With thousands of others, I just became an official backer on Kickstarter of the Pebble, a watch, really a wearable computing device that interfaces seamlessly, conveniently, and wirelessly with Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android OS phones.
Over the past two months I’ve written twice about wearable computing – coming from mainline firms, Nike (the FuelBand) and Google (Google glasses). Nike and Google are well-established elastic enterprises and benefit from the elasticity that they have built into their companies. Their wearable devices add new levels of engagement and options for their huge base of customers.
But Pebble Technology, the maker of Pebble, is a startup. It also has a noteworthy distinction: it raised over $1 Million dollars from supporters on Kickstarter in 28 hours – for a product that is not yet in production. But a snappy video and a low-key pitch inspired thousands to make an “investment.” The Pebble folks also smartly provided “investors” with various contribution options, from a minimum of $99 to a high of $10,000, but each level will receive 1 or more Pebble watches when they are produced sometime in the fall of 2012. Continue reading →
It started as a rumor. It rippled through social networks. Then came stories by Nick Bilton at the New York Times in December 2011, Seth Weintrab at 9TO5 Google and most recently again from Nick Bilton in a follow-up article about testing prototypes of “Google Glasses.” And Steven Levy at Wired recounted some deep history and added perspective and background elements about the project, now known as Project Glass.
Google CEO, Larry Page Sports New Google Glasses (Flickr / Thomas Hawk)
This much we know. According to many reports, an official demo video, and individuals who recently saw Larry Page wearing the glasses at a party, these high-tech glasses superimpose critical information and alerts as one interacts with the physical world, in realtime. They are essentially a heads-up display for daily life. And if it catches on and moves beyond geekdom, it could be a winner in the interface wars. And no matter how much you want it, whatever you see is a prototype, not yet a product for sale.
But Google’s Project Glass is about more than a new mobile or wearable device – it’s about what we call the vanishing point. Smartphones and tablets are only the first step on a journey to operationally merge the digital and physical worlds. Continue reading →
It’s with some pleasure that Nick and I want to announce that we published the e-book edition of The Elastic Enterprise yesterday. It is available on Amazon.com. The print version is still about six weeks away but should be out early April. The e-edition is considerably cheaper, though, so now is the time to buy!
In the meantime we will begin to publish background papers here on the site. These will give you more detail on the key concepts in the book and how our thinking around them has evolved. It’s an exciting few weeks for us. We hope you enjoy the book!
Salesforce.com is one of the companies we write about in the Elastic Enterprise. CEO Marc Benioff believes Wall St doesn’t quite understand what he’s achieving (though his P/E is 90). He added 2,500 employees over the past year, mostly in the U.S., an increase of 47%. He also delivered 37% growth.
The complaint is that Salesforce.com is not delivering the margins. But listen to how Benioff responds to this. Continue reading →
How does a sports shoe manufacturer grow? Well if it was the 1980s or 1990’s, you would get sport celebrities, use high technology materials, create great designs, diversify your merchandise, and go global with sales and manufacturing. Nike did exceedingly well with that model. Today you still do all of that but you do more…
If you’re at the top of your game, you “just do it,” differently. You do it as an elastic enterprise. Nike is well on its way to becoming an elastic enterprise. And it’s already reaping the benefits of an elastic strategy with a robust strategic options portfolio.
Nike’s FuelBand, a recently launched high-tech electronic wristband, is another component in Nike’s elastic journey that highlights its strategy. Continue reading →
In this video from this month’s CES Carlo Ratti from MIT’s Senseable City lab explains how the use of sensors is changing our impressions of the wrold around us. I think it is a classic statement of why companies need to become more elastic. We are fast moving towards a real-time data environment.
In The Elastic Enterprise we talk about the need for continuous active strategy and how great exponents of elasticity are able to respond to the market in a continuous way. Data is now a new business platform providing the means for such day-to-day strategic management.
We think a key ingredient of sustainable future business success is an elastic strategy with a strong strategic options portfolio. There’s a classic example of that out there right now – Apple TV.
In Walter Isaacson’s celebrated biography, Steve Jobs, he quotes Steve Jobs as saying, “I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use… It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.” But what got the world talking was, “It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”
Among all the products that Apple is pursuing it still has time for television.
Going further into TV would involve a major multi-pronged strategy. It’s about capitalizing on the competitive advantages that Apple has developed and has as an elastic enterprise. Let’s take a closer look.