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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Predicting 2008 BlackSwans

OK Let me try to get the Black Swans from Google (2008 Black Swans)

1. Predictions for 2008: A massive data meltdown (Text below taken from the link)
Remember the panic when the first computer worm hit? We're going to have a crisis like that next year when we get the first data center meltdown, predicted Subodh Bapat, a vice president in the eco-computing team at Sun Microsystems.
"You'll see a massive failure in a year," Bapat said at a dinner with reporters on Monday. "We are going to see a data center failure of that scale."

2. Ten Threats predicted here (What an interesting Imagination - Unfortunately from my vantage point it is just one scenario!!!)
  • Facebook widgets will be used to distribute malware.
  • In 2008 we will see the first attempts to exploit Open Social tools to hack social networks.
  • I predict that 2008 will be the year that SFDM applications will be exploited for nefarious purposes.
  • 2008 will see a continuance of China’s attacks on Western governments and industry.
  • I predict that Russia will continue to use their newfound ability to use cyber extortionists’ tools to impose their political will on break away states.
  • More companies and individuals will find themselves the targets of hackers in 2008.
  • Financial markets will be disrupted by increasingly elaborate schemes: pump and dump combined with DDoS for instance.
  • In 2008 we will learn just what the Storm Trojan is meant to do.
  • Terrorist organizations bring out DDoS as a weapon against e-commerce and media sites that choose to display images of Mohamed.
  • Game console exploits will be transmitted over the Internet, the Wii in particular.
3. Seven Predictions
  • Linux on the desktop will get some more good breaks, but the “Year of Linux” is still a long way off.
  • Watch out Mac users, hackers are after you!
  • No matter how cool you think your current iPhone is, iPhone 2.0 will make you hate it.
  • Expect DRM to have a tighter stranglehold over your digital life.
  • The “we’re waiting for Vista SP1” excuse will be replaced by “we’re waiting for Windows 7.”
  • AMD will spend another year playing catch-up with Intel.
  • You think spam’s bad now? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

Will search some more.... Is there a Black Swan?

Trends of predicting New year trends

December is really a prediction time! A big time prediction month!

Lets start with McKinsey Eight business technology trends to watch

Managing Relationships

1. Distributed Co-Creation: Why do all of us want to coin a new term for the same trend? May be the way to articulate and show the "I" of the writer!
2. Consumers as Innovators: Am really not sure this one and the first one are really different!
3. Tapping into the world of Talent: Really McKinsey, this should not be a trend to watch. All of us are engaged in it.
4. Extracting more value from interactions: Model is to design experiences for value interactions, I am not able to see the unique insight in this trend

Managing Capital and Assets
5. Expanding the frontiers of Automation: This is so obvious that it is not even funny :)
6. Unbundling Production from Delivery: This is anyway the modularization of enterprise trend

Leveraging Information in New Ways
7. Putting More Science into Management: I really cant understand this, Management is dead - it is creation - dont try to manage - if possible for God's sake Join in as participant!!!!
8. Making Businesses from Information: Well, so far what is happening in this century?

After BusinessWeek's prediction the Mckinsey's prediction further fails to ignite anything really!

Lets see What are Gartner's Predictions

Green IT; Unified Communications; BPM; Metadata Management; Virtulization 2.0; Mashup and Composite Apps; Web Platform and WOA; Computing Fabric; Real World Web; Social Software .....

Where is the BLACK SWAN in all these predictions? Is there a lurking BlackSwan in 2008. May be its a good idea to play out Black Swans for 2008!!!

Innovation 2008

The Businessweek Innovation Predictions 2008 is remarkable in the fact that there actually are no predictions at all. This is a great time to be creating the next generation innovations. What the author says, "The only truly predictable thing about the coming year is that it's sure to be full of surprises. But some innovations will be ways of dealing with just that fact..." By Bruce Nussbaum

