Of course I share a lot of my own material using Creative Commons, and I'm also using it for both this and my other Swedish blog both for building and posting to the blog. Sharing digital content in a creative manner is becoming hugely important. I am becoming more and more concerned over the fact that quite a few legislators in Sweden seem to be out of sync with how technology is changing the world.
When it comes to the future of Google's products, Marissa explains that there is a lot of interesting stuff in the long-term pipeline.
"We're thinking: 'What if we made it easier to search from your phone? Or from your car? Using voice?' You can imagine a search interface where you can search on concepts rather than keywords, and doing that using your voice."
It could take a while, though: "I think we'll see great advances in these areas over the next 5-10 years." Michael Arrington at Techcrunch followed up and asked if Google isn't having some kind of super-cool, secret, advanced search interface that they are keeping to themselves and from the rest of the world? Marissa dodged that question, alright :)
The most interesting question from the audicene was one about how she had managed to hire so many talented people, and Google had been able to scale so fast. Marissa said that they early on had a discussion in top management together with recruitment consultants, deciding upon the two most important characteristics Google should be looking for in candidates: People who are smart, and who are getting things done.
Photo by Tiziano.
They do not take reservations, which means that we (and everyone else arriving 9-ish) had to stand in line for half an hour, and they only serve one single meal: Entrecôte with french fries and their super-secret sauce. Vegetarians should go somewhere else. At least you could choose between soft drinks, beer or wine with that. It was wonderful.
After that, some drinks at Ladurée wrapped up a perfect evening. Looking forward to the conference tomworrow when Joi and Marissa will speak.
I'll use that blog with the ambition of having an intimate online relationship with the citizens of Vaxholm. During my years as a politician, I have heard one above all from the people in Vaxholm: "We don't know what's going on!" I want to change that.
I also acknowledge that times really have changed. People can't/won't/don't want to acquire information in the same way as yesterday. People seldom want to spend a few hours after work on workdays to listen to/discuss local politics - unless it is something that affect them immediately and significantly.
Yesterday's model with general meetings, covering a broad variety of different stuff, is simply not the format. If a certain road/school/arena/building is in a process of change, people want to be able to find specific information about what the change is about, what the likely outcome is and what considerations that has been taken. They do not want to try and parse through a number of protocols, which in the end doesn't state anything more than the actual decisions, anyway.
People also want to affect the processes for change win input in a direct, and often open and transparent way. Through forums, e-mails and IM to their politicians and officials. And the politicians and officials need to have a workflow that give them the opportunity to use such input in a contributing, positive and creative manner. Not to be seen and felt as a burden, as it seems many looks upon such input today.
So that's going to be part of my mission as Mayor of Vaxholm. And I'm starting with www.mosseby.com.
This is an absolute must-see for anyone interested in the future of the the Internet and the world from an information technology perspective. Or... you'll understand that it is about so much more than that. We're talking about The One ;)
Kevin Kelly is the founder of Wired Magazine.
(From Johan Siwers)
- Lowering income taxes even further. This will, hopefully, temporarily secure Sweden's recent place as number two in the world's taxation league. Perhaps even a step towards place number three?
- A "future" package including infrastructure investments and basic research. I'm curious as to how the government will choose to spend those research money.
- A "safety" package with more money to the district attorneys, Swedish courts et cetera. Also an increase in spending on public psychiatric care.
To me, the speech was both substantial and inspiring. Sure, a substance about the direction of the Moderate's politics was expected, and the content was not surprising. But to me, the more subtle parts were even more important. Fredrik explains, that much of the weakened support during the past two years is a natural effect from the initial phases of the reforms that has been put in place. What Fredrik didn't say outright, is that we're going to have to be very much better over the next two years in showing all the positive effects from these reforms.
I agree. A couple of friends who heard my introduction of the prime minister, was surprised that I didn't use the opportunity to mention any of the issues of importance for me or for Vaxholm. But Fredrik's summer speech is about his politics, not mine or the local politics in Vaxholm.
So, what would I have said?
For starters, I would stressed the importance of making Sweden a better country for entrepreneurs. And I would have been enthusistiastic about the opportunities that we in Sweden still have to turn ourselves into a leading country for new technologies and services in the world. I'm more and more afraid each day, that much of our welfare actually relies on foundations built decades and even over a century ago. And the exciting things that happen in (Fenno-)Scandinavia, are increasingly happening in our neighboring countries.
