Monday, March 17, 2014

Catching up on the history of the future


It's been some time since I posted on  Many things have happened in my own life since last July, not the least of which is my sense of what this technology blog should be about.

This is a quick post, just to warm up, but three points to make:

  1. Tech reporting and commentary suffers from the "24 hour news" syndrome.  There are  scads of analysts and reporters trying to reach a limited audience, but there are few truly newsworthy things going on.  Like cable news, what happens in that case is that trivial matters get blown up to the status of "BREAKING NEWS!" Furthermore, search engine optimization has taken over editorial content and headline writing.  So we get a huge volume of stories that contain the same carefully-vetted keywords, and oftentimes the outcome is boring at best, bilgewater reporting at worst.  I'll try to keep my mouth shut unless I have something worth your time to say.  If fewer people find Infrics because I didn't worship the SEO gods, so be it.
  2. In a little over a month, it will have been 3 years since got started.  I'm happy to say that the big ideas I introduced as coverage areas have held up pretty well as guideposts for the direction of emerging tech and societal trends: a)the emergence of services that can be recombined in different ways to achieve enterprise value.  One surprising, and related, development is the way that idea is being expressed in the consumer space through companies like Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb.  More on that soon.  b) the growing personalization of our interactions with businesses and each other, enabled by ever-increasing sophistication of data analysis, location awareness, social connection, and context.  c) the move toward decoupling of content, consumption, and transmission of information.  This idea, which I aggregate under the term "stateless," is gaining in momentum and influence.  In posts to come, I'll offer some ideas about what that means.
  3. In keeping with the "different from bilgewater" idea expressed above, I'm going to change the tone here a little.  You'll still see the occasional long-form analytical reports, but there will be a lot more "letter from Don to you" posts as well, more like a conventional blog.  I voluntarily left a job that paid me very well in order to start Infrics; some things about that choice turned out well, some things have been, shall I say, a learning experience.  I'll talk about both, and about what I've learned about business and enterprise tech along the way. 
One last thing.  I now live in northern California, in the San Francisco Bay area.  I'm a lot closer to some of the most exciting things going on in technology, so I hope to find some of them and share them.  If you're close by, let me know what you're up to.  Friends and colleagues all over the world, if you're headed to SF or Silicon Valley, please look me up.  I'm still at