The European Space Agency launched a competition, seeking the ideal playlist for astronauts flying around the Earth in the International Space Station. The good news ? The Automated Transfer Vehicle ATV will sport an iPod dock, like a Volvo, a Volkswagen or a Mercedes. Shall the Nautilus offer iPod-connectivity and Obiwan wear a Suffle in his shuttle, Apple will soon expand its reach toward the Whole Universe ;-)
As I'm not under 18, I can't compete. However, here's my Top-Ten Tunes For Astronauts (that's the beauty of the Internet : I never thought I would be thinking about such a playlist before reading MacDailyNews last night...):
#10 Earth Song (Michaël Jackson)
# 9 Rhapsody In Blue (George Gerswhin)
# 8 Night Fever (Bee Gees)
# 7 Crazy (Gnarls Barkley)
powered by ODEO
#6 Walking On The Moon (The Police)
# 5 Men In Black (Will Smith)
# 4 I Say A Little Prayer (Aretha Franklin)
#3 All Night Long (Lionel Richie)
# 2 Come Fly With Me (Frank Sinatra)
#1 Fly Me To The Moon (Frank Sinatra)
powered by ODEO
Here is the official ESA press release :
Send your playlist to space with ATV!
25 April 2007
If you think you can come up with the ideal playlist for astronauts flying around the Earth in the International Space Station , ESA wants to hear from you.
Which songs do you play if you want to feel happy? What about if you’re feeling lonely or sad?
Everyone has a list of favourite tunes which they listen to when they want to be lively and noisy, or quiet and peaceful. But what if you were suddenly transported 400 km above the Earth, to a collection of cylinders in the sky known as the International Space Station (ISS)? What music would you take with you for entertainment as you floated around the world 16 times a day?
ESA is launching a competition to find a set of 10 tunes that is out of this world. All you have to do is write down a song selection that you think would be most suitable for the astronauts on the ISS to listen to. Before you decide, try to put yourself in the shoes of the men and women who live on the Station and put together a playlist that would cheer them up, inspire them, etc….
The winner’s playlist will be downloaded onto an iPod and sent to the ISS in ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), which will be making its maiden flight later this year. The 20 tonne craft, named ‘Jules Verne’, after the famous French science fiction writer, will be delivering about seven tonnes of cargo to the astronauts living in the International Space Station.
Ten European countries are participating in the ATV programme: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The competition is only open to young people under 18 years of age.
Entries are only accepted from nationals of the following countries which are participating in the ATV programme: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
The deadline for entries is 10 May 2007.
The winners will be announced in June 2007.
Relatives of ESA staff members are not allowed to take part in this competition.
The decision of the judges is final.
The Grand Prize for the overall winner will be a trip to see the ATV launch in Kourou, French Guiana (South America) as well as having their playlist sent to space on board the ATV.
One prize for the best entry from each country. Each national winner will win a day trip to the European Astronaut Centre in Germany.
How to enter
Entries can be submitted via the entry form here.
Just a few hours after I posted the short notice about the issue * with the new SnapShot feature, I received a comment from Erik Wingren of Snap.com. Erik gave me a few hints, which appeared to be the right ones to solve the problem.
Erik' s quick reaction is a perfect example of a customer-focused attitude. Being currently involved with two Web 2.0 startups, I wish we can provide such of attention to our own customers and users right from the very beginning of our operations.
Actually, I am either a regular user or a beta tester at lots of new firms here and there on the Net. Honnestly, I'm quite disappointed by the lack of attention from the majority of the France-based Web 2.0 startups. No wonder why we are always considered as arrogant people...
On the other side of the spectrum, I'm always delighted by the responsivness of the young US firms. Seems that a large bunch of American Web 2.0 entrepreneurs have learned Peter Drucker at high-school. Or maybe they read Guy Kawasaki' s " The Art of Bootstrapping " !
* : most probably, the issue came from wrong settings sent by my browser - Opera 9.20 for Mac, still the best user-experience. As I did the update just before heading for a meeting in Paris, the conclusion is the same as usual : never upgrade your system when you're in a hurry !
