InfoWorld has a special report on business process management.

BPM software can’t improve anything by itself, of course — but it can be a powerful weapon when combined with business-oriented documentation and analysis. Within its own controlled, high-level app dev environment, BPM wraps IT solution development within business-driven modeling and performance measurement.

At the least, BPM provides an effective new medium through which the business side can communicate its requirements to IT. At best, it can distill functionality from existing applications and free business logic from the bonds of existing infrastructure to enable unprecedented agility.

The Future of TV

[via PaidContent.org] An IBM report writes:

Our analysis indicates that market evolution hinges on two key market drivers: openness of access channels and levels of consumer involvement with media. For the next 5-7 years, there will be change on both fronts but not uniformly. The industry instead will be stamped by consumer bimodality, a coexistence of two types of users with disparate channel requirements. While one consumer segment remains passive in the living room, the other will force radical change in business models in a search for anytime, anywhere content through multiple channels.

The tech- and fashion-forward consumer segment will lead us to a world of platform-agnostic content, fluid mobility of media experiences, individualized pricing schemes and an end to the traditional concept of release windows.

This is the beginning of “the end of television as we know it” and the future will only favor those who prepare today.

Serial Entrepreneurs

The New York Times writes:

That’s how it is with serial entrepreneurs: they create one company after another, and everything else is just tossing dirt. They do it, Mr. Tooke says, because they “like to go fast.” They “like simultaneously building a company, tailoring products to changing markets and selling,” he said. They do it because they love the highs and lows of the game.

Of course, money matters, too. It is the way serial entrepreneurs keep score, and only those with good track records can continue to attract investors. Still, for many the contest counts as much as the trophy.

In this respect serial entrepreneurs are quirkier and more restless than other entrepreneurs. Many possess a mishmash of technical, marketing, leadership and people skills a combination that sets them apart. Their bounty of talents and experience make them valuable role models to anyone thinking of starting a business.

Videogame Gurus

WSJ writes: “Videogames are reshaping the entertainment business. But the moguls who make them are still largely unknowns.” One of those profiled is Sim City creator Will Wright.

It’s not exactly the backlot at Paramount Studios, but in a glass-walled office in an industrial neighborhood down the block from Pixar in Emeryville, Calif., the videogame industry’s equivalent of Steven Spielberg is hatching what some think could be the next blockbuster. The game designer is 46-year-old Will Wright, who created The Sims, a hugely popular game where players design characters and let them loose to interact.

In 1987, Mr. Wright co-founded Maxis, which was bought by Electronic Arts a decade later for $125 million. Now he is putting the final touches on one of the most eagerly anticipated new videogames. It is Spore, a game that will let players control the development of life forms as they progress from single-celled organisms to complex societies — basically putting the player in charge of evolution. There’s a big legacy to live up to: the Sims franchise has sold more than 58 million games, with sales of well over $1 billion.

Mr. Wright has something of a mad-scientist image. One side project is a group, the Stupid Fun Club (www.stupidfunclub.com), that builds robots that may end up as part of a reality TV show, including one that pelts observers with ping-pong balls.

Distributed Classifieds

Jeff Jarvis writes: “Ive been writing for a long time that the future of classified advertising and more of media is distributed. That is, you wont need to go to a centralized marketplace the newspaper or even Craigslist or Monster to let the world know you want to sell or buy or find something. Instead, youll be able to put your listing up anywhere with proper tags and then specialized search engines, like Edgeio and Oodle, will find them so buyer and seller can find each other in a distributed marketplace with far less friction and far more control at the edges.”

TECH TALK: DEMO 2006: Attention Attractors

Jeff Clavier profiled [1 2 3 4] the companies who presented. Among the ones I liked (with commentary by Jeff):

Moobella: on-demand Linux-based remixable mashuped ice cream. I need to taste the final product when I visit the tent but the idea of a retail machine producing the ice cream you want in less than a minute is pretty interesting. First field tests coming in Chicago in 2006, and fund raising for retail deployment.

Digismart: miniature projection systems (go aussies) allowing you to display 11×17 images (from 3 feet) from a cell phone, PD3, MP3 players, etc. Raising $9.7M for development and deployment.

TinyPictures: CEO John Poisson introduces Radar, an application allowing users to share pictures with their friends from their mobile phones. It is an application that runs on standard Java-enabled camera phones. Based on a comment from the presenters, it sounds like MDV funded these guys.

Riya: Munjal Shah, Riyas co-founder and CEO, demonstrates Riyas photosearch functionality. Riyas secret sauce is its automatic extraction and recognition of faces. The collective wizdom is used by the system because as a user, I can benefit from the training sets of other users, and therefore not have to tag each and every photo I am uploading (I cant believe that I am part of the demo with a picture of me and Mike on the big screen). Much work has been done on the UI since the initial tests I have done. Rocks.

TagWorld (just funded by DFJ): a better version of MySpace according to Freddy Kruger, the CEO of the company, who mentions that 700K users have joined over the past 3 months. Oliver Muoto demos the new social classifieds and stores functionality released today, with with he lists a movie, and creates a store, in a couple of minutes. A very cool implementation of social networking, photosharing, social commerce,…

Kosmix: has developed technology to automatically categorize the web the first real innovation since PageRank (Anands claim :-). Kosmix crawls the web (3.2B pages indexed) and assigns a category to web pages (Health, Travel, Politics for now), which allows the company to deliver more accurate search solutions. Their technology can be used to quickly deploy vertical solutions, in a matter of weeks (where you can search less, and find more).

LocaModa: technology powering the web outside. Allows brands to connect with audiences in concerts, cafes, etc. by displaying on a large screen or a wb site messages received via emails/text messages or RSS. A second application enables consumers looking at a screen in the street to drive the content of that screen via a cell phone.

PayWi: a cell-phone based payment solution, eventually replacing credit cards. PayWi can be used for online and credit card payments, money transfers, checking account balances, Credit card information never leave the phone, and are secured with military grade encryption. More complex operation are possible with the platform.

eWeek offered a number of reports from DEMO.
Michael Arrington wrote about the companies that caught his eye.
News.com has detailed coverage and reports about the companies and trends.

Tomorrow: Demo Tips

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