Blog Post: The Year of the Wearable Platform

One of the greatest parts of my job is to read report after report from analysts on current and future trends. There are some whose opinions I holder higher than others (Thomas Husson at Forrester being one of the best), and for the most part you have to take a lot of research with a grain of salt. Trends are in the eye of the beholder, just like in the stock market.

One of the trends I have been reading over the past few months is that now is the time to launch your own platform. Of course, it’s impossible to do that without a killer app. This GigaOm article provides a very important twist on the need for a platform: a wearable, data-gathering, Bluetooth-linked platform.

Remember the days when our mobile phones kept getting smaller and thinner? Apple still thinks it’s an important feature. I am starting to think our mobile phone needs to just be small enough to fit in our pockets so that it can be connected to my wearable devices.

The days where we are scared about the data our devices gather are basically over. The more I can learn what is happening with my body, the weather, the food I eat, and countless other data points, the better. Add in messaging, GPS, social media, and call alerts, and the platform is complete.

Applications may not be enough to compete in the mobile sphere alone anymore. With app stores still in their infancy, that is a scary idea to float out there. I will be keeping track of the wearable device market with great interest this year. This may be the year of the wearable platform.

Blog Post: The Year of the Wearable Platform

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Blog Post: This Blog as a Service

Fun weekend reading here. It does seem a little ridiculous that marketing is doing its very best to brand everything this way.

What happened to making a great product and letting that be its own service?

Blog Post: This Blog as a Service

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Blog Post: Software Driven Clothing – I couldn’t help but share this fascinating vignette into the fashion industry and how the software and innovation surrounding 3-D Printing is making a huge impact. It’s hard to imagine, but my kids could grow up in a world where you can walk into a store and print out your own custom clothing.

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Blog Post: What Does It Mean To Own Content?

It’s funny how people still view social media and digital distribution applications as little kids at the big media table. Granted, any new media is viewed that way by the established model for forever. Twitter has been in the middle of the most recent battle over content. It’s prominence in how people consume news has forced policies of all kind. None of those policies have stopped them from poaching content from others.

Maybe that will change now.

Reuters reported a finding by a judge in New York that a photographer should have been consulted by Agence France-Presse and The Washington Post before running an image posted on Twitter. Getty Images is also named in a similar suit but was not part of this particular ruling.

Packed away in the Terms of Service for Twitter is a clause that requires news organizations to get permission from non-employees before running whatever is posted. Twitter,”respects the intellectual property rights of others and expects users of the Services to do the same. Makes you wonder how any decision other than this could have ever been made.

These are the same organizations that force YouTube to take down content they didn’t authorize others to broadcast. What if you tried to make money off this content on your own site? You would have your domain seized by the federal government as well as any assets gained in the process.

Thankfully, someone had the courage to stand up and take back control of his own content. There should be some interesting implications regarding this outcome. We might even see this argued in the highest court in the land. Anyone with a blog, Twitter account or any other form of digital distribution should keep their eyes on this one. It will affect us all and hopefully let us control what we create.

Blog Post: What Does It Mean To Own Content?

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Blog Post: What Do You Mean By ‘Happy’?

With all due respect to my paternal grandfather, who died nearly a decade ago, he would be shaking his head at this discussion. He would question why we, as a society, are putting so much effort and care into the notion of happiness. Not only does the phrase Gross National Happiness exist in today’s lexicon, countries are rated and ranked based upon it.

The link for today’s posting came from The Atlantic, one of my favorite publications. It the article, the base argument against happiness is we learn and grow more from struggle and defeat. The writer even references a Nazi concentration camp survivor. That is a struggle I will (hopefully) never know. While that story provides a powerful support to the thesis, and makes for better reading, it is not really valid for today’s work culture.

This is not an argument for doing whatever makes you happy in life. Common sense must, at some point, enter the conversation. We cannot quit a job because it doesn’t “make us happy”. Studies surrounding the divorce rate show we aren’t really any happier because of the casual approach to nuptial vows.

I believe the term “happiness” needs a bit of a makeover.

When product development gurus like Seth Godin and Jeff Sutherland reference happiness, there are really referring to engagement. We must regularly talk to each other in the work place to find out how happy we are with how things are going. Creating a “safe” environment for sharing of constructive comments on productivity, culture and direction of the company result in a bevy of positive results. Tops amongst them are a more engaged and productive work force. A quick view of many in the list of top places to work tell me some realize the power in their people. Is your business one of them?

Make sense? Sure. Adoption is a different story. Next time the question of how happy you are enters your gray matter, stop and rephrase:

“How engaged am I in my life?”

Engaging in the passions of your family’s life helps insert you more into the rearing of your children and the development of your marriage. Engaging in the core values of your company results in new products being development, business processes evolving and growth of engagement by your co-workers (maybe even your boss). I could keep going, but you get the drift. 

One thing I happily agree with the writer of this article is on purpose. We must have a purpose that focuses not on ourselves, but those around us. Give yourself the purpose of engagement instead of disconnection and you will see the world change beneath your feet.

Blog Post: What Do You Mean By ‘Happy’?

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Blog Post: Take That Facebook

This is why we are in an unprecedented age of technological innovation. A 12-year-old boy in Florida (12), was tired of the age restriction Facebook has so he lied and created a few accounts. After accumulating over 600 friends and a slew of inappropriate information shared with him, his parents found out and shut it down. How did the parents resolve the connundrum?

They helped him create his own social network just for kids.

Zach Marks presents Grom Social, a site for kids 16 and under, and many think it has a chance. It receives over 6,000 views a day, and growing by the minute. The best part? Marks’ parents serve on the leadership team for the site.

Many wonder how Facebook is going to grow now that it is reaching the peak of it’s market saturation. With sites like Grom Social cropping up, they may have missed their opportunity to grow.

Blog Post: Take That Facebook

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Blog Post: The Internet of Your Appendage

The is the kind of article I want to be reading at the conclusion of CES: cool gadgets that might change how we live our lives. If you read my post on Thursday, I talked about how we should be seeing the fashion of tomorrow’s technology today at CES. If you thought mobile technology was just phones and tablets, please read this post by Quartz.

Very soon, we will be receiving messages on watches, reminded to get up and walk around by a bracelet, even have our blood pressure measured by a tattoo. The heath care aspects are mind boggling, but it also may impact fashion itself. I haven’t worn any jewelry other than my wedding ring for years. I could easily see myself with a watch, bracelet and ear piece in the near future.

Blog Post: The Internet of Your Appendage

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Blog Post: what does the word “design” mean to you?

Anyone who is or has worked with designers (of any kind) will enjoy today’s link.

I would not consider myself a “designer” in the truest sense, even though I have held jobs with that word in the title. Most of the time, I merely gathered the requirements of the customer and made sure everything they asked for made it to the comps. This article refers to true leaders in how to make something from scratch.

Then again, don’t we all grasp that concept? If a designer quit their job for a few years to stay home with kids or care for a family member, does the fact that they aren’t clicking the mouse anymore make them any less of a designer?

This goes back to something I posted previously. We all have ideas on how to make stuff. Granted, the ideas of the uninitiated may be rough or uninformed. We must look at design work as something in between a trade and art. There are mechanics to learn, but training can only take you so far. The upper echelon of any industry just have “it”.

Keep all this in mind when meeting with your design team. Curious of your thoughts.

Blog Post: what does the word “design” mean to you?

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