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Smart Things by Mike Kuniavsky

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Chapter 14 Observation and Ideation

Technology is just another part of society, and the markets for new technologies sometimes seem like a convoluted dance of intentions, reactions, and unexpected consequences. Apple Computer sent thousands of unused Lisa computers to a garbage dump in 1989 because they could not sell them (Hall, 1999). In 1994 Nokia sold 50 times as many of their model 2100 handset than they had predicted, which caught them by surprise (Ravasi and Lojacono, 2005).

Because markets are complex and people are unpredictable, it is tempting to say that developers should focus on technology because it is easier to understand. This decision, which may seem like a safe focus on “core competencies,” is actually quite risky. It leads ...

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