Disruptive innovation: 10 years later

It’s been ten years since Clayton Christensen published his seminal business book “The Innovator’s Dilemma”. I had the good fortune to read it three years ago.

Newsweek sat down with Christensen this week to answer some lingering questions, discuss how the word “disruptive” has been used and abused over the years, and probe his predictions on whether Apple iPhone would disrupt the wireless market.

Apple is leaping ahead on the sustaining curve [by building a better phone]. But the prediction of the theory would be that Apple won’t succeed with the iPhone. They’ve launched an innovation that the existing players in the industry are heavily motivated to beat: It’s not [truly] disruptive.

Download Dezza’s Mac screensaver

835125e7-9315-44bc-aefe-5f67a2c50d6aA couple years ago while living in China and Hong Kong, my friend Dezza got bitten by the photo bug and began documenting his travels.

He’s gotten pretty good at it – his photos have been featured in JPG Magazine, among other publications – and now a collage of his photos is now available as an official Mac OSX screensaver on Apple.com.

Called People of the Middle Kingdom 1.0, it features, and I quote: “beautiful, positive, and thought provoking photography shot in China.”  Nice going, Dezza!

I spy with my little eye on Google Maps

I know, you were just minding your own business. You were probably pensive and didn’t notice that tinted van driving past you that day. Even if you did, you definitely wouldn’t have guessed all those funny black boxes on its roof where rapid-fire panoramic cameras.  And I bet you didn’t realize that, several months later, the population of the Internet – that’s some 6.5 billion people – can now look at you, and we’re blogging and caching and archiving and indexing you for all of eternity:


Maybe you got lost and you wanted to ask for directions. Or your car broke down and you want to use a phone. Or it’s for a friend…yeah that’s it, a friend. Or maybe hey, sometimes a Daniel Steele novel just doesn’t cut the mustard.

Google Street View currently covers a handful of American cities. So for the watched, it’s become a bit of a privacy concern. For those of us who live outside these cities, it’s simply been good fun watching you guys.

Don’t worry, we won’t tell.

Beware, our words are backed by cheese curds!

image The work of Bitcasters and 2KGames in partnership with the Canadian Historical Society and Historical Canada comes this very unique way of learning Canadian colonial history – HistoriCanada, a free expansion pack for the PC game Civilization III: Conquests. They’re also donating 100,000 copies of Civ3 to high schools.

The game starts off in 1525, nine years before Cartier first lands in what is now known as Quebec. Setting the stage for the upcoming cultural collision, players get to play one of the seven First Nations, England or France, to fight for territory.

In this way, players can create their own alternate virtual history, based on real geographical and culture variables. Maybe a history where the Europeans are driven from the New World, or where the French becomes the dominant society. It’s a cool way to teach students that history is more than dates and places and people with funny hats. [via Shacknews]

Branding in the digital age

Globe and Mail today talking about how the Internet can cut both ways for brand management and discusses how public relations can mitigate issues:

First, actively monitor the messages out there. It is an extension of something marketing experts have been advising for years: Listen.

Second, use the observed ideas and messages to inform your continuing marketing and communications plan and actions. You can react indirectly to negative or incorrect messaging.

Third, be careful about where, how, and when you take action. Consider the size and reach of these online forums.

There are still many companies out there who believe they control the medium and message. They are wrong. Any free blog, online video or social networking site can make the citizens’ voices louder than any billion dollar TV spot.

Goodbye hello.jpg

The Internet gross-out phenom that is the Goatse.cx domain is now for sale. If you’re curious as to what Goatse actually is, for all that is sacred and holy, don’t look at the actual site, please read the Wikipedia article instead.

To be honest, this came as a surprise. Goatse has been a source of humour and horror for net.citizens for at least 7 years. Turns out it’s a domain run by a sysadmin guy in LA. To be honest, I always thought Goatse had no real owner. Its legend is so great I thought it was hosted and powered by the Internet gods as some sort of public service.

The real O.G.

This O.G. is so original, he uses lassos and fireballs rather than Uzis. I am of course talking about the Opera Ghost, aka the _Phantom of the Opera_.

As musical plays go, _Phantom_ has pretty rudimentary plotting and a fairly formulaic musical score, and its story may seem incomplete to those who haven’t read the novel by Leroux. However, its special effects, magical illusions and pyrotechnics remain top notch. The Phantom was a fixture in mainstream Toronto theatre in the 1990s, and it was the first professional production I ever saw. Last Wednesday afternoon, I came back to watch it a second time, and Silverlotus saw it for the first time.

It’s been ten years, but I could tell the differences. There are the obvious variations between watching a matinee vs. the night show I remember; for example, some parts were hammed up for laughs (Hannibal struggling to climb up the elephant) to the delight of the schoolkids.

Of interest is also how the role of the brilliant but disfigured Phantom was played. In the 1990s, Colm Wilkinson played the Opera Ghost with a smooth, melodic malevolence while today’s O.G., John Cudia, interpreted the man as one barely sane and seething with rage, with his motions jerky and lines shouted rather than sung.

By the way, does anyone ever root for the Phantom over Raoul? While ugly and homicidal, the Phantom is a brilliant musician, illusionist and inventor. Raoul is just a rich pretty boy who, in the climatic scene, heroically sings, “I would make her lie to you, to save me.” I’m just saying.