The Blogosphere has been whirling quite fast last month : Kathy Sierra, a programming instructor, game developer, co-author of the Head First series of books on computer programming, and respected blogger had to face anonymous death threats, forcing her to cancel her speech at the O'Reilly Media's ETech conference back in late March. Kathy Sierra explained her decision, detailing the threats, on her blog Creating Passionate Users .
I let other bloggers comment about this story. Fact is that CPU is one of my very favorite webblogs, that I read almost every day, for it's full of really great insights for marketing & business development.
Also, note the always crisp & clear illustrations, should it be photos, diagrams or drawings. Kathy Sierra knows what communication means (well, it's the minimum for an instructor and author). See " My Favorite Graphs... and the future " : Sierra' s own favorite pictures from her CPU blog.
Here are my Top-Ten CPU * articles - based on the ' Past favorites ' list displayed on the front page, because there are so many excellent posts that the choice was difficult to me : better build the top-ten list from a already shortened list.
This is one of my favorite buildings in San Francisco, on Bay St at Columbus Ave.
post-scriptum : I love the neighborhood. It's close to everything which makes the life in San Francisco so cool. Nob Hill, Russian Hill, the Marina, Columbus Avenue, North Beach...
* update Apr 12, 2007 5:24PM CET : " Kimse yok mu ? " is a turkish expression used when one enters a place where he suspects nobody is present. English equivalent : " Hello, anyone ? ". I found it on this page : " A Mini Survey on Whether Soap-Opera-English Has Found Its Way into Turkish ", by Suzan Öniz of the METU Middle East Technical University, Ankara.
It's time to have a look at the contest which was launched last month by the folks at Slideshare. To date, 250- entries are listed.
After sorting the view per popularity (to go faster), I've been browsing through the half of it - that is 6 pages : no front slide catched my eyes but the first two. IMHO, those two presentations should be among the Top-5 by the closing of the contest on April 23d. They've got it all : a) you don't need a presenter to understand their meaning; b) they tell a story, from A to Z; c) they keep you captivated. On top of it, their respective first slide is not a trap : the inside is as good as the outside...
Then, here are my two favorites :
Note : ' Shift Happens ' is a slideshow based on a presentation titled " Did You Know? "created by Karl Fisch, teacher at the Arapahoe High School. Thanks to the magic of Internet, I found Karl' s blog yesterday : The Fishbowl is just an amazing piece of knowledge.
The story behind " Did you know " is here. And here too, under the title " Gone Fishin' ", with the video (and music) on YouTube here.
Shift Happens on Slideshare (well, that's right ;-) : click here.
Meet Henry on Slidshare (hum, Henry should be busy right now ;-) : click there.
For those of you who don't want to leave FiberGeneration now, enjoy (and vote)
Since last Friday, I officially work for the Paris-based video & TV production company 2T Productions, as Chief Technical Officer (and shareholder).
Created by Armelle De Thé, an executive woman since 20+ years with the French Medias industry, 2T Productions is aimed at delivering television programs via Internet. Unlike many startups such as Joost or vPod who provide new ways of watching TV and videos on the internet, 2T Productions is providing content specially tailored for the internet.
First TV channel to go live by the end of May - more info within the next two weeks (by then, nobody will be able to launch a competitor, due to the short notice ;-)
Since 2T is developping its own tools for creating and broadcasting TV shows and videos, e.g. the video player, the video editing app, etc., my role is both technical and marketing (i.e. how to create a new business out of 2T' s tools). Funny enough, when I consider my career until today : I started 20+ years ago deploying fibers, then I've been testing fibers for some time, now I'm going to be among the new kind of optical bandwidth consumers !
What we want to achieve at 2T Productions is simply change the way people watch TV : from passive couch potatoes folks, we want our customers to become proactive creators, producers, or directors of their own TV channels. Think of 2T' s channels as a Discovery Channel or a E! Entertainment or a MTV providing all the necessary resources to enable its viewers to be also directors : that is the idea. Of course, 2T Productions' s TVs will offer high-quality, full-screen picture, plus all the features that make the Web 2.0 so funny (and attractive) : chat, instant messaging, blogs, etc. We've got some secret features too, that I ain't talk about yet (hint : iPhone). Stay tuned.
I took this photo ten years ago or so, somewhere on Stevens Creek Boulevard, in between Santa Clara and Cupertino.