And I would have talked about the Baltic Sea, and the importance of making sure that it stays alive both today and in the future. This will require a huge effort of all the countries around the Baltic Sea, and we'll have our best possibility to drive this agressively during our upcoming chairmanship of the EU.
The discussion took off from the "classical" Europe vs. Silicon Valley perspective. The room was full of people who are handling this differently today: Loïc who moved to SF before he started Seesmic, Tariq who early on chose to start an office in SF, while always keeping the development in Paris, Alexander who has had different models along the way, and Martin who still runs Fon from Spain.
Everyone seemed to agree that Silicon Valley has a lot of advantages, that really helps when you are running a startup:
- Access to capital. Both angels and later-stage investments are easier to land in the US than in Europe - and the amount of invested VC funding is roughly five times larger in the US. This is a huge opportunity for European VC:s, who hopefully will use it. But a lot of it is still due to attitude: "European VCs never dare to invest in greater or crazy ideas like Fon", Martin says.
- Ambitions: Too many European entrepreneurs get stuck with more or less unconsciously limiting their ambitions to the local market to where they come from. "You feel very lonely when you're working from there", said Loïc, and "You can really feel how you are raising your ambitions as soon as you're flying in over the US", said Alex.
- Management: In Europe, it is harder to find good management that can take companies on from successful startups to multi-million dollar operations.
I couldn't agree more with the quality of living. For me, I have a hard time imagining a better place to live in, and for my kids to grow up in, than Vaxholm where I live. But on the other hand: the know and the flow around Internet applications in the Valley is extraordinary. Hopefully we'll find ways to combine the two.
We have two buckets of competitors: online world competitors and physical world competitors. It's very hard not to be inspired when you're looking at the Internet. When I started Amazon fourteen years ago, I was amazed by the speed of change. And I think it has accelerated.
All our new [cloud] services we built five years ago internally. We saw that huge amounts of time was spent on stuff that wasn't contributing to the customer experience. It just had to be done. So we tried to see if we could build a set of APIs between our own storage and networking guys, to improve efficiency.
The simple storage service is so simple, so basic: You send us data, and we send you an identifier. You send us an identifier, and we send you the data. And we thought, there should be a lot of companies that should like a service like that. And they did. And we thought, why not build this into a real business? And I think that no one really knows how big a business this could be.
I was recently in Luxembourg in an old brewery, that had an old electricity generator. They had it on display as a kind of museum thing. Since they couldn't get electricity, they had to learn to manage this instead of making better beer. But as soon as they could get reliable electricity from the power grid, they could concentrate on making beer instead.
About my space business? It is harder to get a sets of API to. It is a very integrated system. Everything is so close to the edge of maximum performance, that is needs close and hard integration. It is a vertical-take-off, vertical-landing rocket. It comes back and lands on its tail. No spaceship has ever done that, coming back to earth. I think it will be a few years before we have a commercial vehicle, that will take real astronauts into space.
Our vision for Kindle is that we'll have every book, ever printed or not printed, in every language, available within sixty seconds. We started to design the Kindle three years ago. The physical book has been in the same basic form in five hundred years. If Gutenberg came here, he would be astonished about printing and paper, but he would still recognize the book. With the Kindle it is something totally different - we have to start inventing. So we've tried to think of other things, that you can't do with a book, but that you can do with a Kindle.
Like looking up words that you don't know. Some of the flaws in the physical books are invisible to us, since we are used to them. Like the possibility to read one-handed. And that it is quieter than a book if you're lying beside a spouse.
What do we think of competition in this space? The reason electric companies are regulated, is that it is very impractical to run several sets of electrical poles in the city. I think that customer demand will drive availability and compatibility
It's really fun to be here. There are so many good things happening in this industry right now, and I'm very excited.
WHAT'S TECH GOT TO DO WITH IT
Michael Dell (Dell)
Gary Hamel (London Business School)
Marc Benioff (salesforce.com)
Christiane zu Salm (Hubert Burda Media)
Is tech making the world better? Of course! The vast majority of everyone coming onto the Internet today are from developing countries. Almost all transitions in industry today, is driven by the speed of digital communication.
What is the main thing happening in technology today? Every country, even the ones that used to live fairly isolated, isn't anymore. And wealth: Today, we have a disproportionally large slice of the world's wealth, but the pie is getting bigger. We have to start relating to that reality.
