Steve Ballmer had a dilemma. He had two groups at Microsoft pursuing competing visions for tablet computers. One group, led by Xbox godfather J Allard, was pushing for a sleek, two-screen tablet called the Courier that users controlled with their finger or a pen. But it had a problem: It was running a modified version of Windows. That ran headlong into the vision of tablet computing laid out by Steven Sinofsky, the head of Microsoft's Windows division. Sinofsky was wary of any product--let alone one from inside Microsoft's walls--that threatened the foundation of Microsoft's flagship operating system. But Sinofsky's tablet-friendly version of Windows was more than two years away. For Ballmer, it wasn't an easy call. Allard and Sinofsky were key executives at Microsoft, both tabbed as the next-generation brain trust. So Ballmer sought advice from the one tech visionary he's trusted more than any other over the decades--Bill Gates. Ballmer arranged for Microsoft's chairman and … [Read more...] about The inside story of how Microsoft killed its Courier tablet
Business disruptive technology
What started out as a typical sunny day in San Diego for Pat Brogan ended with a trip to the emergency room. She was visiting the seaside city with her husband in August, and they thought it would be fun to rent two of Lime's electric scooters. A San Francisco Bay Area local and an avid cyclist and skier, Brogan liked the idea of zipping around town without using a car. After cruising along for about a mile, the couple started to descend a steep hill. Brogan, 63, eased on the brakes as her scooter gained speed -- only to discover they didn't work."I blew through three intersections and luckily didn't get hit," she said. "I'm now going 25 mph heading toward six lanes of traffic."By the end of the day she'd be in the hospital. And she's not the only one. Starting in March, a handful of tech companies dropped thousands of e-scooters across nearly 100 US cities, and injuries have surged. Two people have been killed in electric scooter accidents. And trauma surgeons are reporting daily … [Read more...] about Electric scooters are now disrupting wrists, elbows and heads
Start the Countdown Just by reading this article online, you’re using a disruptive technology. Double points if you’re reading it on a smartphone or tablet. ©Ingram Publishing The term disruptive innovation was brought into the lexicon by Clayton M. Christensen in his book "The Innovator's Dilemma," in the context of businesses adopting technologies that eventually completely surpass or replace previous technologies, possibly harming whichever business backed the wrong technology. A disruptive technology is something new that disrupts an industry, and quite often completely changes the way we all do things. The car disrupted the horse and carriage industries. Small personal computers have given individuals computing power that only used to be possible via the huge mainframes that crunched numbers exclusively in corporate, academic and government institutions. Computers and all the things that have come along with them have wreaked havoc in any number of … [Read more...] about 10 Disruptive Technologies You Use Every Day
Advances in technology are important (and inevitable), but they leave outdated equipment in their wake. lorenzoantonucci/iStock/Thinkstock A disruptive technology is an innovation that uproots an established technology, or a revolutionary product or service that spawns a new industry [source: WhatIs.com]. Disruptive technologies are sometimes described as being simultaneously destructive and creative because they make old products — and sometimes even entire industries — obsolete, creating new ones in their place [source: Christensen, Howard]. Disruptive technologies have the power to change the way we work, live, think and behave. Imagine this: You're in your driverless car, on the way to a conference. Giving voice commands over the Bluetooth connection in your vehicle, you direct your smartphone to initiate a video call with a colleague. You remind her to bring the medical device prototype that you manufactured using a 3-D printer. You end the call and take out … [Read more...] about What’s a disruptive technology?
Independent booksellers, like Unabridged Bookstore on Broadway Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, once thought to have gone the way of the dinosaur, are making a surprising comeback. The Washington Post/Getty Images It's called the retail apocalypse. No zombies yet, but thanks to the rising dominance of Amazon and its infinite inventory of inexpensive items (plus free shipping with Prime!), traditional brick-and-mortar stores are struggling to survive. In the last few years alone, dozens of national brands have declared bankruptcy or shuttered their stores altogether, including mall staples like Toys"R"Us, The Limited, Radio Shack, Claire's and Payless. But one long-dismissed business model has unexpectedly thrived in the Amazon age: independent bookstores. If the last time you thought about the plight of independent bookstores was the 1998 rom-com "You've Got Mail," you've got some catching up to do. When Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks starred as a boutique bookshop owner (her) and the CEO of … [Read more...] about Indie Bookstores Defied Amazon. Who’s Next?