Management's focus on innovation comes and goes in cycles. Right now, it is all the rage again (although it remains to be seen if that's still the case as innovation budgets may be cut when the looming recession hits the US), and the business press is covering it all across the board. Managing innovation is one of the most critical tasks companies face, and yet it remains one of the biggest challenges. Not only do companies need to come up with new ideas, but they also need to nurture a culture that consistently encourages and rewards innovation. If … Read more
San Francisco will host thousands of designers from around the world when CONNECTING'07, the Icsid/IDSA World Design Congress, comes to town October 17-20. As the largest and most influential gathering of industrial designers to date, CONNECTING'07 will fill three major Nob Hill sites with prominent speakers, exhibits, and events. Related activities will also spill into the surrounding city, with many of San Francisco's design studios, companies, museums, design schools and stores holding receptions, open houses and tours. Representatives from nearly 500 internationally renowned corporations, design firms, government entities, and higher education institutions, spanning more than 35 … Read more
Back in the 1980s there was an expectation that when you bought a product, it would work. For example, CDs, pop one in a player and it would play. There wasn't a case of, say, a Version 2.0 CD player that refused to play a Region 9 disc. As far as I can recall, 100% of properly manufactured discs played on properly functioning machines. You pressed "play," and you heard music--no menus, no error messages, no ifs, ands, or buts.
But CD, the first truly successful consumer digital audio format, was introduced before computers sabotaged the … Read more
Touting the slim, all-in-one desktop as the first move toward a new strategy focused on industrial design (is there any PC manufacturer that isn't doing that these days?), the once-mighty Gateway described the minimalistic machine as an ideal centerpiece for the digital home.
The announcement was made Thursday morning at a press breakfast at the DigitalLife consumer technology convention in New York.
It's a striking-looking machine: black with a glass front and brushed-aluminum back that evokes none other than Apple, the company that remains the leader in aesthetically inclined PCs. … Read more
Steve Jobs shows no signs of retiring any time soon, but Jess McMullin, who runs the great Business+Design blog, thinks ahead and pre-emptively wraps his head around Apple's succession planning. In an open letter to the Apple board, he urges the directors to consider Jonathan Ive, Apple's SVP of industrial design, as Jobs' successor, if need be. (Mullin was obviously inspired by Bruce Nussbaum's "CEOs Must Be Designers, Not Just Hire Them" post several months ago.)
And yet--a designer as CEO? (Wearing the marketing hat for a renowned design consultancy, I am posing this … Read more
Yawn. The Armani phone has been officially released at Milan Fashion week, but it hardly lived up to its posh surroundings.
The Tri-band phone Samsung is manufacturing for the designer was more pret-a porter than custom couture, as predicted earlier, having already been seen on the market (gasp) before the official unveiling. The specs, according to Pocket-lint, include a 2.6-inch QVGA display and 3-megapixel in a 0.4-inch-thick handset, along with a matching Bluetooth headset and leather carrying case.
There are many pundits who herald Apple for its "convergence strategy:" iTunes is on more than 300 million computers, Apple TV has been launched, and the iPhone has emerged as the most talked about new consumer electronic device in history and is expected to fuel the launch of more all-in-one gadgets from competing consumer electronic makers. Convergence is -- once again -- all the rage.
But what does convergence exactly mean? Let's try a very simplified overview. First of all, there is the media convergence between the worlds of telecoms, TV, Internet, and computing, including fixed-mobile convergence, … Read more
Another designer has lived up to the fine sense of Italian aesthetics, which we've seen applied increasingly to home media furnishings. The latest example comes from Bonaldo in the form of a new twist--quite literally--on displaying a plasma or LCD TV with its "Swivel TV Stand."
But it's the striking circular design that will get your attention as much as its practical mobility. The stand's black lacquered frame is supported by a chrome base, according to Trendir, providing a "fantastic way to soften the harsh, square corners" of the television set and accompany … Read more
Against all odds, land lines are valiantly forging ahead in hopes of making an unlikely comeback. Though thoroughly mocked by other gadget blogs, for instance, Motorola debuted its "MOTOLIVN" home phone this week for the European market.
Maybe that's a key part of the strategy: Europe. Because Doro, a manufacturer based in Sweden, is also expanding its continental land-line business. And like other European phone makers--namely Philips and Siemens--Doro is focusing its efforts on form as much as function, if not more.
SAP has finally launched its software-as-a-service offering, dubbed "ByDesign". I'm not sure if this is intended to imply "intelligent design" and the idea that divinity is somehow behind SAP's Big New (old) Idea, but as some point out, the big loser in ByDesign may be SAP itself. Time will tell if SAP can have it both ways: traditional, complex and mightily expensive ERP versus its new SaaS, easier to use and moderately expensive (but comparatively cheap) ERP.
I think this is the right thing for SAP to do as far as its customers are concerned. But it may not bode well for SAP, as Nick Carr highlights:
But in the end the company most threatened by ByDesign may be SAP itself....The big risk is that ByDesign will begin to cannibalize SAP's traditional and very lucrative software business--without providing similar revenues or profits.… Read more