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Building Computers with Social Skills with Facebook Likes

3009374-slide-image-4Who’s a better judge of character: a human or a computer? Turns out, its the computer. Stanford researchers have found that computers can judge personality traits more accurately than one’s friends and colleagues. In fact, artificial intelligence can draw inferences about a person as accurately as a spouse.

The study (conducted jointly by researchers at Stanford University and the University of Cambridge) compares the accuracy of human and computer-based personality judgments, using a sample of 86,220 volunteers who completed a 100-item personality questionnaire. People’s judgments were based on their familiarity with the judged individual, while the computer used digital signals – Facebook “likes.” [Read more…]

Alliance of Internet of Things for Innovation – A European initiative

AIOTI - brandDuring the SIdO plenary session – a new professional event dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT) held in Lyon, France from April 7-8 – Mr. Mario Campolargo (Director, Net Futures – DG CONNECT, European Commission) insisted on the importance of the launch of the new Alliance Internet of Things for Innovation (AIOTI) two weeks ago, and announced that IoT will be a major focus for European Commission during 2016-2017.

The European Commission is, currently, supporting the development (in Europe) of the most dynamic and agile IoT ecosystem and industry in the world, which could really transform people’s lives, drive growth, create employment and address societal challenges. According to estimates, nearly five billion things will be connected by 2015, reaching 25 billion by 2020, helping users save energy, reduce traffic jams, increase comfort, and get better healthcare and increased independence. IoT will not only allow companies to change their traditional business models through new services, but will also help combine the benefits of selling products with value-added digital service. [Read more…]

50 Years On, Moore’s Law Still Pushes Tech to Double Down

history-moore-moores-law-graphic-3-1Over the last 50 years, Moore’s observation — that the number of transistors on silicon chips and therefore their processing power was doubling approximately every 24 months — has evolved from observation to market demand.

This April marks the 50th Anniversary of Moore’s Law. Three years before co-founding Intel, Gordon Moore made a simple observation that has revolutionized the computing industry. It states, the number of transistors – the fundamental building blocks of the microprocessor and the digital age – incorporated on a computer chip will double every two years, resulting in increased computing power and devices that are faster, smaller and lower cost. [Read more…]

Sometimes it’s OK to “Waterfall”

Waterfall modelI have led many Agile transformations in the past few years for our clients. These clients, both IT and the business, were ready to change the way they developed solutions. The change required for such a shift caused much ‘pain’ in the organization, but these clients knew that they needed to make the change.

During one of these engagements, someone on the client team told me that they had tried to convince another group at the company into making the move to Agile from their Waterfall approach. When the Waterfall group manager said he had looked at Agile and did not see the benefits for the business and systems he supported, the Agile advocate chided the manager for being “stuck in the mud” and that Agile would benefit the group greatly.

That’s not always right. [Read more…]

This is Marshall McLuhan: The Medium is the Massage

One of the biggest visionairs of the electronical era. I just bounced into this little documentary. A must see!

Are you a T-shaped individual?

In an earlier post, I had warned about mini-waterfall in disguise, putting forward ‘cross-functional’ as a better term to describe team cooperation than ‘multi-disciplinary.’ So, how do you recognize cross-functional teams that are not multi-disciplinary teams in disguise? Well, they form the category of T-shaped professionals.

T-shaped as in tester-shaped? No, not really… T-shaped refers to the shape of the letter T. It refers to how well one performs, both individually and as a member of a group.

A combination of these two dimensions result in four possible quadrants: [Read more…]

The Future of Work in times of Disruption

Our Design to Disrupt research program deals with the forces that are radically reshaping the world of business as we know it. Disruptive innovations are creating new industries and business models and destroying old ones.

What does this mean for the future of work?

Many of the roles and job titles of tomorrow will be ones we’ve not even thought of yet. Think of jobs as social media marketeer, data scientist and API manager…These job titles were not existing 10 years ago. New technologies, data analytics opportunities and social networks will continue to change the way we communicate, collaborate and work.  [Read more…]

What’s the Silver Bullet for Successful Project Management?

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While being in the consulting business for 8 years, I have seen how businesses (clients) have managed to get what they wanted; and that too, much faster and at lower cost than expected! This might sound a bit strange when considering a regular IT project.

So, what’s the ‘silver bullet’ that has made it possible? The simple answer is – working together. This also means making things that are reasonable; and not just making things because these are in the Requirements (it’s a part of a contract that specifies the things that must be done). So, the right approach to achieve the desired results here, would be to adopt the ‘Agile’ methodology. [Read more…]

Yo CIO! Do you understand the blockchain?

