Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Networked Innovation

I spend a lot of time with the electronics industry and the people who improve our lives everyday with innovative products.
What I have come to realize is that the greatest ideas are simple ones with a single goal - to make people's lives better. Whether you are talking about Web 2.0 services, the latest home electronics products, or the ultimate mobile device, it rings true.
The concept of Networked Innovation is nothing new. As networks around us get faster and the services that are carried on it begin to increase, life is supposed to be getting easier by having these devices connect directly to network services.
Let's test the logic here. A digital camera lets you take and store pictures until you can get back to a computer, where you can email, upload, and print your pictures over a network. An iPod lets you listen to music and organize your music collection when you are on the go from a PC connected to a network. A TiVo lets you store programs to watch later, without living your life by the electronic program guide, scheduling recordings from a PC connected to the Internet. And the PC seems to be the hub of everything.
Innovation for the consumer is headed back towards the PC because it is the single thing that is connected to a network, easy to program, and can interact with a number of devices.
A new trend is emerging, allowing products to stand on their own two feet. Every device is connected to a number of networks, but each of these networks has their own set of rules.
Each set of rules is set by the people who use it, and this is the heart of the Web 2.0 trend, and will remain with us through Consumer 3.0.

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