The Next Big Thing
OK, I am ready now to go on record as to what I believe will be the next big wave in product innovation. Some may say I am already late to the party, but I believe that it is only now that the political, environmental, and especially economic forces have converged for this product wave to begin in earnest. I am referring here to what is called green Technology? Or sometimes 揅lean Technology? But I am not just talking about something like solar power. While I think solar power is a great example of green technology, and that the market for solar power technology is just getting ready to take off in a very big way, I believe green technology will impact virtually all of us in the product development world, software, and firmware, hardware, and internet services.
好，我准备继续讲述关于我相信在产品创新中将会发生的较大的变化。一些人说我参加聚会迟到了，但我相信现在是政治、环境特别是经济力量已经真正向产品链汇聚的时候到了。我现在提到的是所谓的绿色技术？或者有时叫 技术吗？ 但是我不是在讲像太阳能这样的东西。当然我认为太阳能是环保技术的一个最好代表，太阳能通过一种很大的方式在市场上大受欢迎，我相信绿色技术将会在产品发展界、软件、固化软件、硬件和互联网服务方面对我们所有的人产生巨大影响。
If you believe necessity is the motherhood of invention (not a bad credo for a product manager) then it is not hard to see why green technology is now the number five recipient of venture capital investment is the US and growing rapidly. The economic and environmental concerns are now overwhelming the political special interests, and whether you believe in this market for environmental reasons or for purely economic reasons, the result is now the same, and there is a tremendous need and opportunity for new products in nearly every category. And the recent string of successful solar technology IPO, with several more scheduled, will only add fuel to the fire.
From the San Jose Mercury News: century Capitalists point to the global forces is driving green tech investment: the rising cost of fuel, the economic expansion of China, India and other Asian nations; and growing worries over global warming. in my opinion, it’s one of the most pressing global challenges we face,’ John Doer said. it’s causing the nations of the world to put an even higher priority than we have now on innovation…this is the mother of all markets…as [the] Asian economies rise, people will move from rural to urban settings. All those people will want the same things that you and I want — clean water, power and transportation?
从San Jose Mercury新闻可知：主要的资本家指出全球压力正在推动绿色技术的投资：油料成本的增加、中国、印度和其他亚洲国家经济的扩张，越来越担忧全球变暖。我的观点是，“全球变暖是我们正在面临的最有压力的挑战之一”John Doer说，与产品创新相比，这是全世界的人们优先要着手的事情…… 这是所有市场优先考虑的……随着亚洲经济增长，人们从农村走向城市。所有的这些人将需要你我需要的同样的东西－－干净的水、电力和交通。
My purpose with this note is not to get you all to conserve water or buy a hybrid, but rather to think about what this coming wave will mean to your company, your customers and especially your products. I am convinced that many companies that exist today will be completely displaced by new companies that embrace these technologies sooner and apply them in innovative ways to solve problems much better. The internet did this, and I think the potential market and impact here is even greater. Remember that great products combine a real need with something just now possible; and with the pace of technological innovation that we are starting to see, we will have an unprecedented quantity of new products.
You can read about technology breakthroughs in the green tech space nearly every day now, but my favorite has been watching the guys at Xerox PARC turn their expertise in electronics, materials science, printed circuit board technology and systems software towards the green technology market. We all owe a much greater debt to these guys than most people realize (especially if you are reading this on a Mac or even using a mouse), but they have come up with some very innovative approaches to solar energy that could redefine how we generate power (check out concentrator photovoltaic). Another example is in solid-state lighting; did you realize that 22 percent of electricity produced in the US is used for lighting purposes, and that solid state lighting technology can cut this in half or more?
But most of you, like me, are in the software world, and you might be thinking that this is all great, but what does it have to do with me? My point is that much like the Internet came to touch nearly every type of business; I think green technology will do likewise. Both in how and where you conduct business, and in many cases, in the products you produce.
Virtually all of the innovations on the horizon in the green tech space have very significant amounts of system software, firmware, applications and web services. For example, new energy efficient heating and cooling systems rely on very sophisticated control software (the operating systems for these networks and devices). But even current software will be impacted, such as exchanges (probably more eBay categories) for trading manufacturing waste (one company抯 waste is often another company抯 raw materials), new and better access to local services, much better telecommuting and communications software and services, and new web services for resource sharing, just to mention a few.
I also fully expect that many of you will be recruited away to join these new companies that are getting venture investment now. While there is an obvious need for great engineers and scientists in the natural and physical sciences, what抯 less obvious to some is the need for product management. But as with any industry, a great product is about more than just great technology. And I am anticipating that there will be an unprecedented demand for product leaders to get the inventions to market in the form of usable, affordable, compelling products.
In addition to best practices in product management, I think this wave is going to need all of the resources and capability of our flat world?(as in, the World is Flat? By Thomas Friedman) – the best research, engineering, manufacturing and distribution. In fact, I am betting this product wave will be the first one to truly leverage the flat world that in large part the internet has enabled. And the market for these products will be virtually everyone everywhere on the planet.
While I don’t expect technology to solve all of the problems of the world, I do believe technology and great product leadership can solve our energy and environmental problems, and that we are on the threshold of a wave of products that will literally redefine the landscape, in a very good way.