On the fated path from disruptive startup to regulated tech monopoly

Jill Lepore’s harsh critique of disruption theory hit a nerve because there’s a case to be made for Clayton Christensen’s theory as oversold. Which is where the resulting debate has focused. Fair enough. But since so many others have weighed in, I want to draw attention to a neglected subtext. Why did a critique of the rather arcane theory of technological disruption get featured… Continue reading On the fated path from disruptive startup to regulated tech monopoly

Windows 8 explained with smiley faces and Venn diagrams.

Note: Also see my updated Windows 9 version of this graphic For some reason I’ve always visualized the debacle of Microsoft Windows 8 with smiley faces and Venn diagrams. In particular I imagined a Venn diagram showing lots of unhappy regular users surrounding a tiny sliver of happy power users. So for this post I wanted to try something a bit more whimsical than usual by… Continue reading Windows 8 explained with smiley faces and Venn diagrams.

Sure software methodologies appear different. But keep in mind what they have in common.

Over the decades I’ve used many different software development methodologies. So I enjoyed it when the excellent Accidental Tech Podcast had a couple of recent episodes (#55, #56) touching on this topic. My takeaway from their discussion was what works depends on the people, culture and project at hand. So most teams use an ad hoc mix of practices. Totally… Continue reading Sure software methodologies appear different. But keep in mind what they have in common.

Twitter should copy Facebook the Conglomerate or Facebook Paper, not Facebook the web site.

Twitter is rolling out a new look for people’s profile page. The main complaint I saw in my twitter feed was it looks way too much like Facebook. True enough. Rather than copying Facebook’s old school website, I think twitter might be better served copying Facebook’s conglomerate approach. In particular by creating a second app for casual users along the lines of Facebook Paper.

The God Particle Revisited: Augmented Audio Reality in the Age of Wearables.

Last year I argued voice interaction would become the “God particle” of mobile. And in 2012 that voice was a natural overlay to the phone/tablet touch interface, much as the graphical interface was a natural overlay to the command line. So a true believer. It’s worth taking a fresh look at voice interaction as wearables (fitness bands, smart watches, health monitor pendants, clip… Continue reading The God Particle Revisited: Augmented Audio Reality in the Age of Wearables.

What Chess and Moore’s Law teach us about the progress of technology

Computers beating humans at chess is old news. But that’s precisely why it’s worth reviewing. Solved problems sometimes hold the best lessons. And the numerical chess rating system makes it particularly useful in quantifying some common assertions about the progress of technology.

Bitcoin as Rorschach Test. Some see Traditional Currency. Others see Byzantine Generals.

This is part 2 of a two part series on Bitcoin. Part 1 here. Just before the MtGox Bitcoin exchange went bankrupt I posted that “Bitcoin is a far better payment system than currency. And that’s just fine.” A lot has happened since. Not just the MtGox collapse, but also the contested Newsweek story claiming Dorian… Continue reading Bitcoin as Rorschach Test. Some see Traditional Currency. Others see Byzantine Generals.