Monday, 28 September 2009


I came serendipitously across Larmoyanz in a post by MartininBroda in which he writes about the latest book by German author Sibylle Berg. Martin used there this pretentious term which I woud translate with lachrymosity. We all like, once in a while, to wallow in lachrymosity. Don't we?

Thursday, 10 September 2009


I serendipitously came across incumbent and its quite temporary nature when reading the introduction of a briefing on the electrification of motoring in The Economist issue of September 5th 2009.

In 1995 Joseph Bower and Clayton Christensen, two researchers of the Harvard Business School, invented a new term: “disruptive technology”. This is the innovation that fulfils the requirements of some, but not most, consumers better than the incumbent does. That gives it a toehold, which allows room for improvement and, eventually, dominance. The risk of incumbent firms is that of the proverbial boiling frog. They may not know when to switch from old to new until it is too late.
The example Dr Brower and Dr Christensen used was a nerdy one: computer hard-drives. But unbeknown to them a more familiar one was in the making. The first digital cameras were coming to sale. These were more expensive than film cameras and had a lower resolution. But they brought two advantages. A user could look at a picture immediately after he had taken it. And he could download it onto his computer and send it to his friends.
Fourteen years on, you would struggle to buy a new camera that uses film. Some of leading camera-makers, such as Panasonic, are firms that had little interest in photography when Dr Brower and Dr Christensen published. And en entire industry, the manufacturing and processing of film, is rapidly disappearing.

Then the article switched to cars.