of fact terms, while pages later cutting away to an analysis of the topos and tropes of messianic childhood myths. (but watch that you don’t forget this tension, as we’ve been trained to reject pluralist narratives, which can be confusing when reading an ahistorical history)

Like I said, I’ve barely begun, but I found a fascinating snippet of insight on page 13 talking about the techno-rhetorical (my word) innovations in monotheism.

More then a thousand years before Christ, Zarathustra preached the existence of a heaven and a hell, the idea of a bodily resurrection, the promise of a universal savor who would one day be miraculously born to a young maiden …. a non-proselytizing and notoriously difficult religion to convert to — considering its rigid hierarchical social structure

So Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all represent successive waves of innovation to produce a more viral ideology that could better leverage network effects. It’s an idea that has fascinated me since an off hand comment in a college history class that monotheisms were better able to displace traditional pagan cultures because monotheists were able to bring their God with them rather then being tied to a series of local, non-portable phenomena.

Perhaps it points to my spiritual bankruptcy, but I’d buy a Clayton Christensen style analysis of major religions in a heart beat.

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Beta-max principle

May 12th, 2002

Its been said, but sometimes you just need to keep saying it.

And Cory Doctrow keeps saying it;
poking holes in the entertainment industry’s hysterical arguements a simple, clear arguments tied to current events. Everything you need to communicate with the general public.

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