And about Dell: We're trying to be a company that listens, and have big ears.
New technology has made the world a better place. Human creativity is saved and utilized in such a different way. Before, a lot of creativity and ideas just existed with people, and then went away. Today, you'll easily channel the creativity through blogs or Youtube almost for free.
How do we mobilize people to get things done? Industry: All tech for that is designed just after the civil war. The invention of management. In the future, one of the greatest differences will be how we manage. We'll see an even bigger difference when this impacts who makes decisions, when and so forth. This will be fundamentally different.
The most powerful part of this, is that it doesn't begin with Dell and people talking to each other, but with people talking to people about Dell, discussing products or prototypes in Dell's discussion forums. Dell has to prioritize and interpret what the customer says, and get back to the customer after that.
Like the anti-spill-thingy that Starbucks has now, that you can stick into your cup when going in your car. When it's pushed in, you don't spill your coffee, and when you pull it out, you can use it to stir your coffee. It turns out that this was a customer's idea. You have to use you big ears and listen.
Christiane zu Salm
I wonder if it can become too complex from a management perspective - almost impossible to manage?
In the 2001 Brainstorm, Clinton was talking about a global spiritual awakening. This was just a month or so before 9/11. Here we are, seven years later, and it strikes me that we all might be further along in understanding that feeling?
Yes, I think Clinton said: "Change in the world can only happen with a change in consciousness." Like Dalai Lama's "Peace with inner peace". We have seen that the Internet has changed to a collaboration model with 2.0, and we're soon see Internet 3.0 and innovation, which Jeff Bezos will talk about later. We're going from the possibility to Transact [1.0], over Collaboration [2.0], to Innovation [3.0]!
Germany is known for inventing things. mp3 was invented in Germany. But the business took off somewhere else. That's a thing in the German culture: we don't really like to take risks. We will always be good enough to compete anyway. What worries me is the demographics. Europe is growing substantially older, compared to the US. I mean, my mother doesn't even know what an iPhone is.
Somehow I think we overestimate the importance cultural differences. We're all managing companies with management 1.0-methods. And know we're coming to a point where most growth and new companies will come from imagination and creativity. Today, there are no country, where more than 20% says they're highly engaged in what they're doing. These new type of innovations are allergic towards the traditional power structures and hierarchies.
If you would've taken the hundred smartest people out of all the Fortune 500-companies 20 years ago, and ask them if the most used and robust computer system would be developed by an army of 1.6 million volunteers, I think that less than one out of a hundred would have thought that to be possible.
Everyone have an urge for more transparency on all levels. If this is going to work, we've got to stand up and demand to know exactly what is happening everywhere with information. In the end, it is all about that trust. To be able to achieve the type of ideas we're talking about, we need that type of trust. If we have an increasing dependency on these systems [in the cloud] on all levels, then we really need to have that transparency.
How is this going to change leadership and management?
On the net - all hierarchies are natural. You have a position because you have something to say, something to add. In companies' traditional power structures, people's potential to add and contribute diminish much quicker than their position in the power structure do. All that is going to change.
I'll be in the Bay area until Wednesday night, and then I'm going back to Washington D.C. for more meetings on mobile banking. And the conference? I'll blog as much as I can...
How amazing is this: When I was born, the real cost of a one-minute international phone call was roughly US$100! A one-minute phone call! $100. ONE minute.
This was, of course, rather naïve. SAS and all SAS hub airports has had constant delays during the past few months - all since they changed traffic system to a "better" one.
I didn't even have to bother to leave the office: a quick browse on arlanda.se revealed that the plane was 45 minutes late already when leaving.
The flight I ended up taking from LCY was only 45 minutes late, which meant that I came home to Vaxholm just after midnight, leaving me with 4 1/2 hours before I needed to get up to catch the train to Sälen.
Banverket came up with the clever idea to shut off the train traffic out north from Stockholm during Easter. Clever idea! This and other delays on the train to Borlänge made us miss our connecting train. Two and a half hours waiting until an alternative route could begin. The poor guy who has the small restaurant "Take the train" on Borlänge train staion seemed kind of chocked when hordes of confused people from a 500 seat train came in and tried to buy food, AND to grab any of the 30 seats in the room.
