Having fun with Paper (along with most of the rest of the internet this weekend) #paper
Small IT is disruptive. IT departments which were built to maintain control of information will often not know or not want to bring ‘outside’ technologies ‘in’.
Small IT exists to deliver something valuable for the business. This value can have many forms but there is always a clear view of how it makes for a better customer experience.
Small IT solutions support business model innovation and will help to create new markets and new opportunities.
Small IT solutions span and often mashup multiple technologies and sources of information.
"Question everything generally thought to be obvious."
A fun little example of the benefit of small iterative development.
Building a platform? Waterfall your way towards stability. Making a product? Utilise the power of small batches…
What if it turns out that the customer doesn’t want the product we’re building? Although this is never good news for an entrepreneur, finding out sooner is much better than finding out later. Working in small batches ensures that a startup can minimize the expenditure of time, money, and effort that ultimately turns out to have been wasted.
Not just good advice for entrepreneurs and start-ups; I love this principle that sits at the heart of Agile development / project management.
The debut of the Globe’s online subscription model represents an ambitious attempt to persuade people to pay for what they’ve grown accustomed to getting for free. Equally significant, though, is how the Globe intends to pursue that strategy. Rather than fork over 30 percent of its revenues for the privilege of being included in the iTunes Store, the Globe has found a way to route around the Cupertino toll booth altogether.
The key is that the app is written in HTML5, which makes it possible to publish a website offering a user experience similar to an iPad or iPhone app. Globe subscribers can simply point their browser to BostonGlobe.com, type in their username and password, and enter a site that looks very much like an app written for iOS.
Because of the flexibility offered by HTML5, the site automatically formats itself to any device — an iPad, an iPhone, a laptop or desktop computer, even a Kindle, which includes a rudimentary web browser. Thus the Globe has found a way to avoid paying Amazon as well, though it will continue to offer a separate Kindle version.
I’ll grumble to myself about the “found a way” line characterizing the mobile app/app store debate like the Globe’s found some magical solution nobody heard about until now (despite Nieman covering it within the year). However, it is still a highly visible case-study in making a mobile web v. compiled paid mobile app decision.
Much as I’m pro HTML5, I’m not sure if there has to be an either/or when it comes to HTML5 and native Apps. Platforms are enablers; there’s a time and a place for each. The question has to be which provides the best user experience (and not whether it saves a 30% App Store fee). Either way, it’s interesting to see so much innovation in this space, and this is an impressive bit of development by The Boston Globe’s web team.
"I want to put a dent in the universe."
"We often hear from folks inside these companies. They’re beyond frustrated with the software/solutions they’re supposed to use. So they turn to our products because they just plain work. Sometimes they expense them, but often it seems a team or department head just pays out of their own pocket. The cost is insignificant compared to the productivity they receive in return. We salute these insurgents!"
I’m proud to be a 37Signals insurgent!
"Do, or do not. There is no try."