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Friday, February 10, 2006


Stuff I'm Reading - February 2006

Here's my reading list for the month of February...

My system is short and sweet: I separate titles into geek and non-geek divisions and a simple rating system:

Non-Geek Tomes

Geoffrey Moore, "Dealing with Darwin: How Great Companies Innvoate at Every Phase of Their Evolution," Portfolio, 2005. Moore, the author of Inside the Tornado, Crossing the Chasm, and Living on the Fault Line, truly gets innovation (as does Clayton Christianson) and technology markets. In this volume, he makes and justifies Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection in terms of business and markets: there are complimentary processes in business that determine which survive and which don't. There are huge lessons in this book for business process and IT folks with respect to alignment and support of innovation.

Moore defines the word "core" (with respect to a business) as a concept used to describe differentiating innovation: "To succeed with core, you must take your value proposition to such an extreme that competitors either cannot or will not follow. That's what creates the separation you seek."

The case study is about Cisco, and Moore offers Cisco's leadership to followers market strategy as:

"Specifically, the other major players in the ecosystem must voluntarily embrace your platform. Knowing how much power this confers on another company, why would these companies ever do this? The answer is three-fold:

1. They get enormous productivity gains from leveraging your services.

2. They get access to a much broader marketplace.

3. They do not perceive the power you gain coming at their expense.

"Cisco's plan is to deliver on all three points....[It] seeks to leverage its own location advantage by providing services that are noncore to its major partners."

Hmmm...the entrepreneurs amongt us in the SaaS/Mashup spaces might want to pick this book up and digest thouroughly. Others involved with enterprise architecture and business processes will gain enormous insights also, particularly on how to organize tactical thoughts and plans against business strategies. Rating: Yeah, Baby!

Geek Tomes

John Schmidt, David Lyle, "Integration Competency Center: An Implementation Methodology," Informatica Corporation, 2005. Short (153 pages) but highly organized book on IT integration strategies and the context between enterprise architecture and the business as well as integration issues. Kind of a mish-mash between framework/methodologies and research notations from others. Very useful in that they go a step further off of frameworks and discuss implementation (including defining the dreaded 'integration hairball'), but not far enough for those who want huge amounts of detail. A well done piece of work, but I wonder why a software vendor published this (granted, with no plugs or ads) and not a mainstream publishing house. Rating: Worth the $

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