Lead story – Once upon a K-wave, Oracle, Apple face economic transition – by Denis Pombriant
What is a K-wave? Well, it’s a surge of innovation, which, Denis argues, is now slowing on the tech side:
Let me stress again, this does not signal the end of IT. Just as we still make cars and airplanes, we still forge steel and mold plastics, IT has a bright though different future. We still do all of the things that were invented in earlier K-waves but they are now the background of the economy, not the forefront, and we do all of them for fractions of the prices they once commanded.
To make his case, Pombriant draws on two recent/different announcements, one involving Oracle’s news of a fully automated database (much more on that next week), and the other Apple’s
extravagantly priced fanboy wonderful exciting new iPhone announcement. As Pombriant sees it, these announcements – however compelling – are product line extensions, not new products: “They are not disruptive innovations.”
We can debate whether or not these announcements – or the hundreds of AI announcements we are
bombarded graced with daily – are disruptive. But if we’re more about automation and efficiency, then we’re at a different part of the K-wave. Perhaps the biggest danger of K-wave thinking is that we might fall into big trend passivity. I’d prefer to see Pombriant’s analysis as a challenge to raise our collective games. He wraps with a teaser:
This leaves us with a tantalizing question: What’s next?
That answer will have to wait until a future post.
- 10 reasons why your IoT project will fail – Derek brings a contrarian IoT view back from ThingMonk: speaker Yodit Stanton. Given the rates of IoT project failures cited, discretion is needed. One of Stanton’s beefs? IoT middleware: “I refuse to take on projects where people say they need 50,000 sensors and ask for a price. No, we don’t want that. I know it’s not glamorous, but start with a few sensors, get it working, assess it, really understand the value.“
- Why skills and education are the real robot battleground – We’re in a record year for industrial robotics. Chris notes recent data, including an automotive example of jobs lost to automation versus a smaller amount of higher-skilled jobs created. He raises the education/skills quandry: “Two battlegrounds are emerging: education and skills, and the widening economic disparity between those workers who can adapt in a booming high-tech market, and those who will be left behind.” Ergo: countries that invest heavily in skills training will be better equipped. Me: not just countries – companies also.
- CRM for sustainable growth – the Smart Works story – Cath on how UK charity Smart Works, which helps get unemployed women back into work, is tackling CRM to bring their works to more women (in this case, using Microsoft Dynamics 365)
- Taking the fight to cancer – BRCA Foundation builds Big Data registry – A cool use case by Jessica about a cancer testing/prevention project from NetSuite founder Evan Goldberg, who last year established the BRCA Foundation with his wife Cindy Goldberg. Nice to be reminded that data volume, properly applied, has this type of potential.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here’s my three top choices from our vendor coverage:
- Will AI become a basic human right? Marc Benioff thinks it should – Stuart reports on Benioff as the voice of (ahem) tech reason at the UN: “In recent times here at diginomica we’ve despaired at the near hysterical threat level warnings from Elon Musk about out-of-control AI and robots killers stomping through the local neighborhood. It was good then to hear a more reasoned set of questions being raised at the UN yesterday.”
- New Relic recruits AI to look for needles in DevOps haystacks –
Jetlaggedfresh back from the New Relic FutureStack show in New York, Phils posts new analysis: “Modern software development methodologies are at the heart of a new class of ultra-nimble enterprises that constantly adjust their web and mobile applications to adapt to the needs of customers. Today, these organizations are still a minority, but they increasingly represent the mainstream of business, and there will come a time when this is how every business will behave.” Also see: Phil’s How New Relic built its latest product in just six weeks.
A couple more vendor picks, without the quips:
- Oracle’s cloud revenues soar for Q1 FY2018 as “self-driving database” waits in the wings – Stuart
- Building security by design – a discussion of VMware App Defense – Kurt
Jon’s grab bag – Barb Mosher Zinck went on an online training binge – in search of marketing insights. She found some things she liked – and some things not so much. Stuart’s Disney CEO – why Spiderman and Darth Vader are ‘coming home’ away from Netflix made we wonder: how many paid content services are consumers going to put up with?
Count Den amongst the skeptics of the AI/Apple
shiny new toy iPhone announcement. He brings a K-wave down on Apple’s head with “Apple just amp’d the AI hype with incremental improvements that might accelerate the run towards a consumer AI winter. Thank goodness.” A war on incrementalism sounds pretty good right about now. If you want to go further down my satirical rabbit hole, check The ludicrous press release awards – AI game changers edition.
