Readings - on business models

On reading Clay Shirky's complex business models collapse essay

Clay Shirky describes the process where 'old complexity' is super ceded by 'new simplicity', and how the businesses embedded in the old model have such difficulty adapting to the new cultural imperative. We all know of examples of this - however, the interesting question is the next stage. There are indications that some businesses are prepared to pay something for a differentiating amount of availability and reliability. Looking at Amazon's Web services would indicate that Amazon think so - people are wiling to pay extra, in both money and complexity, for load balancing across EC2 instances.

The customer here isn't the end user, it's the people providing the content to the end user.

Shirky essay
AWS load balancing

The Internet Operating System
Tim O'Reilly's article on the State of the Internet Operating System gathered a lot of attention. The 'operating system' metaphor is inaccurate - long ago, Cisco Marketing decided to call the software that runs on their routers IOS; that was overegged too, since there were a lot of other components which had to exist to make a functioning Internet - the article is a list of useful information gathering functions which can be run on the Internet, with some high level hints at how they might be correlated.

"Increasingly, application developers don't do low-level image recognition, speech recognition, location lookup, social network management and friend connect. They place high level function calls to data-rich platforms that provide these services. "

"There is a great opportunity for developers with vision to build forward-looking platforms that aim squarely at our connected future, that provide applications running on any device with access to rich new sources of intelligence and capability."

Identity, payment systems, and activity streams over time are functions which are getting more attention; search, advertising and, more recently, location have been well exploited.

State of IOS

Cunning Systems evaluates product and service ideas in computing and communications. If you would like to discuss an idea, contact us at Follow me on twitter at @annejohn and @vcwatch