Tag Archives: Steve Jobs

Sydney Ideas lecture series and why i’m interested (Part 1)

3 Apr

Since i’ve landed back in Sydney, one thing has been pretty much in my face the whole time, i cant ignore it and now dear reader, i have to tell you too.

It’s the idea’s, too many ideas to ignore, Sydney is a very stimulating place to be

I was watching a Tedx talk last year, by O.E Wilson and he was asked to give a talk about advice to budding scientists.

His advice was.

  1. Learn as much as you can in your own field
  2. Learn as much as you can in fields outside your field
  3. With technology and emerging technologies branching out and creating new fields, some of the new fields will cris-cross and hey presto, something irrelevant is a hot topic.

Sounds like good advice? Take a look for yourself.

Some examples that come to my mind are:

Original Mac fonts


1, When Steve Jobs was going to college, the lectures he attended were not the ones he was supposed to attend, one of his favourites was on ‘fonts’, so by the time of the apple computer he had all kinds of fonts loaded on, which became his ‘killer app’ advantage, a bold start to a global dominance for Apple.


James Dyson cleans up the competition


2, When James Dyson was fixing his wife’s hoover (men helping women with house work is called ‘Chore play’, it frees up time for ‘other activities’ in the bedroom (and apparently it works too?)

Anyway, Mr Dyson on his knees realized the problem he solved with a spray painting device was the problem with the hoover, and over 1000 proto-types later, he’s in the hoover business and he spends 10 million pounds protecting his ideas in court too.

The idea being that unrelated industries are related, all you have to do is make the connection


I’ve been going along to the Sydney Ideas series too and i have been learning all sorts of interesting things outside of my usual IT profession, but i think ideas that could prove useful in anyones profession.

I went to a talk entitled:

The globalisation of Chinese porcelain and their significance for history, archaeology and antique collection by Dr Baoping Li

In this richly illustrated presentation, Dr Baoping Li will rely on over twenty years of research to explain the significance of Chinese porcelain to our understanding of history, archaeology, cultural studies, and the collecting of antiques in China and the world.

Chinese porcelain


Dr Li has first-hand experience working with porcelains found at the site of a lost city in North China that was part of the Mongol Empire, ancient Angkor in Cambodia, and an Arab merchant shipwreck of c. 826 CE found in the Java Sea that provides the earliest physical evidence for direct trade between China and the Middle East.

I learned:

  1. By the procalain found at a site they were able to prove the site was not unoccupied for what was previously thought for a 100 years
  2. From the porcalain Dr Li was able to tell what social class the occupants belonged

Another i went to was entitled

Who Built the Long Wall of Quang Ngai? Territory, Security and Trade along a Vietnamese Boundary, By Dr Andrew Hardy

 Dr Hardy historian of Vietnam, associate professor at the French School of Asian Studies

I learnt:

No documented evidence could be obtained for the wall (127km) that would separate indigenous people of Vietnam and the Vietnamese in question

Quang Nagi


Another similar wall had been build between Cambodia and Vietnam, both kings sent 5000 men to build the wall, since evidence could be obtained for that wall, we can safely assume it was a similar agreement.

Also, when it comes to territory, Vietnamese had markers to indicate their territory’s and if anyone moved the markers, this was taken as an act of war and all hell broke loose!

How does this relate to me?

Well there are times when there is little or no documentation for a project, but at the same time you need to construct testing documentation and you need evidence to support what your are trying to achieve, the idea is, its been done before, all you need are the ideas and you can pretty much do most things.

But whats the idea?

Augmented reality, the 8th mass medium, connect the dots…

17 Dec

I’ve been doing a bit of research recently, i have been looking at what the futurists are saying, part of the reason i’m doing this is to try to figure out what i should be doing, thinking to align myself for the future.

