"salesforce" entries

Four short links: 18 July 2011

Four short links: 18 July 2011

Organisational Warfare, RTFM, Timezone Shapefile, Microsoft Adventure

  1. Organisational Warfare (Simon Wardley) — notes on the commoditisation of software, with interesting analyses of the positions of some large players. On closer inspection, Salesforce seems to be doing more than just commoditisation with an ILC pattern, as can be clearly seen from Radian’s 6 acquisition. They also seem to be operating a tower and moat strategy, i.e. creating a tower of revenue (the service) around which is built a moat devoid of differential value with high barriers to entry. When their competitors finally wake up and realise that the future world of CRM is in this service space, they’ll discover a new player dominating this space who has not only removed many of the opportunities to differentiate (e.g. social CRM, mobile CRM) but built a large ecosystem that creates high rates of new innovation. This should be a fairly fatal combination.
  2. Learning to Win by Reading Manuals in a Monte-Carlo Framework (MIT) — starting with no prior knowledge of the game or its UI, the system learns how to play and to win by experimenting, and from parsed manual text. They used FreeCiv, and assessed the influence of parsing the manual shallowly and deeply. Trust MIT to turn RTFM into a paper. For human-readable explanation, see the press release.
  3. A Shapefile of the TZ Timezones of the World — I have nothing but sympathy for the poor gentleman who compiled this. Political boundaries are notoriously arbitrary, and timezones are even worse because they don’t need a war to change. (via Matt Biddulph)
  4. Microsoft Adventure — 1979 Microsoft game for the TRS-80 has fascinating threads into the past and into what would become Microsoft’s future.
Four short links: 7 January 2011

Four short links: 7 January 2011

User Experience, Big Data Case Study, DimDim Acquired, Secret to the Web

  1. Users Can Self-Report Problems — users self-report 50% of the problems that professional usability testing uncovers, and they find problems that usability testers don’t. (The other way to look at this is: self-reporting only finds half the actual problems in a site)
  2. The Learning Behind Gmail Priority Inbox (PDF) — challenges faced by Gmail Priority Inbox and how they beat them. Priority Inbox ranks mail at a rate far exceeding the capacity of a single machine. It is also dif´Čücult to predict the data center that will handle a user’s Gmail account, so we must be able to score any user from any data center, without delaying mail delivery(via Hacker News)
  3. DimDim Acquired by Salesforce — congrats to the founder, who was an OSCON speaker, and his team. The open source remains, but will not be contributed to by Salesforce. DD Ganguly, the founder, is a good smart chap and I look forward to his next project.
  4. WWIC — As Tim said when he forwarded this around: This is absolutely brilliant. Think deeply on it. Act on it. (via Alex Howard in email)

Google's New Marketplace Has over a Thousand Apps

One week into its public launch, the Google Apps Marketplace has just under 1,500 (enterprise) apps. Combined with Salesfore.com’s app exchange (also with over a thousand apps), enterprises interested in moving to cloud apps have an increasing number of software tools to choose from.