Archive for the ‘Mash-ups’ Category

I am restless these days. Exploring my limits, physically and mentally, and calibrating and navigating what I was meant to be: an architect, painter, scripter, dramaturge, producer?

I am so hungry to create those true memorable experiences, with artistic, architectural, and ethical rightness and integrity. Experiences those feel right from the very first second to the very last. Produced and executed with a crew of super professionals

Experiences that matter, those touch and move you.

Experiences that give you the same sort of “bang” as when you arrive in Bangkok airport, and get amazed by the post-industrial architecture, in all it’s grandeur and massivity.

The sort of “awe” when discovering Bucky, or the mindset of Jeffrey Katzenberg,Co-founder and CEO of DreamWorks Animation SKG here below in interview with David Kirkpatrick of Techonomy.

The sort of “yes” when seeing the Blue Man Group. But a Blue Man Group with a message, and not only one-way, but where also the audience has to participate to realize the full potential and learning of the production.

The sort of “love” and being “moved” when seeing/hearing Mark Pesce analyzing and synthesizing, and story telling with an eruditeness seldom witnessed before, with us at Innotribe Bangkok last week.

Be in company of these sources of inspiration, or at least breath the same air (spotify link)

Sometimes all I need is the air that I breathe and to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe yes to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe

When as an audience you know, just know, that this production is so right I, in the sense of “exact”, “spot-on”.

When as a producer, behind the scenes and behind the technical desk, you can feel the shiver down the spine as the rumble of the deep bass rolls-in and when the show begins, and the mystic of the lights, the mystery of the colors, the artists, the perfect technology, the professional crew are all coming together in an amazing whirlwind.

A production that feels more like a good book, where you have to invest in the beginning, where you discover new stuff, not the same old re-mashed hyped stereotypes, tricks and banalities.

Like a great film where the plot unfolds, and magic and surprise come together.

With deep immersive learning experiences, and drama, lots of drama, even in the sense of theatrical overacting. It’s creating a meta-story, a story of stories and adding performance to it. A new class of story telling, of immersive learning experience.

With authentic, inspiring mastery on stage, orchestrated and mashed-up into a brand new value play artistry, adding facilitation and superior crowd control to the mix. Aah! How I love the “stage” with it’s smell of wood, nails, pain, curtains, mechanics, flight-cases, racks, amps, cables, light and sound towers.

The whole discussion of hyper-connected companies during our Innotribe event in Bangkok, and especially the story of Uber taxi, made me reflect deeply on the role of the old taxi company as a dispatching service.

A dispatching role that was in essence the friction in the system, and becoming completely obsolete when the nodes (in this case taxi drivers and their customers) started talking to each other via API’s (in this was built into iPhone apps).

This friction (less)-rule not only applies to organizations and functions but also to people and events.

The master of ceremony (MOC) role has to become much more than just announcing and introducing speakers. If the MOC role stays limited to that, the MOC becomes a friction in itself that needs to be removed. The MOC has to become a “master of connections”, bringing additional content-value, interpretation and guidance to the mix.

In the case of events, we have to start looking at them as a way to bring the consumers and providers of our immersive learning experiences in direct P2P contact through API’s aka “emotional synapses” of the speakers/ignitors.

Some folks out there claim that we are pushing the envelope of performance too far, and should fold back to simpler formats closer to TED, or that our banking audiences and cultures are not ready for this. I deeply disagree. I believe that what we set out as a performance design in Bangkok is just the beginning, the middle of a spectrum between minimum and maximum.

It is of course easier, less complex, where you just program some cool people and surf on the success waves of others, never creating something yourself. But when an event becomes a happening with no file-rouge, no overall theme, without gluing metaphor and design, and without deep reflection about the overall energy and thematic rhythms, then we end-up merely with a set of sequentially ordered speakers, at best a mash-up of speakers, MOC, and facilitation tricks picked from the routine shelf, where the colors and scribes are just lipstick on a pig, a weak copy of the original.

It’s like cheating your audience. Because you know you can do so much better. Not giving the best of yourself is a cheating your audience, whether that audience is your beloved one, your family, your team, your company, and your world.

Easy is easy. Easy smells laziness. What we – at least me – are trying to do with events is not about producing a soap, or the n-th well produced game-program for points or money on television. Although I can be seduced by a well executed professional television production like “The Voice”.

I don’t want to go “easy”, that’s not where I set my bar. When “going back to basics, to easy” starts showing its ugly head, it’s time for us not to be complacent and run on routine, but to re-invent ourselves. We have to re-invent ourselves when we think we have explored the limits.

