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The fascinating world of technology business (Header photo by Nuno Fernandes)

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Technology business

Hobbyists to main-stream: PC crossing the chasm


Photo by Colin Park
Photo by Colin Park

Crossing the Chasm, written by Geoffrey Moore and considered to be one of Forbes’ 20 most influential business books, talks about the challenges that technology marketers face in bringing new technology to wide-spread acceptance. It’s relatively easier to get new technology in the hands of innovators and early adopters. The hardest part is crossing the chasm between early adopters and early majority. Successfully crossing the chasm means profitable commercialisation at scale, while failing to cross means that the technology will pass as immemorable invention. Continue reading “Hobbyists to main-stream: PC crossing the chasm”

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Profitability of world’s largest e-commerce sites


Largest e-commerceE-commerce has come a long way since its birth in late 1990s. Right now, there are so many e-commerce sites worldwide. In this article, we have a look at 9 of the largest e-commerce sites in the world. All 9 are publicly-listed companies, which made it easier to dig into their financial statements and analyse it. Continue reading “Profitability of world’s largest e-commerce sites”

Crossing the chasm: e-commerce in Indonesia


Photo by Eric Jones
Photo by Eric Jones

Crossing the Chasm, written by Geoffrey Moore and considered to be one of Forbes’ 20 most influential business books, talks about the challenges that technology marketers face in bringing new technology to wide-spread acceptance. It’s relatively easier to get new technology in the hands of innovators and early adopters. The hardest part is crossing the chasm between early adopters and early majority. Successfully crossing the chasm means profitable commercialisation at scale, while failing to cross means that the technology will pass as immemorable invention. Recent examples abound for the failure to cross the chasm, including tablet PC based on Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, Wi-Fi network subscription, and mobile web site converter.
Continue reading “Crossing the chasm: e-commerce in Indonesia”

.com colliding web 2.0: Monster.com and LinkedIn


Photo by Myles Davidson
Photo by Myles Davidson

Before the advent of internet, employers and job seekers communicated through job advertisements in newspaper and certain other printed media as well as bulletin boards, and, of course, through networking. Sometimes, the employer will engage head hunters or recruiting agencies to help them search for candidates. To try to get enough potential candidates know about the job vacancy, they must advertise in multiple newspapers. But they have to choose relevant newspapers to advertise in. The value of each newspaper is in their circulation, that is, how many people buy and read that particular newspaper. Some has higher circulation than others. On top of that, different newspaper may attract different demography. Some has broad circulation to broad demography, but some has smaller circulation in very focused demography such as business people, sports, etc. Upon reading the advertisement, interested candidates would then send their resume to the employer, usually via mail Continue reading “.com colliding web 2.0: Monster.com and LinkedIn”

The race for mobile internet access


.com bubble

Nokia 9000 Communicator (left). Photo by krystof.k
Nokia 9000 Communicator (left). Photo by krystof.k

At the height of .com bubble in late 1990s, decent internet access was pretty much only available on fixed locations like home or office. 56 kbps internet access through modem connected to telephone line was becoming common at homes after their introduction in 1997. Developed countries even began seeing more expensive broad-band internet access provider like @Home Network in America & Australia starting in 1996, offering speed of around 2 Mbps by leveraging cable television network or extensive fiber optic network owned by telecommunication carriers. For truly mobile internet access, only very few smart phones have GSM modem built-in, and this was operating at around 9.6 kbps, way slower than internet access at homes, and unacceptable to access most web sites. One such smart phone was Nokia 9000 Communicator.

Another obvious problem for mobile internet access was the smaller screen on smart phones. To remedy the situation, a different internet access protocol for mobile devices was being promoted starting in 1999, called Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). However, this presented another challenge as the WAP content had to be re-written in Wireless Mark-up Language (WML), not in usual Hyper-Text Mark-up Language (HTML). As a result, for the very few who were browsing internet in their mobile devices at that time, majority of sites were simply not optimised for mobile viewing. This would continue on for several years. Continue reading “The race for mobile internet access”

Changing fortunes of electronic gaming platforms


1980s: rise of console & PC gaming

Atari‘s Visual Computer System (VCS) launch in late 1970s marked the beginning of the electronic multi-game platform. Its 2 most famous games were porting of successful Japanese arcade games: Taito‘s Space Invaders and Namco‘s Pac Man. Space Invaders gave players the thrill of shooting invading aliens before they come too close, all the while avoiding the shots coming down from the aliens too. Pac-Man gives the players chance to choose their own path in a maze to avoid lurking ghosts while running for the super power pill that gives the Pac-Man the ability to devour the ghosts. They were good fun. The ability to play these games in the comfort of your own home resulted in millions of unit sales for the gaming console as well as its hit games.

Continue reading “Changing fortunes of electronic gaming platforms”

How people made money off new technology: Wi-Fi


Why it was invented

Early computer terminal: TeleType's model 33 from 1969. Photo by Jud McCraine
Early computer terminal: TeleType’s model 33 from 1969. Photo by Jud McCraine

Although used only to compute stuffs for academic or military institutions in 1940s (eg ENIAC), businesses started to realise that they can use computers to manage their operation as early as in 1950s (eg LEO I). As computers became more powerful, its computing power could be made available to multiple staffs at the same time starting in 1960s. This was made possible through the use of terminals linked to the computer via early communication technology like dial-up or serial communication. In 1981, IBM entry into the Personal Computer (PC) market lent credibility to the then rising industry, and IBM PC compatible units started to deluge the market from 1982 onward with the likes of Compaq. With wide-spread acceptance of business productivity tools running on IBM PC compatible like Lotus 1-2-3 (released in 1983), companies started using PCs more and more too. Then entered Novell NetWare in 1983 with the promise of connecting a company’s PCs together. Out of so many ways of sending signals between computers, Ethernet ultimately became very dominant by end of 1980s. Local Area Network (LAN) was born. Continue reading “How people made money off new technology: Wi-Fi”

Disruptive technology in action: tablet computing


Clayton Christensen introduced the concept of disruptive technology in his book titled The Innovator’s Dillema, which became one of Forbes’ 20 most influential business books. In essence, disruptive technology is an initially inferior technology that grows to displace the incumbent technologies and causes complete re-shuffling of the industry landscape around the incumbent technologies. It’s given that disruptive technologies are not one-time phenomenon. It happens all the time. And it’s happening now. And it will happen in the future. Right now, one such disruptive technology is tablet computing Continue reading “Disruptive technology in action: tablet computing”

Value of distributors to society


Photo by Svilen Milev
Photo by Svilen Milev

For distant observers, all that distributors do seems to be just buying at lower price and re-selling at higher price without adding much value to society. However, when examining the distribution business, we can uncover more of their not-so-apparent values and the important roles they play in global economy Continue reading “Value of distributors to society”

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