It was a great event from the many one that I had attended. Lasting 6 hours, maybe 5 if you take away the food, Unconference 2008 prove to be a success from what I see. Many new faces and the exposure for the startups pitching there were good.
To kick off the event was a keynote address by Daniel Ingitaraj, Director, Developer & Platform Evangelism, Microsoft. It was a surprisingly good presentation, given the number of Microsoft-employee presentation that I had heard before. Daniel did a good job giving good input about the topic of the keynote, Innovation: Persevere or Perish.
Firstly he address sustained growth. Sustained growth is about how broadly the business is defined and how to gauge customer needs. Giving example like Shell, where the company redefined itself from a oil company business to a player in the energy business. Adding to this, he mentioned that when there are market and technological changes, new companies appears while old established companies may disappear.
Daniel then went into the main dicussion where he define 3 important areas for innovation.
User experience if getting more and more important from a business point of view as consumers are paying more attention to user experience. How they feel, touch and interactive with the product, given the same functional use of the product or service. CIting coffee, Starbucks have redefined how coffee is consumed with latte, mocha, double shot, long black and the many different names you can think of. It is user experience.
For example. the first version of Microsoft word starts with 20 menus and now the latest version have 200+ over menus and menus in sub-menus. User experience have to change, hence the introduction of contextual ribbon menu in the newest Winword.
Moving on, was the comparision between watching the Olympics on television vs on the web. Interactivity was the main feature in this comparision and the web offers a richer and much more selection for the consumers.Â Daniel demostrated a replay feature of key moments in a basketball game and the replay function was abused to make Gary Payton throw the same alley hoop to I dunno who for a dunk 4 times! Of course there were more to it, with small pockets of windows that can be configured to show different channels on the screen. Think watching track in full screen, with small windows by the edge of the screen, each showing other concurrent sporting events.
Advertisement: certain things are constant even when user experiences improves
We still cannot get rid of those darn advertisment when it comes on.
Collarboration was a not so well point that Dainel demostrated. It was a product demo of RoundTable. A live conferencing product that have 360 coverage, and a smart tracking software that can identify who is speaking and show the speaker face to the parties on both side.
A product demo, some might yawn, but was bearable as it was short.
The cloud effect was the last item on Daniel’s list and he goes to say that storage and computing are getting cheaper and more accessible from a price point of view. Software hence can become a service and it is essential that business define how software plays a part in business value generation.
Not all software are considered equal. Some software gives you the competitive advantage while others are just required to run the business. Email, accounting are example of software that are just required to run the business.
And he defined software between DIY software and the required by business. DIY software gives business the competitive advantage while the other software are just functional for the business.
But for the shrewd listener, this is a for Microsoft’s software as a service pitch.
To round off his presentation, Daniel talks about the type of innovation
Note that for the 3 points above, feel free to interchange product with service.
And the final gem from him:
Breakthroughs (change) + Moment of Reality ( Understand user needs) = Innovation.
ThinkingNectar talks about the interest of Chin Yong, a PHP/Python/Web developer residing in Singapore. Life, society, and codes should entails most of what goes between the ears of this coffee drinker.
What makes you think?