Here are some links to things here and there that I’ve written or said, generally by topic.
The blurring line between software and hardware
We developed the Solid Conference to explore this idea. It has morphed a bit to be little bit more Internet of Things focused since then, but the original idea was that, as hardware became more malleable and software-like, Silicon Valley and technologists in general would find all kinds of interesting ways to leverage hardware in their creative palette.
My keynote at Solid in May 2014 addressed this idea directly. I think much of the audience thought this talk was weird, but @alephbass called it “poetry,” so I’m happy.
Later I wrote a little bit more complete version of the talk as a blog post at Radar which you can find here.
Before the show Tim O’Reilly and I sat down and talked “software – hardware – everywhere.”
Before that, Jon Bruner, Mike Loukides and I riffed on some of this stuff on the Radar podcast.
Working with very large organizations (think U.S. Army) I came to realize that not everything could be controlled top down. The scale was simply too large for this to work anymore. If big enterprises were going to innovate within relevant time cycles, they were going to have to make it easier to take local initiative. Instead of making frustrated users go off the reservation to meet their own needs, they needed to make this *the way the enterprise worked.*
I’ve written about this quite a bit. Here are a couple of examples:
And talked about it:
I’ve continued to think and speak on this topic. More recently I gave this presentation to the folks at Open Infrashare.
This is a group of large corporate enterprises who are taking advantage of emerging open hardware (primarily from the Open Compute Project) to remake their datacenter platforms.
I also gave an updated version of that talk at the Velocity conference last year.
Not exactly the same thing, but related – I spent a lot of my time advocating for open source software in government, and in particular the DoD. I gave this talk about it at Ignite Philly.
One of the reasons I focused so much on open source in DoD is that code is more than just back office now and to maneuver on the battlefield means being able to write and deploy code quickly. Some time ago, inspired by my study of maneuver warfare in the context of John Boyd’s strategic studies, I coined the phrase Code is Maneuver. My friend John Scott explains it here.
The evolving corporation
I like to make analogies, and one of my favorites is the analogy between corporations and worms. Ok, stay with me here for a second. I think we are at a point where the corporate form is entering a rapid period of evolution made possible by materially different information systems. Someday financial analysts won’t just look at a company’s financial data to predict future returns, but will look at measures of “corporate intelligence” that give a sense of how good a company is at responding to its environment. You’ll have to watch the video to see what I meant about the worms.
The first time I talked about this was at JAX in Munich where I keynoted to about 1000 sleepy German Java developers (the slides can be found here).
More recently I gave another version of this talk at Strata in NYC.
The slides for this talk can be found here.