22Last week I had a dinner with a CIO and I asked him about blockchain. “What about it?” he said. I asked what he knew about the blockchain, and he replied “nothing”. It gave me the opportunity to do an 8-minute pitch. During these 8 minutes he said nothing, which is quite remarkable if you would know this person. After these 8 minutes he looked at me and said “So you’re basically saying that this is a new way of getting rid of all the waste in the system?” And he was quite right of course, although we didn’t frame it in this way yet. And then I asked “How would you start with this in your company?” Since we’re working on a third report on the blockchain, and we would like to present you with some advice, this question is quite relevant for us. And then he replied, “We will do nothing, unless we understand what it is”. And although that sounded reasonable, it made me think what he actually could do to get a better understanding. [Read more…]

Getting Started with the Internet of Things

Start IoTTo truly understand something, you need to get involved, practically involved. Confucius is quoted to have said: “Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand”. This is especially true for the Internet of Things. You need to get your electronics hands dirty to truly understand how it works and what it can be used for.

I’ve put together a series of videos on getting started with the Internet of Things that you will find below. I urge you not to just look at the videos, but get out and buy some simple parts (they will not cost much), and replicate what I am showing. In the process, you will discover a whole new world, the world of Makers, the enthusiasts who are driving the Internet of Things forward.

It’s an amazing world! [Read more…]

From Digital Darwinism to Digital Transformation

Schermafbeelding 2015-04-07 om 10.12.30Assuming that exponentially growing technology is an inevitable factor in the current era, it is imperative that organizations develop a structure and a matching culture in which accelerated change is the New Normal.

This places special demands on an organization’s corporate environment and strategy, in which room for experiment, pioneering and innovation are common daily practice. Too often, these conditions are absent from large, sluggish and bureaucratic organizations. Sometimes this is described as digital Darwinism: if you don’t change, you will ‘die’. [Read more…]

Robots “To Rob” Jobs? Reversing the Negative Spin (Part 2)

… Continued from Part 1

RUR RobotThe prediction that, by 2050, we will be able to devise the electronics and circuitry and CPU strength needed to implant a comparable AI (equal to or exceeding the current Human Brain in terms of cognitive and other ‘thinking’ capabilities) into autonomous Robotic frameworks, combined with sensors and complex mechanical systems, could mean that we might be seeing Robots doing more jobs than we can imagine.

Am I guilty of being a bit too optimistic here? I don’t think so. I am sure some readers would have formulated some serious pitfalls; so, please feel free to comment on such below. There are only a few setbacks that I can think of when it comes to this arguably optimistic view. Setbacks would be that the need for dangerous, dirty, dull labor will decrease. Perhaps we ourselves will become less-risk prone and live a less dangerous, dirty and dull life. Here, I am not referring necessarily to the persons themselves… but the jobs that we do. Is that bad? Maybe it’s a good thing. Maybe we can focus our energies elsewhere while the Robots ‘do the dirty work’ so to speak. Maybe we could focus on more interesting jobs – or at least on building even more useful and better robots to ‘serve’ humanity. [Read more…]

The Top 100 Most Scalable Organizations

1-PMpD8qY35THgE9GmZRXbBwIn our Design to Disrupt research program we talked about companies that are called Unicorns:  a company that rapidly gains to a valuation of a billion-dollars and beyond.

We also mentioned this book, written by Mike Malone, Yuri van Geest and Salim Ismail,  that  been explores, as well as crafts a guide to building Unicorns. The book refers to these companies as Exponential Organizations (ExO), companies that are able to scale their organization structures in a completely new way.  [Read more…]

Robots “To Rob” Jobs? Reversing the Negative Spin (Part 1)

RURYou see a lot of posts these days warning about the ‘Robot revolution’ and about how Robots will be replacing the jobs of many people in the future. Without sounding too crude or controversial, I would ask: Why is this so bad after all? That’s what they are here for, isn’t it?

The jobs that fall into the 3 ‘Ds’ category (i.e. Dangerous, Dull, Dirty) are not exactly the jobs we want people doing in the first place, right?

