Bruce Sterling delivered what will probably go down as the most brilliant SIGGRAPH keynote ever: "We should want to abandon that which has no future. We should blow right through mere sustainability. We should desire a world of enhancement. That is what should come next. We should want to expand the options of those who will follow us."
The "new" paradigm is to have your customers add value to your product far beyond what you could do on your own. The classic example of this is Microsoft, with Microsoft Windows. The key selling point for Windows has always been the wide number of applications available to run on it.
Another example is Slashdot, where a slick moderation and meta-moderation system allows the users to do most of the necessary work to keep the site running. Even better is Kuro5hin or DailyKos, which allow the users to promote stories to the front page based on merit. Another example is the way that game company titles are enhanced by the "mod" community.
The future of product development is about allowing enthusiastic customers to add value to the core product. Spimes are a secondary development, not the key trend of creating products which are platforms. I'm pretty sure this trend will extend from software to physical product design as well, as individuals become more empowered by technology to participate in product development.
Tue Aug 17 2004 12:36 PM
Last week's soundtrack:
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