Wednesday, February 11, 2009

John Seely Brown interview on
I fully agree with John (he ran Xerox PARC). The downturn presents an opportunity to innovate. My key takeaway is the following question and answer:

What do you mean by "edge" innovation? Edges are where the action is. There's the generational edge, where kids come up with all kinds of new ideas. They have very different work practices. How can your company leverage those practices rather than just assume they should accept your work practices? Then, at the industry level, you have edge players, often the start-ups. What are they doing that you haven't thought of? Which ones are growing shockingly fast? So, there are generational edges, the company edge, the industry edge, the market edge. And we have geographic edges, like India, and also intellectual or discipline edges. Many breakthroughs today come between disciplines, where multiple disciplines work together.

These edges are all sources of uncertainty. They are risky because they don't have road maps, and yet that's where most of the action is. You can get early detectors of new ideas by paying attention to the edges.

I am starting to pay more attention to what is going on the Edge. My current focus is on Cloud Computing and Open Source, but, I need to broaden that.

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