Scenarios and directional trending

One of the aspects of CI that constantly surprises me is the schism between future-based scenario CI and tactical sales-focused CI.

I’ve long been a fan of the latter – utilising information gathered to help businesses stay in business and win more today than they did yesterday.  I’m also a keen reader of futurists such as David Brin, Eric Garland & Frank Spencer, who help strip away market noise and elevate the underlying trends that will impact business/consumerism/life.

With the untimely passing of Steve Jobs, it’s given me some pause as to what’s more impactful:

  • Picking the right set of future scenarios and business/consumer trends to accelerate growth and stay relevent.
  • Actively competing “today”. Building customer share and a revenue base to accomplish the same goals as above.

Having the luxury to go after the first point relies heavily on a clear vision and a “big-bet” on that future scenario. In a similar light, building a successful business as outlined in the second point can provide cash and time to decide how to approach new market challenges.

Obviously, having a combination of both is vital in creating long-term competitive advantage. The trick is not taking the foot off the sales accelerator as senior management outline these futures to customers. This is compounded by the risk of choosing the “wrong” future.

With that in mind, I’ve linked a few videos below that highlight what a number of different technology companies see in their future. It’s a great source of leveling information. Pulling out the fundamental trends that are central to all of them, namely:

  • Data sharing
  • Constant connection
  • Continual blurring of work/life
  • Privacy
  • Devices and interaction

Lots of positive reinforcement, but read between the lines and there’s room to question what aspects of these “futures” are going to create competitive advantage vs just being noise or at worse – harmful to your customers experience with your product or brand (see the last video)!


Real Competition

Forget what we do. Sure competing for market share and dollars is all well and good, but THIS is competition.

Well apparently Michael Phelps is competition personified, but YouTube and the muppets who control the Olympic media policy have a nice handle on the word monopoly. Anyway, can’t embed any videos and any “home made” versions are being taken down. When will these people get it.  Well for those still interested, here is his swim 🙂

I don’t care if he’s American, I don’t care that there are no Aussie’s within cooee of him this year. Phelps is competition personified.


Congratulations Ray Wang!

Wanted to congratulate Ray Wang on being named the IIAR (Institute of Industry Analyst Relations) Analyst of the Year.

I had the pleasure of meeting Ray at the 2006 Oracle Open World event in Mumbai. From that short interaction I can definitely vouch for his insight and tenacity in getting to the core of what many IT users want to know from Vendors. Being a nice guy to boot sure helps too.  If you haven’t read some of Ray’s research, take a look at his bio page on


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Competitive Intelligence Group at Ning

Visit Competitive Intelligence

It was with a lot of excitement that I saw Ning being used for a new Competitive Intelligence Group. It looks like the site was set up after SCIP 2008, but there are certainly some great conversations going on there. If you’re a CI professional, it would be well worth the couple of minutes to look and see what type of content and people is available there to connect with.

Click on the link to visit the Group.

Podcasts – free access to some awesome minds

So having drunk a little too much of the corporate cool-aid, I caved-in and bought myself a new MP3 player, the Zune 8, when I was in Redmond last. I’ve been listening to podcasts for a while now and I’ve got to say, they really are the best source of rich business information. My commute is about 40 minutes so having a couple of these ready to go breaks the regular monotony of the MRT here in Singapore.

Here’s a few of the podcasts and vodcasts that I  listen to. Would love to know if I’m missing any fantastic ones.  August Jackson has a great podcast on CI which is definitely worth a listen to, sounds like he’s been busy too!


Podcast Website Subscribe Link
Knowledge@ Wharton  Link Subscribe to podcast
Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Link Subscribe to podcast
Gartner Voice Link Subscribe to podcast
IBM Institute for Business Value Link Subscribe to podcast
iinovate Link Subscribe to podcast
Manager Tools Link Subscribe to podcast
TED Link Subscribe to vodcast


Peak Email

My one-time partner in crime and fellow Oracle Collaboration Suite lover, Matthew Moore, has summarized 20 or so years of communications development in the IT industry and posted it for all to share.

I’m biased, but Matt’s bang on the money with this one. Email definitely needs to know it’s place in the whole communications scheme of things. It’s just one medium, one conduit for receiving and managing information. Email is elegant with some things and not for others.

One thing I would love Matt to add to this view is the both the device and application side that all of this gets delivered in. I’d personally love to try Twitter as a medium, but I don’t want to have to hop around to five different sites and have a bunch of separate data streams adding to my information glut.



Will someone come up with an uber communications suite that allows me to “send as” but compose and store in a single view. I’m off to a Gartner event today and I’d love to take the morning’s Twittering and save it as an email and then send to my stakeholder – seamlessly – compose and post to Twitter (for those looking at the feed live) and then take that feed and shoot it in an email at the end of the day. Ohh and while I was at it, post to this blog at the same time (send as check box – Blog, Twitter, Email).

Now that would rock my world.

Bob Hayward joins Springboard Research

Little tidbit of news here.

Bob Hayward, Ex-Gartner Senior Vice President and Research Fellow, Asia-Pacific and Japan (and APAC employee #1) has joined Springboard Research.

Bob will be joining as Research Vice President.

I’ve had the pleasure of working at Gartner while Bob was at the helm of the research unit in APAC and I have to say his approach and insight into the IT market in this region are world class. If you’ve ever had the opportunity of seeing one of Bob’s presentations on future IT trends and what that means for countries and vendors in Asia Pacific you’ll know that he’s an infectious person and certainly makes you feel like you’re in the middle of an incredible time of opportunity.

Bob will be joining my former manager (if only for a couple of months) Dane Anderson, who started Springboard Research as an alternative to Gartner DQ and IDC. Springboard utilises technology more in the the distribution and gathering of data and has focused on reducing the time between collection, insight and ultimately recommendations to clients through the use of these continuous research products.

It will be exciting to see what this combination will come up with in the coming months.