Note: I was live at Facebook’s f8 developer conference yesterday, and posted this originally to the Nanigans blog, and also to BostInnovation. I’ve made some minor grammar updates here, to correct for my speed-blogging.
We’re at f8 in San Francisco today, with the keynote speeches just concluding. After an entertaining opening with comedian Andy Samberg masquerading as Mark Zuckerberg, the real “Zuck Dawg” (as Samberg called him) took the stage to deliver the true keynote. Facebook’s CTO Bret Taylor and VP Product Chris Cox followed, along with brief cameo CEO appearances from Spotify’s Daniel Ek and Netflix’s Reed Hastings.
Overview of Announcements
Two major announcements were made at f8: (1) introduction of the Timeline and (2) development of the Open Graph.
Summary: We often talk about undertaking an initiative in order to create “competitive advantage”, but what does that really mean? What are things you can, and should be doing? Here we examine, the five sources of durable competitive advantage. E-mail. Tweet.
There have been some pithy posts (for example here, and here written on creating durable, or sustainable, competitive advantage; however, the best I’ve ever seen was buried deep in the footnotes of a deck by Khosla Ventures.
In this deck it outlines five major sources of durable competitive advantage:
- “Special Access” to Scarce Supply
- High Switching Costs
- Fixed Cost Leverage
- Real-Time Business Process Advantage
- Ownable Network Effect
While the footnotes of the deck don’t go into much more detail, I’ll do my best to provide some explanation, and practical examples, on each of these.
Click here to learn more about each of these factors
In predicting how your new product idea may take off, you should consider the 1962 work by Everett M. Rogers called Diffusion of Innovations. Rogers also describes the S-shaped growth curve of innovations, and is also known for coining the term “early adopter” – a term familiar to those of you who have read Geoffrey Moore’s famous book, Crossing the Chasm.
Rogers outlines the following seven attributes that determine the rate at which an innovation diffuses in the marketplace. These can serve as a good rule of thumb for forecasting the speed at which a new product or technology will be adopted.
Came across this TechCrunch post yesterday entitled: “Firefox 3.5 not playing nicely with Twitter”. This seems pretty innocuous at first — “ok, so what if app X doesn’t work in some new browser”; however, looking a bit deeper the choice of words here is actually pretty interesting. This post implies that it’s Firefox’s “fault” for not “playing nicely” with Twitter – not the other way around.
It wasn’t too long ago that I remember our teams wildly running around to enable our application to support “browser x” (do you know major companies still use IE6?). The browser was always the top dog, and you (the app developer) had to support it.
When did the rules change? When did the browser become the tail, and the applications become the top dog?
More generally: how or when does a power shift occur from the platform itself, to the ecosystem around it? I believe it inevitably happens in “open” ecosystems (i.e. platforms are open) such as browsers. Exactly how, is a function of two conditions: