A giant has awakened. Microsoft’s alliance with Barnes and Noble is a major market signal. It should be a wake up call for everyone. Yes, it’s a great deal for Barnes and Noble and just what the doctor ordered (see my previous blog on B&N). But, it also builds up Microsoft’s business platforms and adds an established e-commerce engine to Microsoft’s repertoire that could add to the appeal of Windows 8.
Yes there are detractors. On Yahoo Finance’s Daily Ticker, Dan Gross quipped, “The desperate got married to the hopeless,” and Henry Blodget added “My guess is that this is rearranging deck chairs.” I am a fan of both commentators. But, in this case, there is more to the story. The bigger story is about the overlooked overhaul and transformation of Microsoft, the company. Continue reading →
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 →
The concept of elasticity implies that business is not naturally bounded in any traditional sense. Not bounded by an employee base, by limits on communications, or by intellectual resources which are often the most important resource for new online businesses, or by their traditional place in one industry or market.
Of course no area of human activity is totally unbounded, something will always pull us back or limit our activity.
Elasticity though implies organizations that are more free to expand than they were in the past, and more free to roam, to stretch themselves through radical adjacency into other areas of the economy.