Monday Mar 24, 2008

Closed or Open?

Here's an interesting article about Apple's strategy -- How Apple Got Everything Right By Doing Everything Wrong. The "everything wrong" bit refers to the trend toward transparency in high tech, whereas Apple is anything but transparent. Yet the company is extremely successful. Imagine that. There has been some good commentary in blogs about the piece, and there are a lot of comments on the article itself. To me the issue is not that complex. Sometimes closed works, sometimes open works. Different companies, different communities, different products, different development strategies, different business models. Not a big deal. Good article, though.

Wednesday Dec 19, 2007

Japanese Innovation

Gen Kanai comments on a recent Newsweek piece -- Why Apple Isn't Japanese. Gen's take is certainly interesting and, sadly, pretty tough to argue with.

The article is pretty critical. The bits I found most interesting were the language and culture issues, since I experience those walls every day. They are so much bigger than anyone on the outside realizes, and I think they go a long way to explaining Japan's lack of growth in certain global markets.

The article also states that Japan will have to compete with new sources of innovation in the future: "Over the next century, disruptive innovations won't be coming only from countries like the United States. They'll also be emerging from dynamic, hungry, rising economies that offer plenty of room for risk-taking, flights of fancy and cross-border synthesis." Although these sources are not directly stated, it's clear that the nations are primarily China and India, which are both embracing capitalism and globalization at blindingly fast rates, and both don't seem to struggle with the language and culture issues like Japan does.

Now, I've been told that these observations represent the distinction between emerging markets and mature markets. But I no longer buy it. Too much of that article describes my direct experience, so I no longer accept the excuses. But will Japan eventually react and change? Are the Japanese hungry enough to compete in a global economy? I actually think they will react and compete. And in ways that may surprise many of their critics. That's the cool thing about innovation and market disruptions. They cycle. When you are disrupted, that sets up the perfect circumstance to innovate do some disrupting yourself.

Monday Oct 08, 2007

Apple and ZFS

Seems ZFS may get some support in an update to Mac OS -- Apple confirms ZFS for Leopard.
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