1. McKinsey Buys Ideo : I have a feeling Ideo may like to buy Mckinsey :)
2. Management to Design : There are already interplays - Old Management theory classes are well just classes
3. Creative Growth : I dont buy Consultants changing the enterprise!
4. Innovation Policy as Politics : Dont really understand what policies have to do with Innovation
5. Failure of $100 Laptop : Well talk to Simputer guys in India!
6. SuperCities Study: It makes sense - why is this an Innovation Prediction?
7. FlyWifi: Is anyway there? Is there any disruptive thought here?
8. UnFriend way of Social Networking: Well it is the speicfic choice of people?
9. Mobile Explosion : Whats New?
10. Kindle : The Amazon e-book - (well I have a feeling its next avataar will catch fire (Prediction 2011))
11. Identity and Experience : I feel no one will replace - but its the mesh up of experience, identity and attention that will drive the new economy - it is the interplay of me with my experiences
12. Longevity Vs Sustainability : well really - what is this prediction?
13. Customers Replaces Competitors : Well Blue Ocean Strategy authors may be happy with this?
14. On demand web based tool kits for enterprises: A very generic prediction

Well here we are? What are we predicting - why are we really predicting - get inside the frenzy - not watch it by prediting what and where it will go?

Please get in... Its the major shift!

Enterprises Chopped and Broken

The biggest change is the way enterprises are forced to change. The old structures are falling like dry leaves every where. The new structures are making life hot for command and control, military style stove-pipes, top-down metric driven, The Boss-Centric, the un-cluttered linear order flow enterprises.

Well, what are these new structures? Look at the most secret enterprise, the most controlled, the most non-marketed organization - lets take one - the Defence Intelligence Agency (The DIA). Look at what is happening inside it - what is happening you may ask - the DNA is changing - in fundamental ways - have you heard of open-source spying? Obviously not - last year's New York times article explained how the D.I.A. is forced to mend its ways - by exploring, experimenting and taking into account the - oh so kids stuffy - structures. The article is defintely a strong warning to last millennium enterprises - please understand you have to be the change that your kids are creating for you. This article has opened a major pandora box - oh really!

I remember a famous saying from Khalil Gibran," Your heart cant be open unless it is broken". The Open Enterprises if they really need to become open, they need to be broken - make structures fluid, fast-action, on-the ground decision makers, make flat structures, create just-in time solutions, join in the creative frenzy with their co-creators that is their clients - some talk about crowd sourcing -

I think the Open Enterprises may be what we should be really talking about!

ChangeThis - Seduced by Success

The Changethis manifesto titled Seduced by Success is very interesting. Robert J. Herbold has studied 44 successful companies and came out with principles that keep the successful companies retain their success in a changing world.

On top of the 44 companies comes two of my personal favourites - Toyota and Proctor and Gamble (P&G). The reasons articulated by Herbold for their success are as reproduced below

"Look at how Toyota has prospered for 30 years with its culture of continuous improvement. Look at how Procter & gamble continually thrives with its constant focus on finding unarticulated consumer needs. "

Well - is there anything more to say - Yes the manifesto articulates 9 seduction traps and solutions to them as well: (I am reproducing below)


For each of the 9 traps, there are various actions that can help avoid these problems. Below, for each of these traps, we outline one of these approaches:

1 ~ Business Model: Avoid committees and consensus in developing big, distinctive business
model advantages. Individuals have big, distinctive ideas; committees and consensus turn big,
distinctive ideas into mundane ideas.

2 ~ Product: Pick your top performers, charge them to get your products out in front of important technology, industry, and customer trends, and then get out of their way.

3 ~ Branding: Always be fresh and relevant, but most of all, always be distinctive.

4 ~ Processes: Continually demand new approaches to “proven” processes, and for each process there should be a czar that is personally accountable to make sure their process is always super lean and industry leading.

5 ~ Agility: The key to speed and agility is leadership. Be sure you have strong, action-oriented leaders in the key jobs.

6 ~ People: You need a top notch performance appraisal system to spot the stars and confront
the bottom 5–7%, and you need a “key people development program” to continually stretch and
grow the future leaders of the company.

7 ~ Culture: The focus should be on excellence in continually finding and solving problems
and jumping on opportunities, not on basking in prior glory.

8 ~ Turf Wars and Fiefdoms: Break up the fiefdoms by re-organizing around your key
initiatives for improvement.

9 ~ Communications: Every employee should always know where the organization is going
and how it is doing.
--------------------------- The author has a book on the same subject as well

I personally like the 9th point and the strategy - let every employee know where we are going and how we are going there!

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