Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Intersection of Business and Technology

At the intersection of business and technology, people often get very excited or tense, optimistic or worried, challenged (in a good way) or frustrated. Frans Johansson in The Medici Effect talks about intersection innovation - a place where two fields collide and divert along a new innovative path. The collision between business and technology has been a slow moving one over a very long period of time, but companies, are starting to realize, what many or most entrepreneurs already know - the endless number of new paths that can be taken when you start looking at these two areas together instead of separately. We are now at a point where one field can rarely exist for any length of time without the other.

John Hagel has now joined Deloitte & Touche USA LLP and will be heading up a new research center to focus on the business issues created at this intersection.

He poses a number of intriguing questions around this topic of business/technology interesection here with some thought provoking commentary that is worth a look by any reader interested in the topic of this blog.


  • What if there is no equilibrium?
  • Can the firm survive as the action flows to the edges?
  • Are all ecosystems created equal?
  • If the world is so flat, why are spikes becoming more prominent?
  • Is adaptation all there is?
  • Can we escape the Red Queen effect?
  • As “L curves” replace “Bell curves”, what are the most promising routes to the head?
  • We have a growing realization that stocks of knowledge are diminishing in value relative to flows of knowledge, but what is required for effective participation in the highest value flows of knowledge?
  • What are the opportunities for the bottom of the pyramid to attack the top?
  • How do we measure success when so many of the rules are changing?
  • When is self-organizing not enough?
  • How are pull platforms likely to evolve?
  • What is the next generation of IT architecture?
Being at this intersection is to me what makes these two fields interesting and exciting for some while scary and daunting to others. It is the combined knowledge of these two areas that is driving much of the disruptive innovation we see today in the new economy. Knowledge and innovating down one side without considering the other will not produced viable results that will be able to compete in the current and future marketplace.

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