Sunday, July 15, 2007,4149,1528654,00.asp

By Jim Louderback
"Why isn't MP3 dead yet," complained reader Matt Bieschke to me in an e-mail. "I've been waiting a long time for MP3 to die, and it just seems to get more popular."

Are there better Alternatives? There are, and they solve the problems. Microsoft's WMA, MPEG-4 AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) used by Apple's iPod and iTunes, and Ogg Vorbis all create much smaller files that sound as good or better than MP3s. Ogg Vorbis is free for all, both on the encoding and the playback side. WMA includes built-in digital rights management (DRM), and Apple has appended its own DRM to AAC—which makes music sellers happy.
Why hasn't MP3 been unseated? Formats, once widely adopted, are very hard to change. MP3 has become a lowest-common-denominator format: A device simply cannot be successful without supporting it. Why? Because so many users have invested so much time in creating and downloading MP3 files, and they'll resist going through gathering and encoding all over again. There's simply too much material in MP3 format floating around for us to change over, even with all the benefits of newer formats.
I don't disagree with your assessment of the MP3 format...
MP3 will never die.
it's not about adopting new standards; it's really about making money.
What's it going to take to change? I've developed a law of technology adoption, which I modestly call Louderback's Law: Unless a new technology includes breakthroughs in at least two different dimensions—without adding hardship along the way—it will not supplant and older, established one.

The idea of "LOWest COMMON DENOMINATOR" is a strong idea. BIC has become LCM of the pens. MP# has become the LCM of music. VICKS has become LCM of cold-relief balm in India..and SURF has become LCM of washing powder....very very difficult to replace the first movers advantage. First mover, that went to the masses....

Power of LCM is a greatly unarticulated that defies the idea of value creation through premium branding and the language of 'desire through scarcity'. At least we can say that it works slightly differently for a mass-marketeer visionery. Trading products under one brand umbrella and creating a product that flows like water in the market is totally different ball game.

Contextual Enquiry Primer

Contextual inquiry is based on three core principles: that understanding the context in which a product is used (the work being performed) is essential for elegant design, that the user is a partner in the design process, and that the usability design process, including assessment methods like contextual inquiry and usability testing, must have a focus. … For example, interviewing during a contextual inquiry study usually does not include set, broadly worded questions. Instead, the partnership between the interviewer and interviewee is used to create a dialogue, one where the interviewer can not only determine the user’s opinions and experiences, but also his or her motivations and context.” Also see Contextual Enquiry – A Primer.

Interesection of Concepts, cultures and context

Associative Barriers And The Medici Effect
The contextual objective of collaborative software is to create what’s called The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Insights at the Intersection of Ideas, Concepts & Cultures. “When you step into an intersection of fields, disciplines, or cultures, you can combine existing concepts into a large number of extraordinary new ideas.” In medicine for instance, inkjet technology is applied to develop layered pharmacuticals which time–release different medications in sequence.
Only through redesign of associative webs and barriers making up the stuff of context can information technology realize its potential, and avoid the ultimate context failure: groupthink.

Another good quote

"He who innovates, will have enemies in all those who are well off under the existing order of things, and will find only lukewarm supporters in those who might be better off under the new"-

Niccollo Machiaveli- The Prince

Innovation Process

“The nature of innovation — the inherent definition of innovation — has changed today from what it was in the past. It’s no longer individuals toiling in a laboratory, coming up with some great invention. It’s not an individual. It’s individuals. It’s multidisciplinary. It’s global. It’s collaborative.” — Sam Palmisano, Chairman, President and CEO, IBM

IBM chief makes my job easier :)...makes Onio's job easier and makes the design industry a wee bit closer to public education on design.

Another quote which attracted my attention-

“Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow.” — Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO, News Corporation

and yet another one-
The report quotes CEOs as saying:
"partnering is “theoretically easy” but “practically hard to do.”…”having a few beers together is not collaboration. Collaboration is a discipline.”