Reversing The Flow Of Innovation

My partner Brad has a good post up on the Union Square Ventures blog this morning. He’s been thinking about why a lot of the innovation in information technology is happening in consumer facing web services. He notes that:

In the old days, electrical engineers focused on getting computers
to work not on getting people to engage with the systems built on top
of those computers. The folks that built enterprise software were
vaguely aware that their systems had to be accessible to the humans
that used them but they had a huge advantage. The people who used them
did so as part of their job, they were trained to use them and fired if
they could not figure them out.

Today, no one tells you to use Facebook. There are no employer
sponsored training sessions on the use of del.icio.us. The burden is on
the designer of the system to meet a need, entertain, or inform their
users. They also have to seduce those users, hiding complexity,
revealing one layer at time, always enticing, never intimidating, until
the user one day finds they are intimately familiar with power and the
pleasures of the service.

There’s more and if you want to read the whole post, click here.