When I boarded the next "train" (rälsbuss), I quickly noticed two things:
1) The train is destined to make an almost impossibly complicated detour, bringing me a few kilometers from my childhood home in Grangärde
2) The famous/infamous left-wing journalist Göran Greider was sitting just in front of me. He got off the train in Dala-Floda. That's when I noticed that he was wearing a pair of rather tight sweat pants. In snowy Dalarna, in March. Charming.
Soon I'll board a bus (they say), which will take me up to Sälens Högfjäll. If this bus is the first on-time leg, then I might even make it before 1800 hrs. That's basically 30 hours after when I first tried to leave...
Our party has been struggling a bit after a semi-division just before the 2006 elections, but i think the time has finally come for us to start acting united and set the agenda in Vaxholm again. More on this later!
The days are long and demanding into the extreme, but the project is also great fun. My days here in London look pretty similar: up as early as possible, but sadly not early enough for me to have any time to work out. If I have, it's a great bonus. Then a quick walk from Sanderson's to the client on the other side of Tottenham Court Road, picking up a sandwich, juice and coffee on the way. EAT makes great sandwiches. Then work, work work. And in the evening the same procedure in reverse.
My walks back to the hotel (23:00-ish) gives me an interesting feeling for London's nightlife: From Monday night with only a few souls scattered around New Oxford Street, to Thursday night when the party crowd running around makes me having to zig-zag my way through.
This means very little blogging, and very little time to answer any except for the most urgent e-mails. See you again after Easter ;)
I really, really don't think so. Today's immobile situation, with mankind clinging on to their indoor devices that are plugged into the wall, is nothing but a glitch in human history. Instead, with a bit perspective, we will see that it is Internet in combination with super-effective travel (imagine a machine-piloted helicopter that is four times faster than today's choppers, at the cost of a car) that truly will make us even more mobile, spending more time outdoors and in less populated areas.
Of course, as Tim Harford points out in the latest Wired, increased mobility and work/connection possibilities will not mean that all of will move out to the countryside and become IRL eremites. It is more likely that the opposite will happen. But park officers, stay assured that your visitors will come back! It might take a couple of decades, though. In the meantime, let's start by focusing on making a really great outdoorsy mobile device ;)
"We believe social search is any search aided by a social interaction or a social connection… Social search happens every day. When you ask a friend “what movies are good to go see?” or “where should we go to dinner?”, you are doing a verbal social search. You’re trying to leverage that social connection to try and get a piece of information that would be better than what you’d come up with on your own.
We know that because of the volume of searches like this that happen everyday, that the social component of search is actually very important, and it hasn’t translated well yet to the internet medium.
Social search is hard because the intuitive thing you would do online to mirror normal social networks and other social interactions just aren’t that effective, compelling or even reasonable. So, for example, from the Facebook News Feed analogy, you could just get a social network and broadcast all of everyone’s searches to everyone on their social network, but most people view search as a far more private activity than that. They’re not comfortable letting everyone in their social network know what they searched for, so such a product is clearly not reasonable."
This comes from an extensive and must-read Q&A with Marissa that was published yesterday on Venturebeat, at roughly the same time as Google released their awaited Social Graph API. Techcrunch comments on the API too.
Det visar sig ganska snabbt att "Ungdomar viker ut sig som aldrig förr" bara är en missvisande, aggressiv rubriksättning. Det hela handlar inte om "utvik på nätet" - promiskuösa foton - utan generell information som riskerar att vara integritetskränkande.
"Undersökningen visar att unga människor är väldigt öppna på internet och de begränsar inte sin användning av integritetsskäl. Hela 86 procent av de tillfrågade har lagt ut bilder av sig själva och tre av fyra skriver kommentarer på nätet under sitt riktiga namn.
Ett överraskande resultat är att ökad kunskap inte tycks påverka beteendet. Tydligen är det så viktigt att använda nätet fullt ut att man medvetet utsätter sig för riskerna."
Här kommer sedan en rad underliga slutsatser, som gör att jag känner mig nödgad att kommentera artikeln. Resultatet är förstås inte överraskande på något sätt: den ökade kunskapen om integritetsriskerna, och var gränserna går, har ju istället ökat användandet av Internet "fullt ut" bland unga. Och naturligtvis är nätets användande "fullt ut" beroende av dessa "integritetsrisker". Varför? Jo, att gå ut på fredagskvällen iklädd balaklava och röstförvrängare är ju inte så festligt (och heller inte så särskilt trevligt, tycker jag).