I am looking for the French quality of “profondeur” which I find richer than “depth”. That is where I want to go.

Sometimes, it looks like the ecosystem I live in today is not ready for this ambition and experiences. Sometimes, my current fishbowl is not ready to follow. I sense it’s a matter of time before we all can see the perspective.

This minor headwind is no reason to give-up or scale-down. I want this “giving-my-best-experience” to happen rather sooner than later. I don’t think I can do more than one production like this per year or even two years if I want to keep the quality of content and production I have in mind.

The choice is between many small touch points, with superficial tricks from the routine box and less events, with a dramatic increase in depth and exploration of new limits. Our edge of yesterday has already become the core. We have to be and remain the Edgewalkers (Amazon Affiliates link)

We have to keep our edge of “Edge-Walkers”, “Protagonists”, “Corporate Rebels”: challengers as described in Art Kleiner’s “The Age of Heretics”.

As Peter Thiel explains in this great New York Times article about establishing a creative monopoly:

Instead of being slightly better than everybody else in a crowded and established field, it’s often more valuable to create a new market and totally dominate it.

The journalist of the article makes some great observations:

Creative people don’t follow the crowds; they seek out the blank spots on the map. Creative people wander through faraway and forgotten traditions and then integrate marginal perspectives back to the mainstream. Instead of being fastest around the tracks everybody knows, creative people move adaptively through wildernesses nobody knows.

We live in a culture that nurtures competitive skills. And they are necessary: discipline, rigor and reliability. But it’s probably a good idea to try to supplement them with the skills of the creative monopolist: alertness, independence and the ability to reclaim forgotten traditions.

Maybe I should disappear for some months or years, to do my ultimate research, find sponsors, leverage the knowledge of the commons, produce and distribute with the best of the best.

I have already decided to invest in myself, healthy mind in healthy body to start with, but also focus on giving the best of myself in everything I do, and yes – with a little dose of arrogance – ignore everybody for the better overall health of myself. Ignore everybody as in Hugh McLeod’s bestseller with the same title (Amazon Affiliates link)

I am restless. Because I feel I am stagnating in my current environment. Limited in my creativity. I want to break free. Unchain my heart. Being able to speak free again. No strings attached. Surprise you and myself. Explode, and be emotional and physical again. Exploring my limits.

Sometimes all I need is the air that I breathe and to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe yes to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe


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I have a job where i regularly meet fascinating people.

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Gary Thompson from CLOUD, Inc.


CLOUD Inc. is the Consortium for Local Ownership and Use of Data, a non-profit organization that has filed for 501(c)(6) status with the IRS and is open to people, companies, and other organizations. CLOUD has been formed to create standards to give people property rights in their personal information on the Web and in the cloud, including the right to decide how and when others might use personal information and whether others might be allowed to connect personal information with identifying information.

So all this is about your personal digital identity, and giving back control of these data to the user. Kim Cameron (Chief Architect Identity at Microsoft and the man behind www.identityblog.com will love this – and i am not cynical 😉

A couple of weeks ago, i had a fascinating chat on identity. How identity is all about context. Where you are, what you do, etc. During that conversation, Gary suddenly used a metaphor of what i would call “identity weavers”.

I found this metaphor really powerful. And i suggested Gary he should blog about it, and that i would offer him a guest post 😉

So, here is Gary with his post on Reweaving the Fabric of the Internet on his personal blog The End of Linearity. Peter Hinssen will love this story, as so closely related to the Explore the Limits story.

I just have cut&pasted some strong one-liners. For the full story, check out Gary’s blog.

From health to education to finance and beyond, the ability to bring together people, concepts, and ideas (threads) in new ways is an invigorating journey.  Our “weavers” of the future can design beautiful new fabrics from cures to cancer to dynamic global learning communities to rapidly evolving financial models.  When thread and fabric are unleashed, when weaver and woven can dynamically change places, when loom and head are released from the bonds of the physical, the Internet can take a vital step forward.  By applying an end of linearity to how we think about the Internet, we can see the true beauty of Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn’s creation. It is a connector of people, not of web pages, and it is at the heart of a new future, a rewoven future.

This compelling vision goes way beyond the web of pages, goes way beyond the early thinking on Semantic Web. It is in essence proposing an identity architecture for the Internet. Because the internet is broken. It was never designed with identity in mind.

By now, you will notice that Digital Identity is much more than distributing hardware tokens, or putting an PKI infrastructure in place.

Its about user control of personal data. It’s about context awareness. It’s about who i am, how i am, and what i do and intend to do in an on-line world.

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Found via Scobleizer.


