You don't have to look far to see that technology is driving today's economy. Turn on CNBC
, open The Economist
, scan the Wall Street Journal
--you'll find that technology is the prime force creating growth in almost every industry. In Unleashing the Killer App
, authors Larry Downes and Chunka Mui look at the dynamics of technological change and its potential to create "killer apps." The authors describe a killer app as a product or service that "wind up displacing unrelated older offerings, destroying and re-creating industries far from their immediate use, and throwing into disarray the complex relationships between business partners, competitors, customers, and regulators of markets." Examples of killer apps throughout history include the Welsh longbow, the pulley, the compass, moveable type, and the Apple Macintosh. And today, with our increasingly networked economy (for example, the World Wide Web), killer apps are appearing all around us.
Downes and Mui argue that the dominant trend behind the proliferation of killer apps is a combination of Moore's Law, which states that the processing power of the CPU doubles every 18 months, and Metcalfe's Law, which observes that the value of a network increases dramatically with each node that's added to it. These two laws are fundamentally changing how businesses interact with each other and with their customers. To exploit these changes, the authors outline 12 points for designing a digital strategy to help you identify and create killer apps in your own organization. The book includes dozens of examples of how killer apps were discovered and implemented.
Unleashing the Killer App provides an excellent framework for rethinking the nature of business in today's wired economy. No matter the size of your company or what it does--health care, publishing, or fast food--there's probably a killer app lurking somewhere. This book will help you find it. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards
From Publishers Weekly
To succeed in businessAwhether you work for a large corporation or own your own companyAyou have to be ready with the "killer application," the next wave of cybertechnology. Owing to the rapidly changing business environment, particularly because of the World Wide Web, managers will inevitably lose out to competition if they're not utilizing the latest technology. Companies must alter their operating philosophy from a strategy intended to provide growth for a two- to three-year period to a constantly evolving approach. "What has changed... are the basic principles underlying how you develop products, operate, and yes, even plan. To succeed digitally, you need to eat, sleep, breathe, and think digitally." The authors have devised a 12-step program designed to be "the beginning of a building code for commercial organizations in cyberspace." Among these strategies: structuring transactions as a joint venture, cannibalizing market share and hiring the children. The authors are serious; they advise executives to listen to young people, including their own children. By watching children play with video games or computers, executives can learn more about their products than if they tried to perform the same tasks. The authors, affiliated with Diamond Technology Partners, an executive learning forum, provide various examples of companies that have successfully incorporated these strategies, including AOL, McDonald's and Lotus Notes. With an insightful foreword by Nicholas Negroponte, this book presents a convincing case for a radical shift in current business strategies.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.