CAT | Technology Adoption
“Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Is there any more familiar quotation related to innovation? I doubt it. However, “build a better mousetrap” was actually a misquotation. What Emerson really said was…
“If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
So there you have it. The original quotation wasn’t about innovation at all. It was about quality.
The thing that strikes me most about this quote is the last bit about “though it be in the woods”. I think the implication here is clear. You may not be a marketing genius or have the best location but if you build quality products that people need and want and you can get people sharing their experiences with your product, you’ve got yourself a winner. (more…)
Twitter is the first communication mechanism I’ve been a part of that actually helps me build new relationships without any preexisting knowledge (or trust) with the other party. Much hoopla has been made about the micro-format of Twitter and how it enables new forms of communication, but the amazing power of Twitter comes from it’s ability to allow people to connect and develop new relationships seemingly out of nothing.
My Twitter relationships may lack the depth of trust that I have in the “Friend” model (in some cases of Facebook, LinkedIn, or email but they’re still relationships that I’ve come to value and that provide me with a sense of community.
How this happened surprised me. I had sporadically used Twitter for about a year, but wasn’t finding it very useful until I started using the search feature of Twitter to discover people that I shared a common interest with. I’ve talked about this in the past, but in a nutshell to get an action (or Twitter usage, in my case) requires the following… (more…)
Communication is crippling Corporate America. I know what you’re thinking, “That statement is preposterous. Communication is the bedrock of productivity today”, but if you bear with me I’ll explain my thinking on the subject. Communication may be the bedrock of business systems today, but it has also become an albatross around our necks and is draining us of our productivity. As organizations have flattened over the last two decades and command and control hierarchies have been replaced with matrix style organizations, communication between an ever increasing number of interested parties has sapped nearly all productivity from today’s corporations. Our goals aren’t related to corporate strategy anymore. We simply try to keep up with the ever increasing amount of email, meetings, and IMs that come our way all day, and if there’s any time left over for real work…. we’ll figure out someway to distract ourselves from getting it done. (more…)
I recently saw survey results from a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll that stated only 15 percent of Americans believe Twitter to be an important new tool for communication and I believe it. Not because it’s true but because Twitter can be hard to understand and get the hang of at first.
I distinctly remember my first experience with Twitter when I noticed someone casually mentioning they were “putting lipstick on at a redlight”. My first thought was “this is totally worthless”. My how times have changed. Not only has the growth of Twitter been off the charts (1382% to be exact), but I’ve actually started using Twitter on a regular basis and find it extremely helpful and useful in my job. (more…)
Does instant messaging (IM), email, and social media make us more productive? Of course they do, right? … Well, the real answer is ‘no’ (what would be the point of this post otherwise?:). As a Community Manager for two open-source projects I reach out and ‘connect’ with people as part of my job. In doing so I use Twitter, mailing lists, IRC, and discussion forums almost constantly, but what about people who aren’t tasked with making connections and building community? Is it good for them? What about the secretary whose Facebook page is constantly updated throughout the day or the sales guy who updates his followers minute by minute? Are they as productive as they should be or are they just awesome multi-taskers?
Let’s look at a simple fact …
The human mind does not process information in parallel (you may want to go back and read that again). It just can’t be done. The Myth of Multitasking by Dave Crenshaw. In his book he uses a simple example that is very convincing. Simply take a sheet of paper and draw a line across the page. (more…)