The Daily Brainstorm

Let Brainstorm serve up some ideas, content, and links to fire up your synapses.

How Cloud Computing Is Changing Toyota - Business Insider

Last month, Hicks freed up more of his team from desktop-support drudgery when Toyota signed a massive deal with Microsoft Office 365, its cloud alternative to Exchange email and Microsoft Office desktop software. The deal took more than two years, but in the end Toyota is ditching IBM’s Lotus Notes and putting its entire worldwide workforce of 200,000 employees on Office 365.

Why? Because if “I’m screwing around worrying about what version of mail I’m on, it’s wasted effort. It’s a lost opportunity … to do something more meaningful for our customers or our business,” explains Hicks.

(Source: futuramb)

Tagged: Tech, .

Social media buttons are not a social media strategy


These buttons will vanish. The previous wave of buttons for Delicious and Digg and Co. vanished, Facebook and Twitter and G+ might vanish or they might survive, but the buttons will vanish for sure. Or do you seriously think that in ten years we will still have those buttons on every page? No, right? Why, because you already know as a user that they’re not that great. So why not get rid of them now? Because “they’re not doing any harm”? Are you sure?

Tagged: Tech, .


“Any market where unnecessary middlemen stand between customers and their successful use of a solution is about to be disrupted. Any service putting the burden on end users to string together multiple applications to produce the final working solution should consider its days numbered. Any product with an interface that slows people down is ripe for extinction. And any category where a disproportionate number of customers are subsidizing their vendor’s inefficiency is on the verge of revolution.”

The Simplicity Thesis | Fast Company


Recruiters often asked me to help sell high priority candidates on the company. No one had to ask me twice to promote Google and no one was more surprised than me when I could no longer do so. In fact, my last three months working for Google was a whirlwind of desperation, trying in vain to get my passion back.

The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus.

James Whittaker on why he left Google (via soupsoup)

(via questionall)

Tagged: Google, Tech, .

Ten years ago if you were to ask someone the question, ‘Do you need antivirus?’ the overwhelming response would be, ‘Absolutely, my entire security strategy is based on endpoint antivirus,’” says Paul Carugati, a security architect with Motorola Solutions. “Today … I don’t want to downplay the need for it, but it has certainly lost its effectiveness.


Habits Are The New Viral: Why Startups Must Be Behavior Experts - Nir Eyal via TechCrunch


Eyal makes a good argument: that virality — users inviting their friends to try an app — is less important (and more annoying) than habitual use of apps: habit is the new viral.

Nir Eyal via TechCrunch

The Curated Web Will Run On Habits

Increasingly, companies will become experts at designing user habits. Curated Web companies already rely on these methods. This new breed of company, defined by the ability to help users find only the content they care about, includes such white-hot companies as Pinterest and Tumblr. These companies have habit formation embedded in their DNA. This is because data collection is at the heart of any Curated Web business and to succeed, they must predict what users will think is most personally relevant.

Curated Web companies can only improve if users tell their systems what they want to see more of. If users use the service sparingly, it is less valuable than if they use it habitually. The more the user engages with a Curated Web company, the more data the company has to tailor and improve the user’s experience. This self-improving feedback loop has the potential to be more useful – and more addictive — than anything we’ve seen before.

However, I think Eyal’s characterization — helping users ‘find only the content they care about’ — is too limited. Steve Jobs said the users don’t know what they want, so by extension, they don’t know what they care about.

Getting back to Eyal’s habituation remark, these new tools will have to meld into the user’s existing behaviors and amplify them in some adjacent way.

For example, I’ve started to experiment with the user of instead of Bitly as a way to publish Tweets. It ‘fits the hand’ in the sense that it works much like Bitly: a bookmarklet in the browser that creates an editable tweet with a shortened URL back to the source. Like Bitly, it provides stats on clickthroughs, but adds one additional feature: the ability to queue tweets and have them post over time.

So, I am able to develop a new Timely habit because it is similar to my habituated use of Bitly, but adding an additional capability. And there is a viral vestige: the promotion of Timely in the footer of the tweets.


My point is that for a while I view this as augmenting the education you get on a residential model. And yes, it may threaten, and if it does the residential model has to get better. Our objective is to actually use MITx to even increase further what we do on campus, to make it stronger and to be able to resist and survive and do very well in this potential disruptive situation.



