“Any concept of batch or delay in development or execution, I think, will not be tolerated by customers anymore. Even in development, customers are demanding now that they want to be able to build in that sandbox and deploy immediately, instantly, no delay.”
According to the Digital Beat blog Benioff warned that many companies hadn’t understood that this was where the web was heading.
“I think corporations have to step it up in terms of integrating with these real-time systems,” he said.
This morning’s piece in The Observer byLindsey Hilsum, international editor of Channel 4 News, and Peter Beaumont illustrated perfectly the challenges and dangers of reporting in a user-generated world which Jeff Jarvis outlined so well yesterday.
The story reads as if the writers had either personally witnessed much of what went on in Tehran yesterday, or had personally spoken to people who had. And yet, we know from other sources that reporting in Tehran was practically impossible in a conventional sense yesterday. Take this morning’s BBC story as an example. “The reports cannot be verified as foreign media in Iran are being severely restricted.”
The risks of not being absolutely explicit about what you know first hand, have verified yourself through witnesses or are merely repeating as heresay are very great indeed.
The role of the mainstream media is changing. The world still needs professional journalists to help it navigate: to tell facts from supposition. But fulfilling that role requires an openness which may be very difficult for some. The quicker journalists adapt to their new role as curators, the better for all of us. The situation in Iran illustrates perfectly the need.
So I imagine a news organization creating a kind of anti-wiki – a dynamic, collaborative Snopes: a list of what we don’t know so we can see what is unconfirmed and so these things can be confirmed – so journalists can add journalism.
From Fred Wilson at the 140 Conference as caught by Jonny goldstein’s brilliant “visual note”: conversion is much higher on links passed on through Facebook and Twitter. So, could either give Google’s AdWords a run for it’s money? Maybe….
The key lessons? Innovation is hard in big companies because 1. they are small in the scheme of things and 2. they are necessarily long-term. “You need a culture that high-fives small and innovative ideas and senior executives [that] encourage ideas,” he said.
Focus on the customer. Winning with the customer is more important that the stock price. Results will follow happy customers.
In tough times step up internal communication with your employees. With so many external inputs it’s important to ease employees concerns with high-quality internal communication.
Be stubborn. Be stubborn about the vision but flexible about the tactics.
The biggest pre-requisite for innovation is a willingness to fail. If you don’t have that, and aren’t prepared to think for the long term and be ready to be misunderstood for a long period, you should stick to incremental change.
He also contrasted errors of omission with errors and errors of commission: “People overemphasize their failures when trying something new. Actually failure is not that expensive and it’s part of work.”
The presentation given by Tom Coates, the product manager of Yahoo’s FireEagle, at Webstock 09 in New Zealand is now online. It’s well worth a look if you’ve got 50 minutes to spare as he has produced an excellent summary of the online data space and has some good pointers to future opportunities.
In particular he argues:
data is meant to be shared
there are real possibilities in real time data on the web
privacy is an opportunity not a threat if you view it correctly.
Google has launched a tool set for aiding the mass translation of documents. Called Google Translator Kit (Techcrunch review here) it adds a human dimension to the already pretty awesome computerised translation available for free among other things through Gmail. In a nutshell the Translator Kit allow people to upload a document (or add a URL) and then in a pane it displays the original, the machine translated version and a search results list showing exact or partial matches to particular phrases from the search index. This way would-be translators can improve on the translation and upload again. Brilliant!