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Archive for February, 2009

I don’t actually know a lot about about the Hollywood movie business. Well, I’ve seen quite many, I’ve been to Hollywood, I know few people in the business and I’ve read about creating movies. Still I thought I’ve learned few things that keep me wondering the possible similarities between two things: 1) Creating and publishing a successful movie (“a hit”) and 2) Creating and publishing a successful web site (“a hit”).

Here’s what I had in mind. Both need a script how it should go, both need a good team to get it implemented and both need somebody to pay the cost initially and success of both is measured by usage volume.

The terms we use are of course different. In software business we have a “business plan”, that’s our script. We have our team, preferably a dream team which are known as actors in the movie business. I think both get money from something we call “investors”. Measuring the success, however, is not a matter of the few first days only in software business, right? The first impression does matter, however.

Both businesses are “hit driven”. Most cases fail, and investors make money with the ones that succeed. And most importantly those who write good script become famous and/or rich not to mention the best actors who are well known and wanted to the next potential big hits.

So why don’t we do the following in order to create successful net stories:

  1. Create an environment or ecosystem where entrepreneurs can create those stories such a way that potential investors can be convinced to fund it even before you have the dream team in place. One question is that does the script writer also need to be the director (ie. business plan writer/concept owner need to be the CEO)?
  2. Include in the above mentioned ecosystem a mechanism to build your own dream team (with the money from the investors) to implement this project (which has a deadline, release date and so on). The best people should get their compensation which should be high enough to let them focus on several interesting projects without being stuck to a single project for 10 years.
  3. Run the implementation such a way that it is controlled, you have a flexible way of changing the “actors” if they do not deliver and the good ones get the credit.
  4. Release the mov.. service and switch to maintenance mode (or to development of Episode #2).

I think I could make my my living pretty good by writing those scripts and publishing those within a working ecosystem like this. At least dreaming about that kind of possibility keeps me awake.

So what would be the top ten reasons why it would not work and what do we need to do in order to fix those?

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I don’t actually know a lot about about the Hollywood movie business. Well, I’ve seen quite many, I’ve been to Hollywood, I know few people in the business and I’ve read about creating movies. Still I thought I’ve learned few things that keep me wondering the possible similarities between two things: 1) Creating and publishing a successful movie (“a hit”) and 2) Creating and publishing a successful web site (“a hit”).

Here’s what I had in mind. Both need a script how it should go, both need a good team to get it implemented and both need somebody to pay the cost initially and success of both is measured by usage volume.

The terms we use are of course different. In software business we have a “business plan”, that’s our script. We have our team, preferably a dream team which are known as actors in the movie business. I think both get money from something we call “investors”. Measuring the success, however, is not a matter of the few first days only in software business, right? The first impression does matter, however.

Both businesses are “hit driven”. Most cases fail, and investors make money with the ones that succeed. And most importantly those who write good script become famous and/or rich not to mention the best actors who are well known and wanted to the next potential big hits.

So why don’t we do the following in order to create successful net stories:

  1. Create an environment or ecosystem where entrepreneurs can create those stories such a way that potential investors can be convinced to fund it even before you have the dream team in place. One question is that does the script writer also need to be the director (ie. business plan writer/concept owner need to be the CEO)?
  2. Include in the above mentioned ecosystem a mechanism to build your own dream team (with the money from the investors) to implement this project (which has a deadline, release date and so on). The best people should get their compensation which should be high enough to let them focus on several interesting projects without being stuck to a single project for 10 years.
  3. Run the implementation such a way that it is controlled, you have a flexible way of changing the “actors” if they do not deliver and the good ones get the credit.
  4. Release the mov.. service and switch to maintenance mode (or to development of Episode #2).

I think I could make my my living pretty good by writing those scripts and publishing those within a working ecosystem like this. At least dreaming about that kind of possibility keeps me awake.

So what would be the top ten reasons why it would not work and what do we need to do in order to fix those?

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It’s obvious that we should involve the customer or the user(s) in the process of developing a new service for the Internet. That should be for the whole life-cycle of the development process – from the beginning to the end. I started trying to figure this out some months ago and was surprised how little seems to be done in this arena right now.

That applies for both the B2B and B2C services. One might argue that it is already done, however. Aren’t the consultants of big IT companies spending hundreds (if not thousands) of hours talking to the customer (and billing for it) – making sure that the requirements are understood? Don’t we have the “beta” process for a web 2.0 sites where users can give feedback and influence the future development?

Yes. And no.

First of all, the B2B processes are in many cases extremely ineffective. Or at least expensive. Real life time constraints also affect this process heavily, budgets don’t always strecth to accomodate these ineffective processes and finally it cannot cope with changing requirements during the development phase.

Small companies also either cannot charge the customer for that or don’t have the resources to do it.

In B2C services the “beta” also, by definition, means that the design is so far already that in many cases fundamental changes cannot be done anymore (or they are at least expensive). The User Stories that might tell with users’ own words what a service should be done, is not easy to do as of now.

There are, of course, existing research in this are. For example “Participatory Design” is an example of an approach applicable for the Internet service design as well. We lack however practical processes and implementation tools.

But wouldn’t it be nice that the users actually could be involved in a service design from the very early beginning? Would it mean that we might actually get better services for less cost?

What do you think? Do you know real-life example sof the problems or solutions concerning this problem?

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