“Yet all the time, Kodak seemed to want to drive digital behavior back to businesses it knew and could control.
Rather than embrace digital, it wanted digital to fuel printing. First with the creation of cameras for the Kodak Easy Share line, then for printers and ink, Kodak wanted the warm glow of the bright yellow box and the family memories of a “Kodak Moment” to shift from digital sharing back to physical objects. Is it possible for a company with legacy business holdings, and a history of owning a narrow sales channel, to evolve into a thriving digital enterprise?
Kodak isn’t alone in trying to sort out this analog to digital transition. Companies like Sony and Comcast have been using acquisition to remain relevant or even dominant in the new world. But Kodak didn’t do that. Rather than use the head start they had with Ofoto, they let companies like Flickr take the lead in the fully digital photo world.”

The Way Kodak Died | Fast Company



“This time around, Apple has been the leader in the push to control users.
They say they’re protecting users, and to some extent that is true. I can download software onto my iPad feeling fairly sure that it’s not going to harm the computer. I wouldn’t mind what Apple was doing if that’s all they did, keep the nasty bits off my computer.
But of course, that’s not all they do. Nor could it be all they do. Once they took the power to decide what software could be distributed on their platform, it was inevitable that speech would be restricted too. I think of the iPad platform as Disneyfied. You wouldn’t see anything there that you wouldn’t see in a Disney theme park or in a Pixar movie.
The sad thing is that Apple is providing a bad example for younger, smaller companies like Twitter and Tumblr, who apparently want to control the “user experience” of their platforms in much the same way as Apple does. They feel they have a better sense of quality than the randomness of a free market. So they’ve installed similar controls. Your content cannot be displayed by Twitter unless you’re one of their partners. How you get to be a partner is left to your imagination. We have no visibility into it.
Tumblr has decided that a browser add-on is unwelcome. Presumably it’s only an issue because a fair number of their users want to use it. So they are taking issue not only with the developer, but with the users. They have admitted that the problem is that they must “educate” their users better. Oy! Does this sound familiar. In the end, it will be the other way around. It has to be. It’s the lesson of the Internet.”

The Un-Internet | Webmonkey |


One of the biggest problems with e-mail is how much employees get and how much of it — the vast majority — is either entirely irrelevant or someone simply attempting to showcase how hard they are working.

E-mail should not be an everyday medium. It should be confined to specific, enjoyable things: notifications from your favorite online stores, poems from lovers whom you met while tipsy, and confirmations of flight bookings so that you can escape work.

Tagged: email, communication, tech, .

Steve Jobs

I will end with a story few people know. What you probably do know is that Jobs wooed Pepsi Cola boss John Sculley to Apple in 1985. He wanted him to do to IBM the unthinkable thing that he had done to Coca Cola: beaten the brand leader into second place. He won Scully with the famous phrase, “do you want to sell fizzy sugar water for the rest of your life or do you want to change the world?” Sculley came and a few months later, astoundingly, their disagreements came to such a head that Jobs found himself fired from the company he had founded.

You probably knew that. You probably knew he went on to found his own computer company NeXt – a black cube computer that ran a UNIX operating system, revealing Jobs’s already growing conviction that the professionally popular UNIX, so suited to networking, should be the future kernel (if you’ll forgive the geeky pun) of any sensible consumer oriented operating system.

It was on a NeXt machine that the British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee wrote the protocols, procedures and languages that added up to the World Wide Web, http, HTML, browsers, hyperlinks … in other words the way forward for the internet, the most significant computer program ever written was done on a NeXt computer. That is a feather in Steve Jobs’s cap that is not often celebrated and indeed one that he himself signally failed to know about for some time.

After having written www, Berners-Lee noticed that there was a NeXt developers conference in Paris at which Steve Jobs would be present. Tim packed up his black cube, complete with the optical disk which contained arguably the most influential and important code ever written and took a train to Paris.

It was a large and popular conference and Tim was pretty much at the end of the line of black NeXt boxes. Each developer showed Steve Jobs their new word-processor, graphic programme and utility and he slowly walked along the line, like the judge at a flower show nodding his approval or frowning his distaste. Just before he reached Tim and the world wide web at the end of row, an aide nudged Jobs and told him that they should go or he’d be in danger of missing his flight back to America. So Steve turned away and never saw the programme that Tim Berners-Lee had written which would change the world as completely as Gutenberg had in 1450. It was a meeting of the two most influential men of their time that never took place. Chatting to the newly knighted Sir Tim a few years ago he told me that he had still never actually met Steve Jobs.

(Source: azspot)

Tagged: apple, tech, stevejobs, .