Product Innovation & Video

TED just released news (June 2008) that there have been more than 50 million downloads of their videos.

Ashley Highfield of the BBC mentions that iPlayer has now had more than 75m video downloads (as at May 2008) so clearly we are moving into a new era of accelerated video and this has major benefits right across the spectrum.

Keep reading for more about both stories.

The Johnny Lee short clip (at #10) is one that everyone should watch.  It highlights a surprising twist to a technology product which has much wider benefits and implications for product innovation. (5m40sec)


10. Johnny Lee demos Wii Remote hacks – from the top 10 list from TED

This is a brilliant example of a product taking a life of its’ own when someone else sees a new market for a new product and takes it there. I’d be guessing Nintendo wish they had though of this one.

Why is this Story Important and Significant?

The Johnny Lee story  demonstrates clear examples of what Kevin Kelly (in 1999 book New Rules for the New Economy and still worth reading.) Snips and comments on 4 of these rules follow.

New Rules for the new Economy

  • 1 – “Embracing the swarm, – competitive advantage belongs to those who embrace decentralized points of control” we can be anywhere on the network and still have an impact.
  • 7 – “From places to spaces, – as place is replaced by multiple interactions with anything, anytime, anywhere (space) the opportunities for intermediaries, middlemen, and mid-sized niches expand greatly.” Think of the multiplier effect that YouTube played on this research project.
  • 9 – “Relationship tech, enhance, amplify, extend, augment, distill, recall, expand and develop relationships of all types.”  With this amplification comes the opportunity for new people to tilt the paradigm of existing products and take them into new markets in new and exciting ways.I’d love to see a chart on how many controllers there were before Johnnies invention and now how many they are compared to the number of Nintendo consoles being sold.
  • 10 -“Opportunities before efficiencies, – there is far greater wealth to be had by unleashing the inefficient discovery and creation of new opportunities.”

Sharing new ideas and researching new product innovations in a public way kind of like “research powered by video” goes counter to most of what we have understood about value creation and intellectual property management.

The web has changed everything and that is only going to accelerate if we understand what it is that we are looking at.  Best of all, many of these change cycles happen in real time and cross- pollinate at a furious and ever increasing rate.

So What Did Mr Lee Actually Do?
(If you haven’t watched the video yet.)

Building sophisticated educational tools out of cheap parts, Johnny Lee demos his cool Wii Remote hacks, which turn the $40 video game controller into a digital whiteboard, a touchscreen and a head-mounted 3-D viewer. Researcher Johnny Lee became a YouTube star with his demo of Wii Remote hacks — which is almost more interesting than what he actually did – is the speed at which it has been picked up globally.

To understand Johnny Lee, just take a look at his personal Projects page. Aside from his Wii Remote hacks — voted the #1 tech demo of all time by Digg — you can see all the other places his mind has turned: typography, photography, urban renewal … to say nothing of his interesting sideline in Little Great Ideas, like the hypnotic “___ will ___ you.”

When he’s not hacking Wiimotes, Lee is a graduate student in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

So the question is where else will video take us and what else is happening in the kind of television world that most people inhabit?

The Future of Online Video
A discussion panel [Ashley Highfield (first 11.5mins) , Christian Vollman (Germany), Antonio Campo, Dall’Orto] led by Matthew d’Ancona on the future of online video (35mins) Interesting that Ashley notes that BBC programmes are now available on the Nintendo Wii which is seen as a significant connected device now.

And check the numbers – BBC iPlayer has now had 75million downloads.  This really is the mainstreaming of quality video online when you factor in TED and the 4663 channels on Miro (Note: Miro includes much of the same content.)  YouTube is still a backbone but will be surpassed by other providers who have much better quality content very soon.

Now that broadband is more pervasive there is huge growth in the on-demand audience for quality video.

Ashley passes on some reports and stats that BBC can do as a public broadcaster and it is the trends that are significant on market share . This is great news for more specialist programming and offers a glimpse into the future trends that are shaping growth in other markets.

It will also ultimately have positive funding implications for programme makers looking at online broadcast platforms and potential audience numbers and revenue models.

Media7 in NZ looks to have a great future for example as it leverages outside experts and applies resources from a larger channel to get results way out of proportion to its actual current size. If you have taste-makers and media influencers in the same room anything can happen. When the audience amplifies that broadcast then you’re cooking with gas.

See also Zeitgeist Europe 08 video channel. Or here if you have a  login.

According to Youngblood the conference is now an:

“annual 2-day conference, which began in 2006, and is by invitation only for around 400 of Google’s strategic partners in the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) region. This year’s Zeitgeist was held at The Grove in Hertfordshire, an impressive English estate about 40 km’s North-West of Central London.

Thankfully, it wasn’t a trade conference and Google products weren’t pushed down your throat as you might’ve expected, although there was some obvious tie-ins with certain products like YouTube and of course very strong branding throughout the event. The agenda was somewhat TED-like with a diverse mix of technologists, politicians, scientists and entrepreneurs as speakers.

from Youngbloods blog

Seems like Coin had a great time entertainment wise but glossed over  the really significant parts but since it was a closed set and I haven’t watched all the video it’s is hard to tell.

Regardless, we are a major online video explosion with video everywhere and getting better all the time.

Enjoy. Now go ahead and get enhancing, amplifying, extending, augmenting, distilling, recalling, expanding and developing all those relationships that will help us all create new value and true 21st century wealth.

As Kevin says “A network is a possibility factory”.