A futurist might think of trends and possible scenario’s for future events, I’ve been looking at mass media and the trends they have followed through history

Toni Ahonen:

Tomi Ahonen

According to Tomi Ahonen, they are :

1st mass media, Print  from the late 15th century

2nd mass media, Recordings  from the late 19th century

3rd mass media, Cinema from about 1900

4th mass media, Radio,  from about 1910

5th mass media, TV, from the 1950’s. When i was in Lima i heard when TV was introduced in Peru, the young people in the country could see the great lifestyle that the city had to offer and voted with their feet, and ended up forming the shanty housing to be seen around Lima

6th mass media, Internet, from the 1990’s

7th mass media, Mobile

and now, the 8th mass media will be

8th mass media, Augmented reality

The funny thing with the list of mediums is when the medium was invented it took people a long time to figure out the business application, for example

The 4th Mass medium radio,people thought the radio would be good for broadcasting church services, nothing more, but when people fully understood the business applications of what the medium could do, until…

Wireless signals proved effective in communication for rescue work when a sea disaster occurred. A number of ocean liners installed wireless equipment. In 1899 the United States Army established wireless communications with a lightship off Fire Island, New York.

Two years later the Navy adopted a wireless system. Up to then, the Navy had been using visual signaling and homing pigeons for communication.


The 1st mass medium


Books used to be so precious, in Christchurch cathedral they were locked in cages and bolted to the wall, now you can download rare and precious books waiting of a bus and read them while sitting in the park

Railroads were the internet of their time, and to be honest i’m surprised it’s not on this list of mass mediums, railroads allowed for:

  • Musicians, Education, News traveled at incredible speeds to travel
  • Mobilisation of troops for war, the civil war in America being a good example
  • Sporting teams could travel
  • Manufacturing industries and the Industrial revolution

Railroads altered time: (Source)

Before railroads, each town determined its own time based on calculations about the sun’s position. This system was called “solar time.” Solar time caused problems for people who traveled hundreds of miles in a few hours on a railroad. Before railroads, this could never be done, so there wasn’t any problem with solar time.

However, after railroads spanned the country travelers could pass through several time zones in a day. The railroads operated on a complex time schedule and if each town had a slightly different solar time, things could go wrong. To solve the problem,railroad companies set up standard time. It was a system that divided the United States into four-time zones. Within a time zone, every town had the exact same time.

The standard time system went into affect November 18, 1883. However,Congress did not adopt standard time until 1918. By then, most Americans followed standard time and understood its benefits because following schedules had become part of daily life

Up until the early railroad, people never traveled further that 20 km from where they were born

Can you see a trend here?

Mobile phone timeline

With the 7th mass media, Mobile, one of the reasons that SMS became so appealing is when businesses sent their customers a text, that counted as a legal notification, before that sending out letters was an expensive, time-consuming business and you could be sure if the customer received the message, it’s funny the inventor of SMS Matti Makkonen, received $300 for his invention, Dan Bricklin that invented Excel spreadsheets got nothing

When i was in Scandinavia, i remember hearing how shy teenagers used in the early years of SMS to ask girls out on dates, Nokia used kids for their product development, as they don’t have any pre conceived ideas of how things are supposed to work, that tends to happen a bit later on.

When the first mobile phones were introduced, at the release of mobiles Stockholm had more users than all of London, why? Ericsson which became Sony/Ericsson are based there, so they encouraged the locals to use their phones, so Ericsson could test them

I remember hearing, 10 years ago, pre-smart phone technology of how, when questioned:

Q, Whats the worst thing that could happen to you

A, Losing my mobile phone

I read recently how the employees of a well know company would sneak away from their partner to send messages on their smart phones, and that IT company advised their employees to leave the phone at home and go for a walk on a nature trail.


Steve Jobs said,

 “Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

The thing that interests me most is the ideas, sometimes the technology is ahead of the ideas, when you have the idea, you can do just about anything, but it all comes back to an idea and you need to believe in the idea, find the business application, with new technology comes new methodology, after all it’s cost effective to be efficient.

With the 6th mass medium, the technology was ahead of the business ideas


Introducing, Tomi Ahonem and Augmented reality

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