Best of the rest
Lead story – Tech companies and civic design – Here’s Why People Were Mad When Apple Called Its Stores “Town Squares”
myPOV: Now and again Buzzfeed finds the right balance with substance and provocation. This measured critique by Stephanie M. Lee raises the right questions about the role of tech companies in civic/open spaces.
Lee starts with Apple’s greatly mocked quotes about referring to their stores as “town squares.” Beyond the social mob is the bigger question: what is Silicon Valley’s role in civic spaces? Lee uses the provocative example of Black Lives Matter:
“What happens if Black Lives Matter wants to go to the Apple store … and they can’t, because the management of Apple says ‘You gotta get the hell out of here?’” said Anthony Maniscalco, a professor of government and public affairs at City University of New York.
This resonates after being in a new embedded Peets Coffee in Cambridge that doubled as a bank. It was both a comfortable and sterile setting, a welcome change from the overcrowded but also corporate-weird. As companies pursue “experiences” we are sure to see more of these retail experiments. And, perhaps, crave the small nooks where we can escape from branded experiences as well.
- SAP Success Connect event review buffet – A couple worthy reflections, first via the
red shoe diariestravel logs of Constellation’s red-sneakered Holger Mueller (Event Report – SAP SuccessFactors SuccessConnect – New Leadership – Old Challenges). You can get your SAPpy wrap from SAP HR expert Steve Bogner and pals in their podcast recap.
- Here’s Why Zola Cherishes its NPS Detractors as Much as its Promoters – This piece is for startups but should not stop there. It’s a huge bummer how many enterprises play the short game of raising social sentiment instead of using their smartest detractors as the best source of product/service improvement.
- Public, Hybrid Cloud Security Fears Abound – Takeaway: too many companies are short-sheeting their customers by not encrypting their cloud data.
- 6 ways to ensure APIs live up to their promises – All my schtick about open APIs will come to nothing if companies don’t adopt. Joe McKendrick parses data on that problem.
- Art of Possible vs. Proven Paths to Success – When you have the stones to apply your critique to your own team as well, much respect. Money quote: “[Customers] don’t want to know what is possible. They want to know exactly how they achieve that possibility–or their own version of it. They want proven paths to success.“
- Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan says a “big number” of workers will be replaced with robots – bigly bonus points for unflinching corporate honesty: “In our banks we have people behaving like robots doing mechanical things, tomorrow we’re going to have robots behaving like people.”
- Toys ‘R’ Us Files for Bankruptcy But Keeps Stores Open – Another feel-not-good retail story on the brink of Shop.org in LA (I’ll be there next week).
- Ellen Pao: Has Anything Really Changed for Women in Tech? – Not a big Ellen Pao fan but this was a well argued and important piece.
Wackiest idea for a fundraiser winner – Bare mountain: man who climbed peak in underwear gets hypothermia.
The “undermine your hurricane relief volunteer efforts” award – Hulk Hogan calls Hurricane Irma victims complaining about no power, water ‘crybabies’.
As for: Hurray – Google Chrome will stop autoplaying content with sound in January, I hope someone is doing suicide watch on big tech site administators (and marketeers).
Finally, I’m seeing more and more peeps using the spammy Twitter auto-DM:
Was gonna say “the auto-generated/spammy ‘Thanks for following me'” Twitter DM is for losers. I’ll change that to: it’s a red flag for me.
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) September 17, 2017
Get a load of this one I got:
Thanks for following! I’m among the hundred most Linkedin people worldwide (30K 1st-level connections: system limit). Since I’m up against the connection limit (blame LinkedIn), please follow me there instead.
-> Well gee – be sure to let me know when a space opens up! And yeah, I’m really disappointed in LinkedIn that I can’t be part of your 30,000 person mega-network. That’s like a whole hive in The Matrix! And this feel-good hooey:
Thanks for the follow! You can join me on LinkedIn
-> really? Thanks, I’m sure it’s peaches and picnic baskets hanging with you over there. Then this heartwarming advisory:
Leave everything you touch better than you found it!
-> well, except your DM – afraid I can’t improve upon perfection. These gurus sure are good at automating the hard work of human connection eh? See you next time…
If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses – in a good or bad way – let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does.
Image credit - Cheerful Chubby Man © RA Studio, Happy Children © Anna Omelchenko, Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, Businessman Choosing Success or Failure Road © Creativa - all from Fotolia.com.
Disclosure - SAP, Oracle, Workday, Salesforce, and New Relic are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.