I wonder how it will look like in ten years from now, with the Automotive industry being forced to run on green energies.
Live Earth just revealed the US and UK concerts. Here is the press release, with details on ticketing and programs of the New York and London events *.
All information at http://www.liveearth.msn.com/gettix070707
* The Police and Genesis reborn, for Earth Rebirth...
USA LIVE EARTH REVEALED
Tickets for the 7/7/07 Concert to Combat Global Warming Go On Sale 4/16
NEW YORK — Organizers today announced eighteen of the headliners who will perform at the U.S. leg of the 7-continent, 24-hour Live Earth concerts on 7/7/07. The concert will be held at Giants Stadium in New Jersey, Live Earth Founder and Executive Producer Kevin Wall said.
Tickets for the show go on sale Monday, April 16 at 10 a.m. EDT.
“Capping Live Earth with a blockbuster show like this will ensure we meet our challenge of building a mass audience to combat global warming,” Wall said. “Live Earth will be a monumental event both in terms of entertainment and in turning the tide against global warming.”
The global concert on 7/7/07 will begin in Sydney and continue across all 7 continents, concluding with the U.S. show.
“We hope the energy created by Live Earth will jump start a massive public education effort,” Live Earth Co-Chair Vice President Al Gore said. “Live Earth will help us reach a tipping point that’s needed to move corporations and governments to take decisive action to solve the climate crisis.”
The U.S. show will feature live on stage:
DAVE MATTHEWS BAND
FALL OUT BOY
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. EDT on Monday, April 16 and will be available at livenation.com/liveearth or by calling Ticketmaster at (212) 307-7171. All ticket information is available at LiveEarth.MSN.com. All proceeds will benefit the Alliance for Climate Protection and other international NGOs.
Live Earth is a monumental music event that will bring together more than 2 billion people to combat the climate crisis. Live Earth’s 24 hours of music across 7 continents will deliver a call to action and the solutions needed to answer the call. Live Earth marks the beginning of a multi-year campaign led by The Alliance for Climate Protection to move individuals, corporations and governments to take action.
Earlier today, Wall announced that the following artists will perform at the London leg of Live Earth at Wembley Stadium:
BLACK EYED PEAS
CORINNE BAILEY RAE
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
Exclusive online media partner MSN is helping Live Earth reach people in every corner of the globe. The concerts will be streamed live on 7/7/07 at LiveEarth.MSN.com. MSN’s 39 localized web portals worldwide attract 465 million monthly users. The concerts will be broadcast on the NBC in the U.S. and on more than 120 networks around the world.
Wall also announced that smart car, Stonyfield Farm and Pepsi have joined Live Earth as corporate partners. In addition to working with Live Earth to create corporate efforts to combat global warming, this growing list of partners will help ensure a mass audience for Live Earth is reached. These efforts will be detailed at a later date.
Wall also announced today that Live Earth will stage concerts at Sydney’s Aussie Stadium; Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach; Johannesburg’s Cradle of Human Kind; Tokyo’s Tokyo Stadium and in Shanghai, TBD.
Live Earth is produced by Control Room, of which Kevin Wall is the CEO. Control Room has produced and distributed more than 60 concerts since its founding in 2005 featuring Beyonce, Madonna, Green Day and the Rolling Stones, among others.
I have posted the following question on Linkedin last night. Already got a handful of answers :
" I'm looking for investors and/or venture firm to do a Test & Measurement startup aimed at FTTH Fiber-To-The-Home networks testing & maintenance. Based on a * paradigm shifting * business model, making money on software and services instead of hardware boxes. FTTH market worldwide : huge. Concept : to be extended to any networking technology, e.g. WiFi, WiMax, etc. "
A : Amanda O'Garrow (email@example.com) wrote:
" Hi Marc
we are interested in learning more can you send some information to firstname.lastname@example.org Keith is the network and IT specialist.
A : Patrick Hollister wrote:
" Hi Marc,
I suggest you chat with my good freind and former groomsman Scott. "
A : Bruce Niven wrote:
" Hi Marc,
We are very close to NTT who are well on their way in their roll-out of FTTH in Japan. I'd be interested to hear more about the idea, but the telco's aren't stupid - they'll know what costs more in the long term so you have be saving them money somewhere.
