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Uniqlo’s New Mobile e-Commerce Business Model

Open Source Strategies - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 19:26

Watch this video — it might just be the future of mobile commerce:

Did you notice

  • A cool mobile app
  • Creating DIY art

Did you also notice that it’s a business model without

  • Upfront design
  • Inventory
  • Advertising

Uniqlo is not just thinking, Gee how do we get more Instagram followers to sell the same old T-shirts?

They’re creating a whole new business model by taking the mobile platform to its logical conclusion.  Their app, which does a lot more than Instagram’s simple filters, works hand-in-hand with a business model to turn a T-shirt (commodity) into your own work of art (priceless.)

If little Instagram could build a billion-dollar business by turning the mobile phone into the ultimate device of self-expression, why couldn’t Uniqlo…or you?

Was Microsoft the Greatest Open Source Business of All Times?

Open Source Strategies - Thu, 02/12/2015 - 18:07

Before you flame, take a look at this ad:

MS-DOS Emerges, 1983, courtesy RegMedia.co.uk

This is a historic document that shows the exact moment when Microsoft began taking over the world.  Its main products at the time were BASIC and DOS, but DOS was the indispensable layer of the Personal Computer (PC) industry.   It sat between the hardware and software of the IBM PC and its myriad of compatible clones.

What’s most amazing about Microsoft and DOS, though, is that everything above and below them were open sourced.  If you wanted to build an IBM-compatible PC (like Compaq and Dell), the architecture was openly available, as long as you built it for DOS.  If you wanted to write software for IBM PC’s and compatibles (like Ashton-Tate and Lotus), Microsoft and DOS provided you with open standards too.  As a result, millions of IBM-compatible PC’s were built and millions of programs were written for them — far more than ever was the case for Apple’s Macintosh.  They turned IBM and Microsoft into the standards of the industry and made companies like Dell, Lotus, and Intel wildly successful.

But not as successful as Microsoft.

Because through it all, Microsoft didn’t open source its products.  There were no DOS (or Windows) alternatives that a Compaq could package with its PC’s to run Lotus 1-2-3.   There was never an open “PC operating system standard” that would allow software and hardware vendors to write once (or build once) and run any operating system.   Competing operating systems like CP/M, Xenix, OS/2, and BeOS all failed because there wasn’t enough software written for them to attract hardware manufacturers, and not enough hardware manufacturers making computers to attract software developers.  As a result, Microsoft ended up controlling the entire PC industry, eventually even muscling giant IBM out.

Microsoft’s succeeded during the PC era came by making knowledge freely available, essentially open sourcing the architecture of PC hardware and software.  Decades later, Microsoft would stumble because it couldn’t make ASP.NET, Silverlight, and Windows Mobile the standards for web and mobile.  Today Google is trying the same strategy by making Android the platform of choice for both hardware manufacturers and software developers.  (Funnily enough, Apple didn’t play this game with Microsoft back then and doesn’t care to join Google now.  They just march to a different beat altogether.)

Moral of the story?

For open source developers: Open sourcing of software is just small potatoes.  There is so much information that, if made openly available, could create whole industries and make people’s lives better.  So isn’t it time we stopped thinking just about the code and started thinking about how to create openly available knowledge that could benefit the world — and build great businesses?

For everybody else: Do you still think open source is a charity?  Or are you thinking, “What kind of openly available knowledge could grow my business?”

A World of Possibilities for Open Source

Open Source Strategies - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 21:07

Ten years ago we started with the (immodest?) goal of bringing open source to enterprise software.  Today, there are even greater opportunities for open source — not just in software, but as a fundamental force for positive change in the world.

Imagine a world where smart devices could be 3-d printed anywhere.  Further imagine all those devices connected, through the internet,  to every other person and organization in the world.  This should be a world where our homes could respond to our movements to turn appliances on and off.  We could grow food using less water because sensors would know when to turn the irrigation on and off.  Our physicians could know if we need to come in for a check up.

But will this be a world where a few large companies control all the devices, and only their chosen partners are allowed to provide us services?

Or will this be a world where the designs for smart devices will be openly available?  Where there are open API’s for many startups to innovate and create new business models?

