Showing posts from December, 2007

The Future Is Not What It Could Be

An article in September's FastCompany talks about why it seems that the future never arrives. Why do the innovations that were dreamed of years ago, such as flying cars, teleportation, moon bases and personal jetpacks not come to fruition? There are two answers to this question though I believe both are related. And, well, maybe some of these ideas (jetpacks?) weren't so great or even possible.

Innovation, or more accurately invention, matters less today then it did 100 years ago. We live in a world today where universities get their funding from corporations - to deliver concrete results and not to come up with new ideas. The days when university researchers worked on expanding human knowledge for the sake of knowledge are over. Universities are now, in businesspeak, 'hotbeds of innovation' or in plain English, 'manufacturers of salable product ideas'. The same is true of large corporations. Businesses can only afford research if it will deliver t…

What 'sexy' means when we talk about software

Here's a post I made in response to an article about Enterprise software and its need to be 'sexy'. I don't believe enterprise software needs to look cool and flashy.

I do believe that enterprise software should absolutely be sexy! I am saying this with the understanding that when we say 'sexy' we really mean 'intuitive'. No one cares how 'cool' a piece of software looks if it's unusable and takes drilling down into multiple stacks of menus to accomplish what you want to. We think software is 'cool' and/or 'sexy' when it's easy to use. Everyone wants to spend less of their time learning the ins and outs of [non-intuitive] software and more of their time doing value-add work. We should be able to figure out what we need to do with a combination of a few clicks of the mouse and reading the help. I have been part of a successful SAP implementation and can tell you that it works beautifully. But guess who us…