A : Duane Sword wrote:
" Spirent acquired a company doing security testing as a service, not as a product (Imperfect Networks)
Empirix offers a remote Voice load and benchmarketing/baselining service, not as a product, this is known as Hammer On Call.
The incumbent in transport/access/fiber testing already offer a suite of product, service and variants of managed test services, consulting, leasing and pay-per-use including EXFO, Sunrise, Agilent, Anritsu and JDSU.
VP Product Management
Low-Cost, Open-Source, Web 2.0 : those are the main keywords of the Testing 2.0 project.
Dear FiberGeneration readers, shall you be interested or willing more information, please drop me an email.
Fellow french blogger Jeremy Fain is organizing a 1-week trip in the Silicon Valley, to be held by the end of this year.
Says Jeremy, " It will be a week-long study trip focusing on the business of innovation & technology (entrepreneurship, venture capital, software, computer networks & hardware, consumer electronics & Internet, telecommunications) and actually take place between Sunday, 25th November 2007 and Sunday, 2nd December 2007. "
Shall you be willing to meet with the most influent people of the Silicon Valley today, don't hesitate to leave a comment here or drop an email to Jeremy at the address here.
Reading CNET the other night, a headline grabbed my attention : " Record exec: Mobile industry could learn from Apple "
A report by Marguerite Reardon of CNET News.com. Quote Marguerite :
In a keynote address at the CTIA Wireless trade show, EMI's Eric Nicoli warned the industry that it would not reach its potential if mobile operators, handset makers and content providers don't work together and put the customer first. He said they need to make sure that every product they develop for consumers is one that people want, is easy to use, and provides value at an affordable price.
"We will not reach our goals if we carry on as we have been doing," he said. "Not to diminish what we have achieved so far, but there are important challenges to address if we want to take this business to the next level. And that means we must put the customer at the forefront."
"Apple makes stuff that people love to own," Nicoli said. "They love the simplicity and user-friendliness of the iPod and iTunes. Apple doesn't employ any sorcery or dark magic to achieve this. They listen to what consumers want. And that shouldn't be Apple's unique privilege."
Very interesting indeed. Those folks at the Mobile industry are definitely not Average Joe, they have MBAs - at least, they play golf with their peers of Wall Street, their business is driving the whole Telecoms industry at large - at the end of the day, we need fibers to carry mobiles 's signals. So, how come they forgot a simple fact, which even self-made-men like myself do know and apply every single day since the very begining ? : " It is the customer who determines what a business is...What the customer thinks he is buying, what he considers value, is decisive--it determines what a business is, what it produces, and whether it will prosper." Peter Drucker, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices, 1974, p 61.
Maybe they were driven by bozozity until the very moment Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone ? By claiming that " [the Mobile industry] need to make sure that every product they develop for consumers is one that people want ", Mr. Nicoli
admits that they all tells his pals at the Mobile Industry that they failed listening to their customers. Now, he also made a giant step towards recovery : he is learning. He's learning that the Mobile industry has he tells them they have to learn about its their own mistakes, its their competition (Apple is coming after them with the iPhone), and its their environment.
So, what is learning, in business ? I found no better way to explain the whole idea than what Hal Stitt, my coach during my Musketeers years at Agilent Technologies, says :
" learning as a winning business strategy means learning more and learning faster than your rivals do about your customers, your competitors, your business environment and the opportunities available for your business to win customers. "
Hal likes to describe the whole concept with this diagram, based on Peter Drucker' assessment which claims that it's the customer who decides the winner.
I like it too, for it is crisp and clear. Plus, according to my own experience as a customer in B2B since 20+ years, it is exactly the way it works : a short loop, involving both the customer and the vendor in a constant dialog, always makes this vendor successful.
