22 November 2007

Week 24 Blue Ocean Strategy

Blue Ocean Strategy: How to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne (Harvard Business School Press) is a book I read before applying for this grant. I referenced this book in my application because of its good analytical framework for entrepreneurs to create an business strategy for sustained growth--something very difficult to achieved after attaining blue chip size.

I will discuss a strategy for a company leveraging the power of X3D to enable a blue ocean of value for an individual's life management 3D application, nHand software, which is extensible to enterprise management applications. The discussion will be dual tracked: one for the individual's view and one for the enterprise owners' (i.e., service-oriented and materiel-oriented businesses).

The value innovation (p.16 figure 1-2) is the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost according to Kim and Mauborgne. Favorably reducing the time, effort and cost to plan, acquire, manage, and archive one's possessions (i.e., man-made and natural resources) and one's health (i.e, fitness, illness, wellness and diet) from pre-birth thru post-death are the strategic goals.

For an enterprise, the goals include reducing the its cost of doing business--less energy consumption, fewer hectares of land, people and/or floor space, or less insurance without more risk exposure. Increasing nHand buyers value by creating X3D models of traded goods and rendered services that are comprehensively tagged with metadata for applications like nHand software to integrate into one's life story is the other pursuit.

I must say here I'm not talking about "life-logging", per se--this conceptualization is a subset. At the enterprise level, increasing consumers' value means the same--giving the international standard format of the good or service to a buyer for her virtual world so she can manage her efforts towards her goals more effectively than without having access to the cumulative results of her economic behavior.

So how much time does it take and money does it cost to do this to some arbitrary grade and quality?

A benchmark and baseline have to be documented before a claim of reduction is put forward. For the sake of bounding the limits of X3D information creation, integration and accumulation, assume the life span of economic activity is 100 years (= 36,525 days). For now lets just guessimate an average accumulator of wealth with average American health will need 365 GB (that's 10 MB per day) to archive her 100 years of life's property and personal services. I'll flesh out a better estimate as this grant unfolds. One can hold that much data in the palm of there hand today so toting around a 300 GB or 300 TB solid state or biological storage device that is smaller than the palm of your hand a century from now should not be a surprise. I wonder what's the largest X3D model out there now!

Baselining the time and effort one would have to take just to have an integrated economic record of her health and wealth is difficult--I haven't such a record nor do I know anyone who has! So let's assume several things to get a WAG on this blog and move on. First, the average instances of daily economic and health activities (e.g., she goes to the grocery store and buys 50 items, that's 50 X3D models and 50 instances of economic activity, not cash register receipts) over her life of 100 years is 10, so 365,250. Next, assume it takes a minimum of one minute to log each instance, maybe two minutes, so 365,250 - 730,500 minutes or 101 - 202 days! That's 0.138 - 0.277% of her lifetime just transcribing the alphanumeric only data into the paper or electronic log. Who knows how much time would be spent formatting the data and trending plots resulting from aggregrating the data but let's assume 1 - 2 minutes per item as well. Now the time is up to 0.277% - 0.554% of her lifetime for using the composite data for any number of reasons.

nHand software and business partners have to be faster than 4 minutes per economic and health actions while providing more value to her to be compelling to buy. The same goes for an enterprise. The biggest source of error in my time WAG is knowing how much time it takes for format data and generate the kinds of correlation plots to make sense of all the data.

19 November 2007

Week 23 - Sparx Enterprise Architect & SysML

I purchased two software applications to create SysML diagrams (there are 9 diagram types in this UML profile to choose from; UML 2.0 has 13 profiles, which is a criticism of its complexity). The software was installed on the CSC Thinkpad T60issued to me earlier this year. I've finished all the CBTs on Skillsoft that are related to UML. It was a good refresher in a number of topics since my first introduction to OOAD in the Air Force's 5-course curriculum for their Software Professional Development Program (circa 1997).

I feel confident I can create meaningful structural and behavorial diagrams for the nHand mobile application I described in the proposal. I think of nHand as a service to those who want instant access to their human body, earthly possessions and manufactured goods including finanical securities. I expect there will be a few design iterations as I create something, forget about it for a couple of days then revisit my creations, wondering what I was thinking (I'll use the documentation features extensively).

I've created a short list of manufacturers (10) to contact with my short list of questions about their products' design artifacts. I have a similiar list for service providers (10). Thinking about this, I will find each of the ten industrial sector's association or federation to ask the question of X3D exports for consumers of there products and services. I'll try to answer the question, "what's in it for me?" in the letter because if I was to receive an unsolicit letter from a researcher, I would want to know what's in it for me to respond with my thoughts on the questions asked.

