Jiva Technology

Questions are the answer

Seems like an odd thing to say, but its very pertinent to us at the moment. We have a new product with lots of potential in an exciting new field (the social web), plus people with bags of experience, so its tempting to sit in the office and think we have all the answers. But of course, the answers are out there with the customers, in the market, not in here with the comfortable office chairs.

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I’m reading Steven Gary Blank’s book, the Four Steps to Epiphany, at the moment. One of the big points he makes in his book is that too many companies have a fixed trajectory: we know what’s right, all we have to do is get people to realize it. In his mind, the winners and losers can be separated by their willingness to listen and adapt; getting it right with a new product in a new field is an iterative process, not a ‘tah-dah’ moment. From a personal perspective, I’ve always liked the analogy of the glider vs the 747 for launching a new product. You might want to programme in the route before you take off, just like you would in a commercial 747, but its more likely you’ll follow the path of the glider and go where the thermals are just to stay aloft. The good thing is its more fun that way and you never know, you might end up in a better place.

Opening up the Short Tail of a…

Opening up the Short Tail of advice by prying up the Coasean floorboards!

The Merits of Careful Contemplation

In the realm of communication, we live in the age of short is sweet. Texting, twitter and television all get the message across as quickly and concisely as possible. And we’re sort of guilty of that here too: our flagship product is all about finding short bursts of advice from a specialist of your choice, in real time. Time to stop and stare? Okay, I’ve got a spare 30 seconds.

Its only when you come across a piece of really high quality work that you’re reminded that some subjects defy 140 characters and real time. Our CTO, Pete, has just pointed me to the Digital Youth Project, a study by anthropologists at the University of Southern California and backed by the MacArthur Foundation. They’ve spent three years looking in detail at the online habits of 800 youths and young adults and observed over 5,000 hours of online activity and produced a really coherent report that every parent and educator should take a look at. I won’t spoil it for you by telling you their conclusions, but if you want to know what our kids are up to and why, take a look. Its a compelling example of the value of serious and lengthy study of important issues.

Aardvark Mulls Over A $30+ Mil…

Aardvark Mulls Over A $30+ Million Offer From Google http://tr.im/GT7o /by @techcrunch via @jukesie

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