Perhaps the guys in the Mobile Industry were more used to a more rigid process, such as this one :
Definitely not a KISS ' Keep It Simple, Stupid ' approach, such as the one developped by David Kolb in the early 80's : -------
In this diagram, replace " Concrete, Experience" by " Customer ", " model " by " Application ", " Test " by " Feedback ", and " Reflect " by " Product ", and you get another representation of Drucker's model. Please note that I didn't put the accordingly modified diagram on purpose : do it yourself, you will better... learn ;-)
Back in 2001, Hal Stitt has published a white paper " About Learning " . I am pleased to post the first three pages, for it explain the whole idea :
LEARNING VERSUS KNOWING ORGANIZATIONS
Contrasts and Comparisons
Most organizations we have seen and read about over the past 40 years have focused more on knowing than on learning. Knowing is a state, learning is an action. Learning changes the state of knowing.
Knowing organizations promote and hire people mainly based on what they have done, on what they know. Less value is placed on the person's ability to learn. Training focuses on skills and processes with a direct impact on job performance. Little or no effort is put into training people to learn, encouraging learning, or rewarding learning.
Management effort in knowing organizations focuses on getting better and better at what the organization does, instead of what it could become. Effort is more likely to be put on careful measurement of results and comparing them with expectations than on encouraging learning. Knowing organizations put people in jobs to get results, to fix problems, to turn around failing organizations. If sales are not up to expectations, they will bring in a sales manager who knows how to fix that. If manufacturing is not meeting expectations, they will bring in a new manager who knows how to fix it. If the company is not meeting investors' expectations, they will bring in a new CEO who knows how to fix that.
In knowing organizations, learning is seen as down time. It interferes with performing.
Learning organizations hire and promote people based more on their ability to learn than on what they already know, more on what they can do than what they have already done. Learning organizations realize that results are related to actions by probability. They realize that just because something worked in the past doesn't mean it will work in the future. They realize that just because something worked in another company or another organization doesn’t mean it will work in your company or in your organization.
Knowing is not transferable across organizations or over time. The situation changes, but knowing is static. Learning is transferable. Learning is dynamic. Learning includes learning about changes in the situation.
Sun Tzu's quote is often misunderstood. The time at which your must know the enemy better than yourself
is at the time of the battle. In war, what you knew yesterday, last week, last month, last year can get you killed. In business, it just means your customers buy from your competitors.
Learning organizations see learning as a competitive sport. If they can learn more and learn faster than their competitors, they can outperform those competitors.
Innovation is a core business function. Innovation is the engine powering successful competition. Learning drives innovation. Without a stream of new learnings, innovation only happens by accident.
What your organization will learn outweighs what it already knows.
We see three fundamental reasons why what your organization will learn is more important than what it already knows:
Knowledge and experience were gained in the past. There is no logical reason to believe the future will be like the past.
A very high proportion of knowledge and experience is similar among competitors. It is too often a very weak differentiator.
The belief that the organization already has the answers leads to arrogance and complacency, which leads to defeat.
Learning is the root of competition
Your organization is either learning and innovating better than your competitors, in the eyes of your customers, or you are a target for those who are. Learning leads to innovation, which leads to winning—if you innovate better than your competitors, in the opinion of the customers.
The most valuable learnings lie outside your organization *
Getting good information first hand from good sources outside the organization, but within the system the organization serves, is a core behavior of learning organizations.
Learning only counts when it affects behavior
We do not advocate learning for learning's sake. Learning has no value to the organization unless it affects behavior. Not learning or learning the wrong things is bad enough, but we believe learning the right things and not acting on the learning is the worst possible outcome. It kills morale and motivation in the people who have learned something vital to the organization's success if they are prevented from acting by decision makers who have not. It's ludicrous! The people who have learned something vital are the people the decision makers should be motivating.
The purpose of learning is to win
We believe the most important purpose of learning is to create changes that will create wins. That is diametrically opposite to the purpose of hierarchical organizations: to develop and maintain order and control.
All businesses learn about their businesses. But the winners learn more about their customers and competitors than their competitors do. To win, most customers must prefer your products and services over your competitors. You cannot get customers to prefer your products and services by focusing your learning on your own organization— by looking in your mirrors. It requires learning about your customers. It requires understanding your customers well enough to know what your organization can do for them in the future that they will prefer over the offerings of your competitors.
*note : helping clients do that is one of DeltaNet's core strengths. To contact Hal @ DeltaNet, click here.
Peter Drucker' official biography here.
--- updated Apr. 2d, 2007, after EMI announcement on DRM-free ---