Austria ranks 3rd, improving by one position since 2011. Its strong performance is driven by factors such as tourism infrastructure, in which it ties for 1st place with Italy; a welcoming attitude toward visitors; a very safe and secure environment (7th); and, most importantly, its rich cultural resources. Austria hosts nine World Heritage cultural sites, has excellent creative industries, and attracts many travelers with several fairs and exhibitions organized every year. The country’s tourism industry is also being developed in a sustainable way (10th), with some of the most stringent (4th) and well-enforced (7th) environmental regulations in the world, driving its overall positive performance on environmental sustainability (ranked 6th). — Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013 - World Economic Forum
Reasons I install Microsoft Silverlight
Perfect. If Flash deserves to die, Silverlight deserves to be buried alive.
Couldn’t be more clear!
Age might be the root cause for writing this post. On the other hand, it might just be the change of weather in Belgium that inspires me. One thing’s for sure, change is all around. Be it the weather, the daily increasing traffic jams, Apple Q3 figures, smartphone penetration rate, work-life balance shift, … it’s all change. Many people dislike the fact that we have no more long-term predictability, which surely is reasonable. But the fact remains that all these changes are happening over and over again.
My personal idea on change in general is that it creates the opportunity to “do different or do new”. ”Different” as in changing the way you do something while ”new” being changing what you do. In each situation which requires us to make a decision, we need to (re)evaluate the way we will try to achieve our goal or in what way we will change the goal itself.
It strikes me that in all Service Delivery, change is very difficult. It seems a lot easier to change a product than to change a service. Whether it be ICT service delivery, travel services, medical services, … they are all still rather static (compared to the rapid changes in product development and delivery). This is not very surprising, seeing that the one big difference between a product and a service is the human factor, bringing me back to the start of this post, the human resistance against the loss of long-term predictability. How can we convince people to welcome (and even actively seek) changes in customer facing services? How can people be convinced to aspire “different” or even “new”?
Innovation consists in presenting all new services or new ways to achieve a service oriented goal, so the potential success of innovation is (partly) dependent on how the related changes are perceived by people. To me, the true power of Service Design as a “methodology” is not only a consumer centric design of the service(s) itself (the goal), but also design of the change path which leads to the intensified use and acceptance of this service.
It is necessary to keep focussing on your new goal, but in many cases, it’s also extremely important to create a “people-friendly” and motivating change path towards this goal.
Do new by doing different… .
It amuses me when organisations brainstorm – with the same people, around the topics, in the same environment, with the same tools – and expect different results! — Bettina von Stamm, Innovation Leadership Forum
Apple’s share price has passed Google’s at $632-a-share. Share prices are basically meaningless since the number of shares outstanding differ (Apple has nearly 3x the number of shares out there, and as such, nearly 3x the valuation). But the numbers are interesting in historical context. They show what a ride Apple has been on (while Google has remained relatively static).
When Google went public in 2004 and their stock immediately popped over $100-a-share, Apple’s stock was trading around $15-a-share. When Google’s stock hit $500-a-share in November 2006, Apple’s stock was around $85-a-share. When Google shares peaked in late 2007 over $700-a-share and people were wondering if the stock was the next Berkshire Hathaway (up, up and away!), Apples stock was around $150-a-share.
With the price and the number of shares outstanding, Apple’s valuation is now approaching $600 billion. The next closest company in terms of valuation is Exxon. Their market cap is $400 billion. The nearest tech company is Microsoft. Their market cap is $265 billion.
On March 14, 22 children and 6 adults lost their precious lives in an accident in Sierre, Switzerland.
Language is not a barrier when hearing the unbearable sound of silence. A country divided by language stands united in tragedy, the tragedy of 28 lives taken away from their families and friends in a purposeless accident.
Belgium was completely silenced at 11AM today, March 16, national day of mourning.
Will we remember the true value of life when noise takes over again? Will we be able to distinguish the important from the futile any better after this confrontation with real life tragedy? And most importantly, will relatives and friends of the deceased be able to listen to the sound of life again some day… ?
All my best to the people affected by this incomprehensible event.
(my thoughts go out especially to Kirsten and the kids)
Jonathan Ive, Sr. VP Industrial Design at Apple does say some inspiring things in this interview.
(source: London Evening Standard - Mark Prigg)
For one, collaboration in the creative design process is crucial:
…The nature of having ideas and creativity is incredibly inspiring. There is an idea which is solitary, fragile and tentative and doesn’t have form. What we’ve found here is that it then becomes a conversation, although remains very fragile.
…The way we work at Apple is that the complexity of these products really makes it critical to work collaboratively, with different areas of expertise.
His view on innovation is strikingly obvious:
…There are different approaches - sometimes things can irritate you so you become aware of a problem, which is a very pragmatic approach and the least challenging. What is more difficult is when you are intrigued by an opportunity.
…This is why these innovations are so hard - there are no points of reference.
He also stresses the importance of consumer awareness of the care people at Apple have for the products they design and develop. This interview does give an indication.
Data roaming in the EU… a never ending story if you ask me. Mobile internet usage keeps on rising, apps are commonly used and accessible to everybody. We all want to use the internet anywhere, anytime!
To me, as an IT kind of guy, it’s rather simple to predict which service on my phone or iPad will use a certain amount of data, but I can imagine that for someone not into the technicalities, this is not equally easy.
(data services tariff overview, EC)
So, we found the solution! We will send an sms when usage exceeds a certain threshold (as in: money)… Excuse my choice of words but that’s just plain bullsh*t!
Get those mobile operators around a table and figure out an innovative way of dealing with roaming! Really, this cannot be that hard? I’m sure that people will find a workaround soon. Operators will lose a major part of their turnover if they don’t act now… .
Always knew I’m not really a “southern” kind of person… . (except for Australia ;) ).
So my “better life” is situated somewhere between Canada and Austria… I’ll have to buy my wife some flowers and have a good chat with her! :)
If you look at the scoreboard, some (expected) results pop up.
Report: INNOVATION UNION SCOREBOARD 2011
… I’ll update this post some more later probably.