30 Sep, 2010 | by Richard Vinhais
Just as Google is synonymous with search, anyone remotely plugged into the now will tell you that Facebook is synonymous with social networking. Or even “The Social Network”, according to the new Columbia Pictures film. One thing is for sure: Facebook is here to stay, whether you like it or not.
The evolution of Facebook since its inception back in 2004 has been nothing short of miraculous. A service once focused exclusively on connecting college students has grown into a virtual community used by practically everyone. I mean everyone! Have you ever taken a moment to ask yourself: “Just how big is facebook?” Well, the following five statistics may provide some meaningful perspective: continue reading »
10 Jan, 2010 | by Richard Vinhais
By now, you probably know a friend or a friend of a friend who has seen the blockbuster movie “Avatar,” a film that undoubtedly touts the creative genius of James Cameron, with a plot that seems to be universally appreciated, visually stunning cinematography and cutting-edge 3D technology that puts the proverbial cherry on top. Anecdotally, it just seems that moviegoers are actually excited about going to theaters again, a trend of which Hollywood is keenly aware.
As the “Avatar”-sparked 3D revolution continues to build momentum, I find myself asking a profoundly simple question: Is it sustainable? 3D has been around for a very long time. Yes, the technology itself has evolved in tremendous ways, but the original concept goes back over fifty years, not to mention there have been 3D resurgences in both the 50s and 80s. However, the spikes in usage during those periods were seen as gimmicks that quickly lost popularity.
In the January 6, 2010 Yahoo News article “Blockbuster ‘Avatar’ to accelerate 3D revolution”, the author states that “[a]ccording to organizers of a recent 3D film festival in Belgium, more than 150 3D films are currently in various stages of production. Among them is the long-awaited movie adaptation of comic-book hero ‘Tintin,’ directed by Oscar-winner Steven Spielberg and tentatively scheduled for release in 2011.”
It’s clear that Hollywood sees the current 3D revolution as an opportunity to accentuate the moviegoer experience and glean profits in the process. But I for one feel that the 3D zeitgeist will pass and ultimately succumb to one irrefutable principle: Technology without substance or meaningful content is destined for failure.
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28 Jan, 2009 | by Evan J Miller
On every coin and every bill issued by the United States Treasury you’ll find the words “In God We Trust”. In recent years that slogan has been extended to say: “In God We Trust – All Others Bring Data”.
This clever twist is especially popular in Lean Six Sigma and Total Quality Management circles, where the data-driven decisions are the holy grail – the means to reduced costs, improved efficiencies, reduced downtime, and driving waste out of processes.
Now it seems neither of these adequately represents how business actually operates.
According to CIO.com research published by Accenture found that nearly half (40%) of major corporate decisions are based on the decision maker’s ‘gut’, not on data.
While this number (40%) surprised me, I was not at all surprised to read that the top reason (61%) these managers rely on their gut is that good data are just not available.
Recently I visited one of these businesses. Like two thirds of survey respondents, these leaders recognize the weaknesses of their data systems and they’d love to fix them.
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15 Jan, 2009 | by David Kaufman
With advances in modern technology and the vast sums that organizations spend to implement cutting edge solutions, isn’t it odd that passing a folder from person to person in order to approve something is still so common? You’ve seen it happen; perhaps you’ve even been part of those long conversations on the color of the folder to make it stand out on a desk. Those discussions are usually preceded by an agreement made by all involved that the material will never sit idle but get immediate attention and route quickly. In the end, it falls to some poor assistant to walk the halls in search of this folder, trying to track down approvers and keep things moving, usually taking much longer than any initial agreement. To further complicate matters, fingers may begin to point at suspected sources of bottleneck. Tensions mount and the innovative “folder method” had done more harm than good.
Allow me to walk you through the evolution of a project to complete a form initiating the Personal Care Product Development Process and have it approved by associates in five functions across two business units in three states. These hand-offs were necessary to pull critical knowledge from the organization determining the feasibility of a program before time and dollars were spent against it. Bear in mind, any time spent completing and approving the form is time not spent on developing the product. continue reading »
2 Jan, 2009 | by Evan J Miller
I don’t know that I’ve ever met a business person who said, “I don’t care about data. Let me manage solely by intuition.” This isn’t to say that hunches and gut feel are not important (just see Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink” if you doubt that), but that most of us understand that our hunches need to face the hard reality of data.
So it shouldn’t be controversial to say that business leaders strive to be data driven.
In the face of this, it is remarkable that so many business leaders do not have ready access to usable, actionable, real-time data. As one colleague put it to me recently: “Most people have tons of data everywhere you turn, but most of that data isn’t accessible or usable.” (Click here for supporting research by The Aberdeen Group). continue reading »
11 Jul, 2006 | by Richard Vinhais
(Image Created By: Kurt Griffith)
The topic is obscure to many, but now beginning to gain more and more traction in the political arena, not to mention public opinion forums. What is network neutrality? and should anyone really care? Rather than try and summarize what it’s all about from my perspective, I think I’ll borrow a nice piece that I recently read in the New York Times and kick off m commentary with that.
The author is Adam Green and he throws in his 2 cents as to why Network Neutrality is so important:
As the New York Times editorialized on July 9, 2006:
“Net neutrality” is a concept that is still unfamiliar to most Americans, but it keeps the Internet democratic. … One of the Internet’s great strengths is that a single blogger or a small political group can inexpensively create a Web page that is just as accessible to the world as Microsoft’s home page. continue reading »
16 Jun, 2006 | by Richard Vinhais
These days, financial institutions absorb an overwhelming amount of regulatory scrutiny for just about everything they do. In particular, execution and process are key indicators to just about every regulators recommendation. If you’ve been in the industry, for any extended period of time, you’ll find the following questions quite familiar. What is going to be done to make us feel secure about this process and how do you plan on doing it? Oh yeah, and when will you have this done by? Will see you next year to make sure what you said was going to be completed, was in fact, completed. You can imagine the type of unyielding pressure that CIO’s all the way down to the engineers must face on a regular basis. Sadly, this is only one of the many driving forces behind institutions frenetic pace behind the endless queue of projects.
One new industry concern, which has caught my attention, is that of Content Monitoring & Filtering (CMF). The topic has gained some traction over the years and which I don’t envision stopping any time soon. My basis for that comment stems from the fact (Gartner Research) that there is clearly a technological need for CMF given growing customer demand. There are also a handful of vendors positioning to be the future leader in this $40 million market. continue reading »