More on the Gap

After posting “The Gap,” I kept going. I put the technology adoption lifecycle across the terrain. An idea gains adoption via some apostles in an invisible college, which gets the idea published in a peer-reviewed journal. But, that’s long before the idea shows up in a corporation pushing it out into some productization. That corporation wrestles with the idea. Someone has to convince someone. The idea has to gain adoption internally within the corporation. That corporation is staffed with people drawn from the larger world. The pragmatism scale organizing external adoption is also organizing the internal market. Someone will be the technical enthusiast. Someone will be the early adopter. Not everyone in the corporation has to adopt the idea. Once the corporation starts selling the idea, there will be some internal laggards, some phobics, some non-adopters.  But, before the corporation starts selling, it will have adopted the idea.

Before the corporation sells much, it is faced with external adoption. The forces of external adoption will be with the corporation until it abandons the idea’s  category.

01 09a A Point In A World

Internally, we have an ontology, a hierarchical definition of the idea, a definition delineating how it is different and how it is similar to other ideas. Patent applications are like that, differences and similarities. But patents are really about realizations. Ontologies organize ideas.

Taxonomies organize realities. External adoption uses different species of implementation in different product spaces. The realizations in external adoption get organized around differences and similarities with other products. The idea becomes implicit in the taxonomy.

Since external adoption sequences markets and contexts it also sequences whether the focus is on the vertical or the horizontal, on the carried or the carrier. The external adoption is itself a media that orchestrates the media of software.

Ontologies and taxonomies organize their search spaces. Ontologies are generative. Ontologies diverge. Taxonomies are enforcing. Taxonomies converge. At each taxonomic decision, I am becoming more known. At each ontological decision, I become less known. Ontologies face into the unknown, the more to be known. Taxonomies face into the known.

Ontologies are convex; Taxonomies, concave. The book “Antifragile” tells us that concave is safe, while convex is unsafe. Sloan, the founder of GM, invented management. He was all about the concave. Sloan was not an innovator. GM bought the innovations it needed. Taxonomy is management. Ontologies are innovation. Innovation is exclusive of management. I’ve gone so far as to say that management inserts risk into innovation.

01 09b A Point In A World

The ontological spreads out across the search space. To realize an idea, we trim the tree that is the search space. We trim it enough to converge to a solution. That may be a point, or a line, or a shape. The figure is a little off. The solution, the thick dark blue line occurs before the external technology adoption lifecycle. It should occur inside he lifecycle.

01 09c A Point In A World

One last thing to do was to count the bits involved in crossing the gap. The idea uses 3 bits to document its search space. The realization, likewise, uses 3 bits. Those would be explicit bits. When differentiators become commoditized, their  bits become implicit. The number of bits involved will change as the idea moves through the technology adoption lifecycle.

01 10 A Point In A World

Enjoy. Comments?


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