Watch the video till the very end. In the last 4 minutes or so there is a demo.

In essence its a free iPhone app with a fantastic voice recognition engine, that is orchestrating API’s in the cloud.

Normal – not geek – people ask me regularly: “But Peter, what do you mean with “cloud computing” and “semantic web ?”

SIRI is a wonderful example of what’s next. If you want to have an idea what semantic web means in practice, here you go. It’s location aware, it’s self learning, has some eMe elements like profile awareness, all of this in the privacy control of the owner of the profile data.

The dream of the personal butler coming true.

Why this is important ? In the words of Robert Scoble:

Don’t get confused by the awesome voice recognition engine that figures out your speech and what you want with pretty good accuracy. No, that’s not the really cool thing, although Microsoft and other companies have been working on natural language search for many years now and have been failing to come up with anything as useful as Siri.

No, the real secret sauce and huge impact on the future of the web is in the back end of this thing. A few months back the engineers at Siri gave me a secret look at how they stitch the APIs into the system. They’ve built a GUI that helps them hook up the APIs from, say, a new source like Foursquare, into the language recognition engine.

And listen to the two founders on how the back-end of this thing is working, and the other cool stuff they have in mind.

And now start thinking on what you could do with this in financial services:

  • Give me the best loan for car so and so
  • I want to buy this piece of art and need a credit line
  • Find me the cheapest routing for USD payment with cut-off time x
  • Get me to …

Would be very curious of guys like Richard Branson of Virgin Bank start to play with this. Or Sean Park with his view on software components in the cloud. How does this change our thinking on building an AppStore for Financial Services ?

I don’t have an iPhone (yet). But i know super-geeks Nick and PeterH have one. Nick, can you test this one, and let me know your candid feedback ?

Check out www.siri.com


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If you want to have an idea what Semantic Web can mean for you and your business, have a look at www.zemanta.com.

It comes as a Google Chrome Extension, or a Firefox extension, or a IE Plug-in or Safari Bookmarklet.

I tested the Google Chrome extension on my PC. In this case a Mini-HP with Windows 7 installed. I also use Windows Live Writer to do my blogs. Zemanta also has a Live Writer Plug-in that i also installed.

This looks quite similar to the viewer of Open Calais that i commented on already way back in April 2009.

UPDATE: just today, there was an article on ReadWriteWeb referring back to Open Calais, Google and Wolfram Alpha. Note that “Semantic Web” is now renamed into “Structured Data”.

But is is way more user-friendly, and so well integrated with Live Writer. Anybody writing blogs should install this.

To get you an idea of the powerful stuff under the hood of this semantic engine, go to the home page and click on the try demo button.




You then get presented with an free-text box that you can fill with any text you want. In my case, i just cut and pasted the intro-section of our Think Tank document.


You just hit “Run Demo”, and what you get then is really unbelievable !

Your content gets enhanced with images. See example below.


Or you get links to related articles:



The beauty really comes and the end of the page of the demo:




Yep, you got it. It shows all in-text links, and all words that have automatically semantically tagged, based on the sources you have given during set-up (or later when logging into your personal account). And yes, it also looks into Twitter and Facebook.

When you install Zemanta for Live Writer, you are presented with a list of recommended articles while you are blogging. You can then select interesting and related articles to reference in your blogs posts with just a click of the mouse. The benefits of being included within our recommended content pool are: trackback links to your blog, discovery of your blog by new readers, and connecting topical blogs together.

Zemanta expands the author’s regular blogging dashboard, populating it on the fly with content suggestions relevant to the current text. It presents images, links, articles, tags in a simple interface. It encourages re-use and linking to other content with as little effort as possible – a single click.

Zemanta supports Blogger, WordPress, TypePad, Movable Type, Ning, Drupal, LiveJournal, Tumblr and email platforms Google Mail and Yahoo!Mail.

Here is a screenshot of my screen as i was making this blog, and how it automatically added in-text links to the word “Blogger” etc above…



Main features of Zemanta are:
● on the fly contextual suggestions of related articles, images, links and tags;
● affiliate linking support;
● re-blogging – cross-platform quoting for blogs;
● spam-free database of 10000 news sources and blogs;
● copyright filtering of suggested images.

Use cases for email include:
● Individualized personal “postcards” as you can easily add images from your Flickr collection or from others.
● Persuasive professional introductions with easy addition of personal images and links to social networks.
● Informative report-style mails with links to other points on Internet for further reading.

These are the use cases suggested on the Zemanta site and during the install procedure.

