Chao Lam

Working on the next small things …

Archive for September 2005

Neat Case Studies

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I’m a big fan of Clayton Christensen and his theories of innovation and disruption. We’re trying to apply his theories to the next small things we are developing and I was delighted to discover a list of neat case studies he’s posted on a site about his latest book, Seeing What’s Next


Written by Chao

September 21, 2005 at 12:18 am

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This looks like great fun, just like barcamp but on a more intimate scale?

My ol’ friend Shoop is visiting from Singapore and I thought I’ll show him what the real silicon valley is like.

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Written by Chao

September 15, 2005 at 4:35 pm

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Welcome to Next Small Things!

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In this blog, I’ll like to talk about the disappearing World Wide Web, and in particular this blog is about a few of the next small things we can do to accelerate its disappearance.

Let me explain.

Much has been written about how the Internet and the Web is evolving. Over the past 12 months, the hot new meme in the blogosphere has been Web 2.0. In particular, O’Reilly popularized the term with a conference of the same moniker and some fuzzy consensus has built around its themes, such as:

  • Web APIs (Jeff Bezos famously said “Web 2.0 is making the Internet better for computers.” )
  • User generated content (from eBay to Craigslist, just to name the über successful)
  • The Long Tail
  • Design for participation
  • Remixing of data

Count me in as a recent convert. However, while I agree about much that has been written about the “what” of Web 2.0, I find it quite surprising that not much has been said about the “why” of Web 2.0.

So, why Web 2.0 now? I believe it’s because the Internet and the web are blending and weaving into our daily lives in increasingly transparent and profound ways.

Just as electric motors were the coolest things two centuries ago, they’ve completed disappeared from our consciousness today as they are embedded in our everyday lives from the vibrator in your cell phone, to your dishwasher, to autos (formerly known as motor cars).

Remember the dotcom ads in the Bubbly Nineties? They were constantly exhorting us to “log on” to the internet. We no longer hear that – we’re “always on” the internet now. So, the web is already disappearing.

As more of us use the Internet, and broadband becomes pervasive, the web is becoming mainstream. When technology reaches main street, ironically, the market fragments into many micro niches, each one served by products and services customized and personalized for that small group of people.

While others are on the hunt for the Next Big Thing, I believe it’s more fruitful to figure out the next small things we can do to customize and personalized the web to better suit our lives.

What are the small steps we can take, to further accelerate the disappearance of the Web? Figuring this out is the mission of this blog. Accompanying this blog, I’ll be starting a few experiments to test out ideas discussed in this blog. I’m interested in web services and UI that can empower us to do more on the web, in a transparent and intuitive manner. I hope to recount my mini-adventures here, and seek wisdom and help from you, dear friends!

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Written by Chao

September 1, 2005 at 11:42 am

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