Saturday, September 01, 2007

Innovation…

2007 is a year of innovation for all of us at Avenuea A Razorfish. Not to say we are not innovative enough, but in 2007, we are going to rock the market place. I believe that, when you pull together the brightest of brains from around the world, you can do whatever you want in a given year. Since my meeting with my boss, I am busy thinking of a brand new innovative idea that our team can pull-off before anyone else in the company...

What is innovation?
As it is defined in most popular dictionaries innovation is simply an act of introducing something new. The idea of innovation is perceived by consumers as something totally new, and something that they haven’t seen, heard or thought-of. An innovation like a combustion engine can last for almost a century without any major modification while an innovation like NetFlix online service is no more considered a brilliant feet. Service sector innovations are short lived but nevertheless they are more profit making and attention grabbing. You would disagree on my opinion only if you have not heard of youtube, myspace, joost or facebook.

How do we get there?
One of the earliest ideologies of innovation was “It cannot be forced, it just happens”. I believe that, an innovative idea not only comes by chance, but can be invited in a carefully pampered and thought-out healthy working environment. Companies can provide infrastructure, model, resources and framework for people to develop innovative ideas.

Provide Framework
Innovative ideas come to people who are innovation aware. Awareness of popular thinking and day-to-day internet age innovations put seed of creative mash-ups in technology savvy working force to define innovative idea for own businesses. Companies shall provide employees with access to outside world during working hours even though some might feel it is improper use of company time. Google provides its employees certain amount of time per week to be spent on research of choice. Innovation breaths motivation and constructive criticism: ideas of employee shall be listened to too, talked about and criticized to get the best.

Idea/Conception… to Production Process
Numerous ideas go off everyday in your employee’s brains. Many of these original ideas come back to them when they see someone else doing the exact same thing and creating a buzz-word in market. One of the biggest challenges for employers today is to transfer these original ideas from their brains to a paper, email, whiteboard, or to any other format that can be digitally saved and shared with larger audiences.

To facilitate an innovative environment, companies need process. Every company can have its own process but here is a simple one I recommend.

  • Create an “Innovation Groomers” team that is responsible for grooming innovative ides.
  • Companies shall formalize a process for sending ideas to a centralized email inbox.
  • Every week these emails shall be read anonymously in Innovation Groomers forum. The Groomers’ forum shall listen to each idea and criticize it.
  • At the end of every two weeks the, Groomers shall hand pick one idea that they can put to work.
  • After an idea is picked employees shall be selected to work on making this idea a reality. This team is the “Innovation Builders”.
  • Innovation Builders shall put Proof-of-Concept together and provide feedback on feasibility and ability of company to execute the idea.
  • After every two weeks, the Innovation Builders (There will be numerous builder teams) shall provide input to the Groomers and other company executives.
  • You will come out with an innovative idea! But don’t stop, keep the wheel going and keep building a pool of talented people who can take your business to the next level.

I believe that providing the above framework can make innovation happen and I am going to make it happen as part of my 2007 company goal!

Salim Hemdani

Monday, April 02, 2007

Now Calling All Presentation Layer Architects!

Web 2.0 has changed the way we think about Internet browsing and approach Hyper Text Mark-up Language (HTML). A page viewed in most common browsers today, even without AJAX can be carefully-crafted-attention-grabber-piece-of-interactive imagination. If your page has nothing dynamic (not those pesky little advertisements), you better not dream of customer conversion online. Technology such as Flash was predominant market force for dynamic web experience for long time but due to its limitations around bulky file size and non-SEO site, Flash has become a just a tool to deliver tutorials, small widgets, video, short movie etc. Dynamic HTML is around for long time but war between browsers never allowed market to harness true power. Today time has changed and it’s demanding; new generation of web browsers as well as people of web 2.0 generation have changed the way we think of web page and HTML.

Today, HTML page is like a playing field; a field full of events that occur at a rapid rate sometimes as expected and sometimes completely random. Every event can be as useful as customer conversion if utilized in right fashion. HTML snippets interacting in dynamic experience model, tracking events, analyzing and optimizing in real time is not the future we are waiting for, it’s the present we are living in.

With much pressure on the User Experience team to create dynamic, usable, and interactive experience models there is a subtle need for an architect to articulate technical aspects of solution on browser side. The role of the Presentation Layer Architect is to create the blueprint or model for page dynamics. Presentation Layer Architects may not care how backend systems work but care for data that backend system can provide carefully crafting a design that is efficient but dynamic. Sprite, Animation, Drag and Drop, DOM Management, Events Tracking, Connection Management, Web Remoting etc are expertise without which any dynamic page would not scale to the needs of web 2.0 in future.

Presentation Layer Architect can be viewed as an overhead for a lean development project with business focused solely on delivery but it’s only the right Presentation Layer Architect who can create designs for page level interaction model which will be efficient, dynamic, sustainable and scalable for future development of same web real estate with new possibilities that web 2.0 promises.

Salim Hemdani

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Remember Tom Cruise in Minority Report...

Remember when Tom Cruise interacted with a futuristic computer display in Minority Report?
Well then check this out:



Surprising... isn't it? What do you think?

Salim Hemdani

Friday, February 16, 2007

Five minute lesson in Web 2.0

Ideas... Just keep thinking.

Salim Hemdani
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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Apple Phone - Phil Schiller manipulating and describing The IPhone on CBS

iPhone buzz is as big as if Steve Jobs has found a cure for AIDS. You may resent the hype behind iPhone, but see this video and you will be simply AMAZED !

-- Salim Hemdani
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Apple Phone - IPhone - Phil Schiller describing The new device on CBS.

iPhone combines three products — a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod with touch controls, and a breakthrough Internet communications device with desktop-class email, web browsing, maps, and searching — into one small and lightweight handheld device. iPhone also introduces an entirely new user interface based on a large multi-touch display and pioneering new software, letting you control everything with just your fingers. So it ushers in an era of software power and sophistication never before seen in a mobile device, completely redefining what you can do on a mobile phone.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Leveraging India As India Stands Up

Google TechTalks
May 25, 2006

Ashok Jhunjhunwala
Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala is Professor of the Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, India and was department Chair till recently. He received his B.Tech degree from IIT, Kanpur, and his MS and PhD degrees from the University of Maine. From 1979 to 1981, he was with Washington State University as Assistant Professor. Since 1981, he has been teaching at IIT, Madras.

ABSTRACT
Dr Ashok Jhunjhunwala has significant expertise in incubating technology to make a difference for the masses in India.

Dr. Jhunjhunwala leads the Telecommunications and Computer Networks group (TeNeT) at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras. This group is closely working with industry in the development of a number of Telecommunications and Computer Network Systems. TeNeT group has incubated a number of technology companies which work in partnership with TeNeT group to develop world class Telecom Access products.

The group has also incubated a company which aims to install and operate telephone and Internet in every village in India. Come here what he as to share from his vast experiences in this field.