However, i strongly believe that these sort of technologies will change in a very disruptive way how we think about standards. In the context of my employer SWIFT, standards are one of the pillars of our value proposition. So far, we “only” looked at standards for message formats, but we could/should apply our 30+ years experience in semantics and ontologies for financial services into this new domain of semantics of … well, anything.

UPDATE: by renaming “Semantic Web” into “Structured Data”, it all becomes even more obvious what role SWIFT could play in this area. XBRL and CLOUD are already moving big way into this space.

BTW: the “REBLOG” button at the end of this posting was also added automatically by Zemanta.


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Here is force.com from Salesforce. As far as i am concerned, the way a marketplace should look like. Already more than 800 apps available, more than 70 of them are financial apps.


Also have a look at the US Government marketplace.


Everything’s up there. With pricing info, liability clauses, shopping basket, etc

Some believe building an application marketplace is something exotic, and if your not an Force.com, Apple, Google or the US Government it is something that is years away.

Reset your thinking. Picked up via ReadWriteWeb. Microsoft is going to offer application marketplace in SharePoint 2010. See the interview in the article on ReadWriteWeb.

What is even more interesting in this article is the video from Citrix Dazzle solution, embedded below:

Search for a financial application, make sure you get the right approval level for being allowed this app, mix and match online and offline apps, etc. It’s like an iTunes for apps, but then in an enterprise environment.

Can’t wait to see an out-of-the box offering that allows me to set up a marketplace of financial services in the cloud.

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My colleague Mariela popped into my office the other day: “Peter, when we talk cloud computing we should highlight something fundamental: it’s about making DATA more accessible/interoperable, more than making applications interoperable”.

In essence, she saw that Cloud computing is in essence about


Mariela is right on.

This is btw one of the big beliefs as well of Russell Daniels from HP, who was a speaker at our Innotribe @ Sibos. Short video interview with Russ below right after the cloud panel discussion:

Over the last couple of days, i found some more evidence on several blogs.


There are positive ways to proceed. Google, for example, a leader in cloud computing, has recently launched a specific project — The Data Liberation Front — explicitly including as a key facet the goal of making sure that users can quickly and easily export data from Google products. This ambitious and extremely important effort should be a model for the rest of the cloud computing industry.

See also Wolfram Alpha API to be released later today and the actual release page


And also the release of the WolframAlpha iPhone app:


My friend Peter Hinssen installed the iPhone app and tweeted yesterday this is the COOLEST thing he has ever seen.

Lots of writers have compared Alpha to Google, but I think that’s a mistake. it’s a data source, not a search engine, and that’s a significant difference. What matters with a data source is the ability to ask a question, get an answer back, and use it as easily as possible. An API minimizes the impedance mismatch: you can do computing directly with Alpha’s curated data.

But there’s another comparison that’s even more relevant: Twitter. What has made Twitter success isn’t so much the web application that lives at twitter.com. What has made Twitter valuable is the huge ecosystem that has grown up around that application: alternate clients for all sorts of platforms, web sites for searching, slicing, dicing, and remixing. Those have all been enabled by a simple and well-thought-out API for dealing with Twitter programmatically. The web isn’t about web pages; it’s about interactions between data sources.

Some other newcomers on the scene:


Good Data raises $2.5M for business intelligence by Andreessen Horowitz, the firm run by Netscape billionaire Mark Andreessen. Btw the same firm is one of the candidates for acquiring Skype, but the Skype founders don’t seem to like it very much. Have a look at the great video on Gooddata’s homepage.


There is Factual.


Factual wants to be the center of the web’s open data. Not a minor detail: Elbaz, who co-founded Applied Semantics and sold it to Google, has self-funded the company. Well-known technology commentator and investor Esther Dyson recently joined Factual’s advisory board. Also Nova Spivack blogged about Factual here. Nova Spivack and Ester Dyson are two of the smartest people when it comes to semantic web and new technologies

250px-Nova_spivack 200px-Esther_Dyson-20050316

And Techcrunch Erik Schonfeld had a blog as well last week. With a link to a great video:

This is like Wikipedia but then for structured data ! It not about mashing-up user interfaces anymore. The next web is about being able to source good data sources and mash them up.

Imagine if we would start using this for all sort of financial services.

Semantic data/web will definitely be a topic for Innotribe @ Sibos 2010 in Amsterdam. Book already the dates in your calendars: 25-29 Oct 2010.

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The big news this week is that Layar’s iPhone App is approved and available.

From now on we call it the “Reality Browser”


See also sub-line “Available for Android”. I clicked on the Android Marketplace and this is what i got.


Also have a look at the 162 Layers that are already available. Yes, you got it right: 162 Layers available already.

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