Good points, Elizabeth. Going back even further, Apple got its technology from Xerox. There are arguments about whether Steve Jobs actually "stole" the idea of a mouse and a graphic-user interface. But at any rate, Apple was the executer, not the innovator.
Indeed, Rob, execution is key. Although I think it was Microsoft way back when that taught us that lesson, which I think went a bit pear shaped during the dotcom time. Apple came out with the PC and a great OS idea and Microsoft commoditized it and made it ubiquitous. (I'm talking about Windows, of course.) I think now there is an idea that innovative technologies must prove themselves first rather than just be a great idea.
Yes, I think we're in a healthier environment now when it comes to Internet businesses. Execution -- rather than a great idea -- seems to be the critical factor now. Google search was not a new idea, nor was Facebook, nor most of Apple's products. It was execution that took these companies to the top.
Interesting perspective, Rob, but I think you're right. During that time (the dotcom boom), it seems like a lot of people were more fascinated by the technology itself, geeking out on mere innovation, rather than thinking about the marketing and practicle aspect of it. Things have changed a bit now, as you noted.
I agree, Elizabeth, the technology is now there for the internet of things. Ultimately, though, it will gain traction in as much as it solves problems or provides pleasure. During the dot com boom, these two considerations were not in the forefront.
Yes, Rob, I was writing about technology back then as well and remember execs from Microsoft and the now-defunct Sun Microsystems (part of Oracle now) blathering on about this. It took some time but it finally does seem to becoming a reality. I always knew it was possible but as usual, it just takes technology some time to get there.
I remember predictions of this type of technology 15 years ago during the dot com boom. The go-go folks of the early Internet days saw a home where everything was connected. They saw a fridge where sensors could read expiration dates and place milk on the list of groceries needed through the web-based grocery service.
This is quite an interesting offering to enable this so-called "Internet of Things" and help it go beyond mere industry hype. By building this mini-OS directly to devices as well as eventually providing a cloud-computing back-end for the devices, Thingsquare is trying to provide a key enabling technology to make this vision more of a technology reality.
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Cas Smith is a biological engineer at Terrapin Bright Green, a consulting firm that specializes in green and sustainable design. At the core of his work is to explore how biomimicry can inform sustainable design. He discussed biomimicry and its implications for design and solving some of the world’s sustainability issues in an interview with Design News.
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