As promised, here is another of excerpt from my upcoming book, The New Polymath due in June. The book is built around 8 “Polymaths” like GE (excerpt from that chapter here) and showcases 11 building blocks for the Polymath to leverage. Each corresponds to an alphabet in the book’s RENAISSANCE framework . The two A’s stand for Arsonists, covered here and Analytics, covered in a later chapter.
“Customers do keep writing those checks when they should be turning to disruptors like Bill Hambrecht with his mantra of “80% value for 20% of the price,” as we see in Chapter 10.”
“Most rebels tend to be start-ups, but often larger, established vendors will go after one another, especially when they are trailing in a market or introducing a new product. Let’s first look at how some start-ups are disrupting technology markets, then how some bigger vendors target each other.
We look at MAXroam, which is disrupting the international mobile roaming market; Zoho, focused on the Microsoft Office market; Cartridge World, focused on printer ink from HP and others; Rimini Street, focused on maintenance charges from Oracle and SAP; and ZDNet which is disrupting traditional industry analysts and media coverage. Next we look at Agresso, whose value proposition is that it helps its customers adapt rapidly to disruptions in their own sectors.Then we look at larger vendors disrupting each other - HP and Cisco, pharmaceuticals and generics, SAP and Oracle and Verizon versus other telcos and cable companies.”
“As we know, the 1990s were a chaotic time for Russia as the Soviet Union’s centralized, defense heavy infrastructure was gradually torn down and replaced by decentralized, commercial enterprises. Seth Ravin describes his work there blandly as “defense conversion,” but it was dangerous work where he faced kidnapping and death threats. He is now into another type of conversion—going against what some would call today’s “evil empires.”
“Following Rimini Street’s 2009 results that include a strong 270% year-over-year revenue growth, Oracle declared war on Rimini Street and Seth Ravin personally by filing a complaint in US Federal Court alleging copyright infringement, unfair competition and other transgressions. In what may end up becoming marketing fodder for Rimini Street, the legal language claimed Rimini Street is selling its services for too low a price. Reflecting on the battle ahead, Seth says “Oracle started this war. I intend to finish it with a clearly free and open market for enterprise support providers.” The “converter” continues to does his thing.”
“Plattner’s radical concept is to get a 100 times compression by rethinking traditional data and storage optimization. The research at HPI shows that columnar databases can yield a 10 times space advantage compared to row-based ones. With increased processing power available today we can also compute on-demand aggregate data which historically was more efficient to store in databases. That provides another 2 times advantage. Finally, Plattner would tier data based on currency—storing only recent (and more likely to be accessed) data on the memory on the blade server, which could provide another 5 times compression. 10´2´5 would get the 100 times compression he seeks.”
“Why do the Pat Phelans and Seth Ravins carry their slingshots around looking for Goliaths like Verizon and Oracle? Whatever their personal drivers, they represent one hand clapping. Until customers step up and take advantage of their flame throwing, magic cannot happen. Edwin Land, founder of Polaroid, is supposed to have said “Innovation is sudden cessation of stupidity.” There is plenty of stupidity in technology spend.”