Why Google Chrome Matters…

Sep 10, 2008

Not because it’s faster, though apparently it is. Not because of the features, which have gotten both good and bad reviews. Not because of its design, whether you like it or not.

It matters because it has the potential to redefine what a browser is. It has already ignited so many comments on the idea of a browser as an OS.

John Siracusa from Arstechnica said it best:

My enthusiasm at this point is not so much about the product as it is about the methodology. Google didn’t set out to merely improve upon existing web browsers. Instead, it attempted to rebuild the web browser from first principles.

Providing Better Performance Isn’t Enough

Jun 20, 2008

Seth Godin posted some thoughts on the Amazon Kindle. Great ideas, as always, from him.

Here’s the part of the post that really struck me, though.

Word processing didn’t work because it was typing but a little
cheaper. It worked because it was better than typing. Email didn’t work
because it was mail but a little faster. It worked because it was
fundamentally better than snail mail…

blog it

It’s not about improving performance. Just an improved performance will not be enough to make people want to use your product.

It’s about making something that’s fundamentally different. Something that’s better, that redefines what the task is. As Guy Kawasaki puts it, it’s about jumping to the next curve.

Merely providing better performance isn’t enough.

Speed of Recovery

Mar 22, 2008

I haven’t written about soccer or Arsenal in a while, and with the big match against Chelsea coming up, I thought I’d do so. One thing that’s been said a lot about Arsenal is the pace of the defense. Because Arsenal’s defenders are so fast (among the fastest in the league), the team is able to play higher up the pitch, putting more pressure on their opposition, and supporting the attack more. Basically, the speed of the defenders allow them to do a lot more going forward, knowing that even if they get caught out, they are likely to be able to chase back.

So the question I have for you today is, how fast can you respond to setbacks? If you’re able to respond and adapt quickly, the rewards will be great, in my opinion. It allows you to innovate more bravely, to try more things and take more risks.

A pretty obvious lesson, perhaps, but one that needs to be addressed. Are you able to adapt and respond to setbacks quickly? If not, how can you improve in that area?

Curiosity in School

Jan 27, 2008

Following up on my last two posts on curiosity and mystery, I want to pose the question about schools. In schools, we are being taught information – knowledge, facts, theories, etc. But students are rarely taught to question. We’re taught to answer questions, instead of ask them.

But in today’s world, with the internet and all, the information and facts and theories can be found easily, can’t it? Just a quick search on Google. What we need, as Seth Godin pointed out, is curiosity. Knowing information, and being able to apply it to solve problems is all well and good. And yes, we need a certain amount of that. But in order to push towards the future, we need to encourage our students to question more, don’t we? We need to learn to question things that are commonly accepted. We need people who aren’t afraid to go against societies limits, and push the boundaries of innovation.

And that’s one area where schools fail, I think. In school, we are taught to follow the rules. We are taught to use the “correct” answers, instead of questioning whether the answers are indeed correct. And if we do question, or if we go against the commonly accepted ‘correct’ answers, we get punished for it (graded poorly, etc).

That’s no way to encourage curiosity, is it?