4. Rethinking Manufacturing for Sustainability
Green technologies are being developed by traditional companies, but these ideas and technologies are not being leveraged to their full potential. Too often the activities are isolated and ineffective; in conflict, compromised or diluted by duplication of effort.
For example, Nike spent an entire year creating an index to measure the sustainability of their products only to discover that companies ranging from Marks & Spencer and Patagonia to Adidas and Wal-Mart had invested similar amounts of time and effort to develop their own proprietary indexes.
“Collaboration,” says a Nike executive, “would not only have gotten us there quicker, it would have resulted in a better index.”
Wikinomics principles are a better approach. So Nike worked with an NGO called the Science Commons to develop a new model of patent licensing that would make it straightforward for companies to share sustainable technologies, making them open for re-use and modification. It’s called the GreenXChange and the idea is to create an online marketplace where companies not only share cutting-edge practices but also the technology and underlying intellectual property needed to make things happen.
Early adopters such as Best Buy have agreed to contribute their green tech assets to the pool and in turn they hope to benefit from innovations contributed by new participants as they join.
We’re using Podio lately and I’ve been impressed so far. I wouldn’t classify it as a pure project management tool.It’s more of a hybrid, lying somewhere between socialCRM and an intranet. As others have mentioned, they’ll need to continue to grow an app ecosystem to really compete with some CRM and social platforms that provide overlapping functionality. Here’s a few observations.
- Simple and intuitive..it’s clear they’ve thought through other’s shortcomings.
- Timing is good. Building on last thought. You don’t always have to be first to market. Observe, iterate and roll-out incrementally.
- As mentioned, its multi-genre capabilities give them an edge. Is it project management. Is it collaboration? Yes.
- They benefit from the push for openness. Ultimately, it’ll be easier to integrate with 3rd-party stuff as API and Authentication and Identity protocols mature. My guess is you’ll see more off-the-shelf integrations with services like Dropbox, Evernote and apps for web-conferencing, curation, and mindmapping.
- Cloud computing will also be an impetus. With IDC projecting cloud apps will steal 30% of the corporate software market by 2014, companies with a native SaaS strategy are already ahead. The bigger trend I think we’re all seeing is how these hybrid collaboration and project management tools have morphed recently to model Apple’s appstore. That’s clearly a big shift, and in a sense a double-edged sword. Those initial apps provide a lift for new users out of the gate, but expectations can be the albatross that weighs you down if you can’t scale quick enough.
This was a cross-post from Quora.