Posts tagged ‘HAL’
Things change. When Stanley Kubrick imagined HAL, the psychotic computer in 2001:A Space Odyssey, an urban legend had the name being derived by shifting the abbreviation “IBM” over by one letter. It’s not true, but everyone believed it, because IBM represented a kind of early version of the evil empire: secretive and bent on world domination.
Few companies have shifted so dramatically in their internal culture. IBM now thrives through a new strategy: sharing intellectual property. I read with delight a presentation by Anders Quitzau, an IBM executive, detailing their philosophy of opening up their labs to create an environment for innovation that goes beyond IBM’s own walls. The reason they did it:
[The] Pace of innovation outstrips an organization’s ability to “go it alone”
If you have a known market – say, computers in the 1960s, which sold to universities and government – you can thrive by managing the value chain. But most markets these days are unknown, because things are shifting so fast. The only way to go is to get ideas out there and test them. Your IP isn’t enough, probably: you need to combine it with others’. Sharing ideas lets you engage the market in a process of discovery. The money is in the solutions you build using the shared knowledge.