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The historical roots of disruptive innovation

Posted 23rd June 2011 at 02:08 PM by abraxalito
Updated 8th September 2011 at 03:10 AM by abraxalito

I've been chasing back a little of the history of CMC's idea which I expounded on in the last post. There's nothing new under the sun of course so I'm sharing here some of the writing of Joseph A Schumpeter as I find it pretty inspiring.

I first learned about Schumpeter from reading a book on management compiled from the extensive writings of Peter F. Drucker ('The Essential Drucker'). In one chapter Drucker sounds very much like he's reading from his crystal ball and predicts that where Keynes' ideas ruled the 20th century in economics, it would be Schumpeter's theories that reached ascendancy in the 21st. Having read some of Schumpeter based on that recommendation I'd say that Drucker was indeed spot on.

Here's a short taste of what Schumpeter has to say -

The first thing to go is the traditional conception of the modus operandi of competition. Economists are at long last emerging from the stage in which price competition was all they
...
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Disruptive technology or disruptive innovation - what's the difference?

Posted 19th June 2011 at 08:12 AM by abraxalito
Updated 8th September 2011 at 03:11 AM by abraxalito (Added link to CMC's own webpage)

This week Bruno Putzeys posted about his innovator's dilemma. You can read that post here:

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/class...ml#post2608169

In brief he's designed and produced some disruptive technology (UcD, and now nCore) and can't quite see the way forward to turning that technology into disruptive innovation. Disruptive technology is not automatically disruptive innovation - it needs a suitable marketing strategy before its truly innovation. Bruno's using the traditional marketing plans for OEM amplifier modules and finding he's not making much headway.

'No one puts new wine into old wineskins, if it is the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins and so both are preserved'. - Matthew 9:17

Jesus might just as well have been lecturing at Harvard Business School here because this is precisely the message of Clayton Christensen's book...
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Companies don't seem to get it

Posted 15th June 2011 at 02:09 AM by abraxalito
Updated 8th September 2011 at 03:11 AM by abraxalito

YouTube - EEVblog #178 - Agilent U1272A Response

Now - out of all the companies Dave mentions, which one is toast? Hint - its a famous name in handheld test and measurement beginning with F and sounds like 'puke'.
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An engineer's engineer passes on...

Posted 14th June 2011 at 02:35 AM by abraxalito
Updated 8th September 2011 at 03:13 AM by abraxalito

Analog guru Jim Williams dies after stroke - 2011-06-13 15:26:32 | EDN
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Yesterday at the park...

Posted 13th June 2011 at 01:48 AM by abraxalito
Updated 8th September 2011 at 03:13 AM by abraxalito

I've been in China for over six years now and had a few ideas about opening my own business. Initially I was giving serious thought to opening a training school. Then after a stint at a travel company for a couple of months I had a great idea about a new kind of travel service. For both of these notions I got domain names registered but I subsequently got more interested in other things (not just women I hasten to add).

Well finally, I've found it. The business opportunity that I've been building up to all my life. I announced it at the public English Corner yesterday to a handful of people as I was curious to gauge their response. Overall, very positive and despite being a kind of business they'd not previously encountered they really seemed to get the message quite quickly.

This isn't strictly speaking a business in the traditional sense of being a company. Its more a network of interested and passionate individuals - cells in a super-organism if you...
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Sustainable computer audio

Posted 11th June 2011 at 01:18 AM by abraxalito
Updated 8th September 2011 at 03:14 AM by abraxalito (Added new link to interesting article on semiconductor process development)

I'm wondering how many guys and gals out there on diyaudio are interested in sustainable computer audio? Let me unpack what I mean by this phrase for a moment....

Computers on their present course are obviously not a sustainable proposition. I've already posted about the demise of Intel but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Even if all CPUs move over to ARM A9 or A15 tomorrow there's still a huge unsustainable industry supporting the current wave of computers. There's the drive towards smaller feature sizes in memory which is going to hit a brickwall sooner rather than later. Increasing sizes of memory are like a drug that everyone's got addicted to. Remember Bill Gates' original prophesy that '640k will be enough for everybody'? He really meant it at the time. So I can't help but ask 'do we really, really need all this memory?'. My gut tells me not but to prove it requires some innovative thinking.

One of the things that got me thinking along these lines...
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Intel, thanks for all the fish!

Posted 19th May 2011 at 01:47 AM by abraxalito
Updated 8th September 2011 at 03:15 AM by abraxalito

Intel's just held their 2011 investor conference. I'm not an Intel investor but after that performance if I were, I'd have sold out by now.

Welcome to the wonderful world of ARM guys!

If you want to get down and dirty, here are a couple of articles to get you started. Be sure to check out the comments!

Updated: Intel rewrites Atom road map

AnandTech - Intel?s 2011 Investor Meeting - Intel?s Architecture Group: 14nm Airmont Atom In 2014

If you'd like an illustration remarkably parallel to Intel's style of groupthink, go here:

Wake-up call | World news | The Guardian
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Jumping back on board the digital train - part IV

Posted 6th May 2011 at 03:52 AM by abraxalito

Where is all this going I hear you ask? What's his point? Well to tell the truth I don't hear anyone asking this - the comments sections are remarkably empty save for jkeny egging me on

So here's my point, and its a single word: convergence. Convergence is coming to digital architectures - indeed its already here, just the majority of people have yet to notice.

The diverse marketplace for embedded processors is rather similar to the market for home computers in the early to mid-1980s. It was hard to make the choice - Acorn, Sinclair, Apple, Commodore, Atari, Amstrad, Dragon? Then convergence arrived in the shape of the IBM PC and those brands (with the exception of Apple) were relegated to the history books.

It took quite a while after the 1983 arrival of the PC for this to occur. I had an Acorn Atom which I built from a kit in the long summer vacation after I graduated, and I didn't make the jump into PC-land until the early 1990s. It wasn't...
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Jumping back on board the digital train - part III

Posted 1st May 2011 at 02:11 PM by abraxalito

Apart from an architecture which is attractive to program in, I also have several other demands on the checklist for the digital toys I'm going to pin my colours to. Ease of entry into the game and low cost development tools are a must.

Arduino is a phenomenon I did a little research into. Its become jolly popular over the past six years or so since its inception and I wanted to understand some of the reasons for its acceptance. One of the reasons has to be its open source nature. Another is the well written materials to get you going - they've put quite a lot of thought into the practical issues, even inventing their own vocabulary for elements in the process - 'sketches' springs to mind. If there's a weakness in what they're doing its this - its tied to Atmel as they're the vendors of the chips used. There are no second sources of the parts to my knowledge. This vendor-specific approach doesn't sit at all well with the open-source side - Atmel's architecture is unique...
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Jumping back on board the digital train - part II

Posted 30th April 2011 at 05:46 AM by abraxalito
Updated 30th April 2011 at 05:50 AM by abraxalito

When I began writing real-time code for the 68k, the price of entry into the development game was rather high. My first project was a tachometer processor which my boss was applying on a patent for: US patent 4924420. In order to develop this we purchased a hardware emulator which became my pride and joy - it cost a sum equivalent to around two months of my salary at that time. This was a considerably more expensive solution than the other commonly used development technique in those days - EPROM emulators - it did though provide a much faster development path by virtue of providing a window into the interior of the CPU as well as a history in its trace buffer of everything it had done. During the course of this and subsequent projects which also used the 68k (later we added a 68020 too) I became a confirmed devotee of the architecture. One of my nicknames in the company was 'the cycle stealer' - if someone had some 68k code that wasn't running fast enough, I'd find some way to get it...
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