Email and web postings are notorious for causing misunderstanding � even amongst very good friends. I�m sure that all of the comments were made with good intentions and not meant to offend anyone.
Actually � I have way too many non-paying jobs keeping me busy around the clock.
Here is my 2 cents on tech success ...
Mainstream success and "success in true innovations" are often running on two conflicting tracks.
Mainstream success, especially when applied to the modern IT world, depends a lot on:
- excellent marketing of the concept/product
- simplicity of solution � so the customer/developer will have confidence that they know what they�re buying/adopting immediately; people don't buy what they don't understand!
While mainstream success helps a lot of companies to make lots of short/mid-term profit, it is success in true innovation that moves the state of the art forward - and often benefits the world.
Some examples for those old enough to remember:
(1) Early Day Programming Languages�
the mainstream success of COBOL as a programming language � verbose and easy to understand English-like syntax
while success in true innovation continues to occur in other �research languages� such as Pascal and C, etc � considerably harder to learn and takes weeks or months to become fluent
(2) Early Days Networking
the early day mainstream success of BBS and USENET based relay connection using acoustic modems � easy to use and understand, connect up and download news and email
while success in true innovation continues to occur in TCP/IP � a very complex protocol stack that has far reaching potential � considerably harder to learn and takes weeks or months of commitment
The mainstream success of SOAP and dot NET, etc � a verbose and easy to understand text based visual tunneling protocol, an easy to understand client/server model of operation, leading to the re-invention of modernized mainframe timesharing services offered by a megalith
While success in true innovation continues to occur in technologies such as Jini and JXTA - distributed networking substrates that enable new category of applications -something that takes weeks if not months of commitment just to figure out what it is!
In every example above, there are repeat (and often invisible) consumers for the �true innovation� category of technology � one being embedded equipment manufacturer where all the advance technologies are �inside the box�, enabling them to blow away the competition; and another repeat consumer is the military, they just need to �stay one step ahead of the game�, enabling them to blow� well�.. enough said!
<boiler plate follows�>
Thank you, everyone, for a fascinating discussion this week and posting excellent questions. Congrats to the lucky winners.
Anybody who is interested in JXTA should definitely check out the open source site where everything is happening. http://www.jxta.org/
It is where I hang out. There are many commercial companies that are profiled there, complete with links to their websites and description of their products and services.
Of course, my book should also help you to get a quick start on it .