Archive for April 20th, 2009

Mash up….and paper….

Monday, April 20th, 2009 by Roberto Saracco


Just browsing the web I found some interesting research on “how” will be or should be the future of “paper”.


“Paper continues to exist in large volumes in spite of futuristic predictions of a ‘paperless world’. It persists along the edges of a digital organization – in communication between organizations and between organizations and their customers. The affable nature of paper makes it widely accepted, highly affordable, technology agnostic and unplugged. However, the disconnect between paper and digital systems leads to inefficiencies in large enterprises.”  (from HP labs, Bangalore).


How could the connection be between paper and digital System?  Do we need a new set of technologies to enable to enable seamless co-existence of paper in a digital enterprise?


I think so: we need new technologies, and, for my project, the core technology concepts include the mash ups of information coming from several sources and (of course) connectable to paper elements. The static elements of a paper document could be a seed for a mash up, and it will be synchronized with electronic content and somehow with an electronic counterpart (files, pictures, images, whatever…), that hopefully could enhance the static content and make it more readable and rich of information!


Do you think it’s a strange idea?

Digital imaging: in search for a profitable business model. Part 2.

Monday, April 20th, 2009 by Giuseppe Piersantelli

In these days, there are many rumors, news and confirmations about YouTube’s decision to deliver premium content in addition to UGC. In particular, YouTube signed a deal with Sony to offer full lenght movies. Hollywood Studios and YouTube would reportedly share advertising revenue. Wired reports that:

Those overtures have led some observers to question YouTube’s long-term ability to serve both its homegrown community and Hollywood, with its emphasis on professionally produced content and tight copyright controls.

As YouTube didn’t manage to monetize user generated content and long tail content, they are starting to talk with Holywood studios: video codecs and broadband connections are good enough to deliver a satisfying experience to consumers who will probably spend some bucks to consume a mainstream video content.

Punto Informatico also reports that YouTube is discussing agreements with BMG and Sony to deliver episodes and TV series. More agreements will be signed with Lionsgate, Starz and BBC.

I have some perplexity when it comes to user experience: are web sites and PCs suitable to watch a 2 hours lenght video? I’m not sure about that. Personally, I wouldn’t spend a dime to seat on an uncomfortable chair and watch Indiana Jones on my 15 inches laptop screen. That means, probably, that consumers need an improvement in computer-to-TVs connectivity.

On top of that, this new business model is not directly involving (in terms of revenue share) Telecom operators which provide Internet connectivity and will allow consumers to watch full lenght premium content, unless the model above will be modified. But, for the time being, it seems quite clear that neither service providers nor carriers are making money from user generated content. Actually, these players are spending money to allow users exchange, publish, upload and download pictures and videos.

All the players involved in the digital imaging industry should design and discuss together new set of business models and service consepts, adopting a synergic and “open-lab” approach.

Ecosystems: Organization, Market …or? Part 6

Monday, April 20th, 2009 by Roberto Saracco

The problem with the operation market space of big companies is that their own strive for efficiency, and the nature of competition, drives the price down, to the benefit of the end customer. Is the money saved by the customer going to be reinvested in other, new, offers these Companies are proposing? In part, yes, but in general no. Worse than that. Efficiency and technology evolution are bringing to the market more features than the market is ready to accept or willing to pay. These extra features, e.g. broader broadband, are not creating revenues sufficient to offset the declining prices.

At the same time, the decreasing operation space leaves the field open to other players, below the Coase floor: read Skype, Google and the myriad of applications providers that piggy back on iPhone, Facebook, HTC and the like.

It is because of these mutually reinforcing phenomena (low transaction cost, shrinking revenues from the current operation space, multitude of offers mushrooming from below the Coase floor, shift from scarcity to abundance affecting current business models and architectures) that ecosystems are becoming more and more important.

As I discussed in these posts, ecosystems are not replacing organizations nor the market, rather they are a wrap that is starting to constrain both.

Organizations had to learn to play their game in the market (in a competitive marketplace) and that led to significant restructuring in the way of doing biz, in the decision on what biz to be in, and in the constant re-evaluation of what are the strengths and weaknesses of that organization on that market. Similarly, organizations need to learn how to confront the new challenges coming from the ecosystems and from services below the Coase floor: only few years ago they were economically impossible, now they are changing the economy.

Probably, as most services will be offered bottom up, Organizations will need to shift from the biz of creating services to the one of enabling their creation (weak point) and benefiting from their fruition (strong point).