"Långt senare kan den dyka upp; en arbetsgivare kan leta fram den när du söker jobb, den kan också användas av bedragare, bondfångare eller till och med utpressare."
Jo, självklart googlar arbetsgivare redan idag jobbkandidater. Och i samtliga fall jag själv (som arbetsgivare) använt google för att få mer information om en jobbkandidat, så har "nätprofilen" av personer bara bidragit positivt till att bilda sig en bättre uppfattning och förståelse för vad personen gör och har gjort. Det ibland långa steget att anställa en "okänd" person bara på ett CV och ett par intervjuer förkortas avsevärt av "nätprofilen" som oftast ger en mycket mer nyanserad bild. Jag kan tänka mig att det snarare redan idag är en nackdel att ha en svag eller icke-existerande "nätprofil".
Istället är det dagens unga som förstår dynamiken i nätverken, och de är därför mycket bättre på att välja vilken information som man väljer att dela med sig av. De MSN:ar eller publicerar INTE promiskuösa foton på sig själva eller närstående, i tron att det skulle vara samma sak som att visa upp en kopia kontrollerat i deras eget hem. Så skrämselpropaganda om att det skulle vara dumt att använda sitt riktiga namn i sin MSN-profil väntar jag ännu på att få vettiga argument för.
Och tro mig, tröskeln för vad vi "accepterar" i form av "negativt nätbagage" kommer öka, framförallt när personer i 20-årsåldern (som ju var mycket mer Internet-försökskaniner än dagens 14-18-åringar) börjar frekventera arbetslivet. Man kommer helt enkelt acceptera att managementkonsulten på McKinsey också var stupfull och kräktes på en Mallorcafest när han eller hon var 19 år gammal.
"Problemet tycks vara grundinställningen till den personliga integriteten eller, mer vardagligt, ”rätten att få vara i fred"."
Jag blir alltid illa till mods när människor anser att andra människors (eller i det här fallet 86% av alla ungdomar mellan 14-18 år) åsikter är problematiska. Oftast tror jag att det bottnar i okunskap. I det här fallet tror jag att det beror på att dagens makthavare försöker applicera sina egna modeller och uppfattningar på ett fenomen de själva inte förstår. För att dra korrekta slutsatser av vad ungdomarnas användande egentligen innebär för deras intregritet, så måste de själva förstå och använda Facebook, MSN, Twitter, Pixbox, Bilddagboken, Jaiku, Playahead med många flera.
PS. Jag brukar normalt inte stå på den "här sidan staketet". Göran Gräslund har tidigare skrivit välbalanserade inlägg och försiktigt kritiserat Bodströmsamhället på Brännpunkt.
It kind of surprises me to see that MySpace Sweden are sending out a newsletter that looks like this.
Not that MySpace in any way are likely to win design awards anytime soon, but the level of text encoding/html programming in this newsletter is just... really low.
MySpace: Before sending from a new newsletter template, you need to test it in AT LEAST the following e-mail clients/services for PC (and of course OS X where applicable):
Mail (OS X)
Thunderbird (PC, OS X, Linux)
"And they must do it by 2015, with a total budget of only $8 billion--the equivalent of six weeks' expenses in Iraq."
About the Orion project, and NASA's and Lockheed Martin's total budget for designing the spaceship that will replace today's space shuttle. From Fast Company.
Inte minst Aftonbladet (och senare Expressen) hamnar i centrum, eftersom båda tidningarna konsekvent och öppet bryter emot lagen genom att underlåta att lämna kontrolluppgift för tipspengar man betalar ut. Ursäkten är hänvisning till "källskydd". Man kan i och för sig fråga sig hur hemliga utbetalningar till skyddade källor påverkar dessa källors trovärdighet, eftersom dessa då inte behöver stå till svars för utsagorna - trots att de fått ersättning.
Men det mest anmärkningsvärda är förstås att dessa tidningar bryter emot lagen, och då när det råkar gälla en fråga där tidningarna själva anser att man bör kunna agera på ett visst sätt. Man ställer sig över lagen. Att det är precis denna fråga man manglat fram och tillbaka vad gäller statsråd och riksdagsmän vad gäller hushållsnära tjänster under hösten, låtsas man inte om. Tyvärr inte så otroligt. Men riktigt, riktigt otrevligt.
Peter skriver läsvärt på SvD:s Brännpunkt idag.