I don’t want to get into a moralistic or ethical debate here; nor do I want to set in motion the pendulum of either Utopian or Dystopian thinking. All I want to point out is that, yes of course, you can bet 100% on the fact that Robots will become more prevalent in all facets of our lives in the future. That means, naturally, certain jobs will be handled purely by the robotic systems designed for those 3D implementations and as a result: Certain jobs will soon become ‘too laborious’ for Homo Sapiens and hence, obsolete. Here, it is the balance of the Project ‘Iron Triangle’ that’s in play. The three triangle edges being Cost, Time and Scope (with Quality considered as the middle factor). It simply will not be cost-effective, nor time-effective nor logical for humans to be asked to do these 3D jobs any longer when the risky jobs could be handled more effectively, cheaply and safely by Robots, resulting in even more consistent, if not greater quality. Thinking of the Project or Product Triangle, it’s just a “win-win-win” situation.

[Read more…]

Leading Digital in 9 graphs

We rounded off our second report on Design to Disrupt with an appeal to the CIO to take a offensive approach to digital transformation:

A. Take control. Lead the disruption.
B. Deploy technology to break constraints.
C. Lose out on efficiency and go for effective disruption.
D. Don’t be terrified, the odds are better than you think

That the odds are better if you come into action is confirmed by extensive recent research into the chance of success of digital innovations. A team from MIT, in conjunction with Capgemini, has made an analysis of the most successful organizations. The short version of the book Leading Digital: Turning Technology into Business Transformation is that companies whose organizational and technological capabilities are functioning properly, show a 26% higher growth. [Read more…]

Coming Up: My webinar on New Digital Competition


I will speak on “New Digital Competition” on Monday, April 13 from 5:00 – 6:00 PM CET.

About the topic and the session

What are the new players doing to become so disruptive? And what are the design principles of this new digital competition? In this webinar, I will discuss the new rules of the game and will share some examples beyond Airbnb and Uber. Most of these newcomers don’t own anything (but software). You can be in banking business without money, in transport without cars, in hospitality without hotels, and disrupt the market by introducing two-sided market principles. So, I will explain why existing companies – the establishment – should act now (else, they would end up waiting and watching until their own irrelevance is proven). [Read more…]

The 25 most exciting bitcoin startups

bitcoin-perfecthueBitcoin is the end of “dumb money”. Thanks to Bitcoin, money is now programmable, “it’s a money platform with many API’s”, which allows countless financial innovations to be created. The possibilities are virtually endless and often quite unexpected. Examples include fraud-free voting systems, digital rights management systems, new types of air miles or freebies, and festival coins for buying drinks. Imagine a car rental company issuing bitcoins linked to their fleet of rental vehicles. Each vehicle can be unlocked and started by using a corresponding bitcoin. [Read more…]

UX and Cybersecurity – Seemingly Unrelated, Inextricably Linked

MjolnirRecently, two starkly contrasting news articles caught my attention. The first was a commentary on wearables, biometric sensors and new ways of authentication, which included using your face too (with hopefully more than a Facebook picture). The second one covered yet another data breach (a media event these days) with healthcare payer Premera, the unfortunate victim this time around. Fascinating, isn’t it? On one hand, technology continues to drive innovations that allow your face, fingerprint, heartbeat and other biometric readings to be read off from your mobile phone or smart watch as the basis for authentication … even for financial transactions. On the other, according to the Washington Post, over 128 million users have had their personal and medical information compromised in the healthcare industry alone. It’s clear that consumer electronics and enterprise security are becoming indistinguishable in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and that the adage “you’re only as strong as your weakest link” has never been more relevant. But what is the X-factor in this push and pull between consumer and enterprise security? The answer may surprise you. [Read more…]

New Digital Competition & Platform Disruption

D2D2_headerNew digital competitors form the heart of what we call the platform economy. These disruptors are the main focus of our second design to disrupt report. We define platforms as:

Building blocks serving as a foundation on which a variety of companies or business ecosystems can develop supplementary services, technologies and services.

Have a look at a slidedeck we created on our second Design to Disrupt report.  [Read more…]

Five steps for Developers to cope with Digital Explosion

Digital explosion“The digital revolution is far more significant than the invention of writing or even of printing.” – Douglas Englebart

The age of the Digital explosion is upon us, are you ready?  Everywhere we look, we see someone carrying a tablet, using a Smartphone, and sporting a FitBit or Jawbone and all three devices are communicating with each other, displaying who’s called us, who’s emailed us, who’s poked us on Facebook and how many steps we’ve taken today. As a developer, the task of trying to decide where to start in this digital explosion can be daunting.  Even an experienced developer can be overwhelmed with the decision of whether to start with mobile development, IOT development, Big Data & Analytics, or developing for wearables. Following are the five steps that can help resolve your confusion:

[Read more…]