I'll take a few paragraphs to brainstorm Blue Ocean business models here because I need to solicit feedback from investors, manufacturers and service providers to move forward on a business strategy in the grant report. The context is at least two dimensional (i.e., time and object type). The letters in the nine cells are placeholders for software applications that serve that market. nHand software, assuming the ubiquity of X3D models for your pieces of earth, your bodily images (all modalities) and your products, will have features that assist reviewing (past), monitoring (now) and planning (future) in these areas.

earth body products

past A B C

now D E F

future G H I

The letters represent the set of companies with solutions in these broad category for the individual. For example, E can be a body and body fat mesurements from a Tanita scal3. We finished then


People first, the X3D format has to be branded as a life-lasting presentation standard for our changing world. This will take millions of advertising and marketing dollars [$] along with word-of-mouth multiplier effects to get the same level of awareness and expectations as say, HTML or PDF in cyberspace. Extant products and services in the marketplace without its X3D implmentation needs it and someone has to run the export feature if available or someone has to reverse engineer it and sell [$] it or give it away. This means more digital storage [$]. Products and services in development with CAD/CAE/CAM documents for all parts, components need to be X3D exportable via CAD...tool upgrades. Someone has to write and sell [$] an X3D export add-on. Finally, for unstarted product developments, X3D formatting has to be a project requirement [$] that is not waived or deviated at any decision point. This means executives need to understand the value of producing X3D versions for all there offerings--they have to a trend of profits in the price chosen to deliver the X3D implementation with real thing and not negatively affect sales. While specifying this is like specifying all extant printed text be implemented in PDF via scanners or retyped by OCR/typists for the powerful features of searching the text etc., I know this will never happen in its entirety because of differences in value of the texts to potential owners and readers. It's only the majority that matters in this enterprise. What you read wasn't a business model but a bunch of tasks and thoughts about making X3D as ubiquitous as packaging that encapsulates the product inside it. I just about having an fleet of mobile 3D scanners making a business of working off the backlog of unavailable X3D models in residents' homes and small businesses by scanning their objects multispectrally for the kind of application I'm attempting to specify and partially design.

Second business model, More X3D software [$], more X3D data transfered [$], more storage required for X3D worlds [$], more processing power for database-driven X3D worlds [$], more energy consumption for X3D interactity, more information integration and summation, more behavior modification, more

Technically, X3D has nodes (~209 now, not including the volumetric proposal for medical apps) for modeling the elements of earth, humand bodies and manufactured items but not everything (100s of thousands) in each of these broad categories, especially the myriad of dynamics between them. For example, humans bleeding, soil saturation from rain, and rusting car metal do not have computationally efficient nodes for a digital content creator.

Nonetheless, Valuation of VR models of real consumer products has happened but not on a large-scale. Just imagine the Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN) (ie., Universal Product Codes, European Article Numbers and Japanese Article Number) including an X3D model for everything that gets a code assignment and it being free!

The basic market transformation that has to occur is the wholesale availability of real objects' X3D models in virtual worlds for people to claim as their own and configure their life's possessions in VR for a better management of their future.

I came across the term life-logging today while surfing www.virtualworldsmanagement.com and wondered what that meant. In the VR/VW context it probably means having your avatar's every event logged for review at some point--motion, speech, text, intercourse, location, etc. For an enterprise the analagous term might be business logging.

10 November 2007

Week 22 Using the tool

I purchased Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Professional and the SysML profile for the diagramming I'm ready to start very soon. I'm finishing up the last three UML course on Skillport before studying for the OMG UML certification exams. The UML self-paced learning is on my time. I've charged 65 hours to date for this grant so I have about 350 hours to execute and most of them will be perform in a FULL TIME status during December and February.

One SIGGRAPH2007 contact recently forwarded me an email about a website for the National Digital Medical Archive, https://www.myndma.com/myndma/home/InitHome.do, which is a germane business to the development of nHand software. The first thing you notice is that its national scope, which doesn't necessarily serve the global citizen who gets health care outside the US, nonetheless, the business executives and lawyers who created a strategy to work the privacy issues of medical informaiton exchange between health institutions are to be sought after for a short conversation. I haven't thoroughly reviewed all their web pages but I don't think these guys are like the photographers at the entrance of a rollercoster ride who take your picture hoping you will buy it as you walk by the large color prints while exiting the ride area. I mean, it's not like they are entering aggrements with owners of medical imaging equipment to let them store all medical images for them (i.e., outsourcing the on-line and archival data) so patients can just get access to it later amongst other uses. They do not reveal how they make money, although there is an unaswered question to this effect on one of their blogs. What I don't know are the technical standards (i.e., X3D, MedX3D or DICOM compliant) that might be the enabler to this versus a recent piece of legislation or policy change in several states.

Week 22 Focusing on the Big Picture

So how do understand the big picture of X3D enabled enterprise management software versus personal management software? For the personal viewpoint, you step back and realize there is your body, your manufactured goods, your natural resources and the services for your body, manufactured goods, natural resources and services too. The enterprise viewpoint contains only three building blocks by tradition--land, labor and capital, which are natural resources, human resources, materiel resources and financial resources. In both instances, the transactions between the individual or enteprise and the sellers of goods and services are distributed in space and time. The big picture then is consolidating the distributed for each individual and enterprise who wants the ultimate obeservation to orient their abilities, decide on what to do next and then act on that decision. These steps are taken from John Boyd's OODA loop development and applified to developing a software-intensive system to capture and communicate the chaos of business and life's value-driven behavior.