That is the opportunity — and challenge — for open source.

Let’s Stop Imitating Amazon and Make E-Commerce Fun Again

Open Source Strategies - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 01:13

Has online shopping become boring? Every website shows you grids of categories and products, with cross-sells and up-sells. Scroll down and you might see a few reviews. Somewhere are the same add coupons, sign up for our emails, and free shipping offers you’ve probably seen a hundred times already.

The sad truth is that there has been very little innovation in e-commerce. Online retailers seem content being electronic catalogs of products, competing with each other on pricing and fulfillment. (Save an additional 5% and get free next day shipping!) In other words, we’re all stuck imitating Amazon.com.

Does it have to be like this? May be not: there are actually other reasons why retailers exist in the first place. Imagine you just invented The Cool Gadget ™. Here are some good reasons for signing up resellers:

1. Distribution. Retailers get your product to the end consumer by putting it online or in a store, warehousing, fulfilling the orders, and collecting payments. It’s a lot of mundane yet important steps.

2. Support. The retailer helps answer your customers’ questions, so they could understand and use your product properly. Often this means answering the same questions over and over again.

3. Integration. Your product is great, but how does it help me look better, get connected, and stay cool? The retailer could show the consumer how to meet these important life with your product, often by combining it with other products.

But today, most online retailers function solely as distributors and just list products and fulfill orders. Customer support is limited to basic order fulfillment information, and few online retailers even think of themselves as helping to meet their customers’ life needs. Hence the sad trend of “Showrooming”, where customers go research at local stores then try to find deals online.

Which is where we are today: After nearly 20 years, ecommerce is settling into middle age as a junior partner on the retail scene.

But it would be dangerous to get complacent: There is a new generation of online shoppers. They were born after the Internet, and to them, online is the first and best way to learn about…everything. They will want to use the web (and their phone) not just to buy products they’ve already seen in a retail store, but also help satisfy their deepest needs.

Would you be doing that for them?

How to Make Business Intelligence and Analytics Pay Off

opentaps Analytics - Fri, 07/29/2011 - 20:00
Many companies seem to follow a “Christmas morning toy” routine when it comes to business intelligence and analytics: See cool reports and charts “We want those!” Spend time and money implementing them “Wow, these are cool!” Move on something else and eventually forget all about the cool reports and charts Sometimes there’s also a “CNN...

Newsflash: Businesses Aren’t Very Intelligent

opentaps Analytics - Fri, 07/29/2011 - 20:00
A recent study by Accenture found: While 55% of businesses thought they were very good at understanding and segmenting their customers, but only 21% of those customers agreed. More companies chose “personal experience” over analytical data as very important in business decision making. When analyzing customers, companies focus on profit by customer and lifetime value...

Welcome to opentaps Analytics!

opentaps Analytics - Fri, 07/29/2011 - 20:00
Every time a customer buys (or returns) something from us, he’s telling us something very important about the product and himself. With opentaps Analytics, we wanted to create an easy-to-use tool for you to use that information to your advantage.  Want to know which products sell best?  Whether you need more help on Mondays?  Which...

Full Page Caching and related Session Issues in OFBiz/Opentaps

Amicon Tech Blogs - Mon, 01/10/2011 - 23:00
What is Full page caching? Full-page caching is the simplest and most straightforward dynamic caching mechanism. The user defines which page to cache and the server stores it in the cache disk space. In subsequent request for the page, instead … Continue reading →

Caching in Opentaps/OFBiz

Amicon Tech Blogs - Mon, 01/10/2011 - 23:00
In computer engineering a cache is a component that transparently stores data so that future requests for that data can be served faster. The data that is stored within a cache might be values that have been computed earlier or … Continue reading →

Infinite Scrolling is the new way of pagination

Amicon Tech Blogs - Mon, 01/10/2011 - 23:00
We all may be familiar with pagination using the next and previous buttons. But there are tons of websites like Twitter, Facebook, etc. that have come up with a new technique of infinite scrolling for pagination. In this post, we … Continue reading →

Loyalty Points in Advanced Ecommerce (Apache Ofbiz/Opentaps)

Amicon Tech Blogs - Mon, 01/10/2011 - 23:00
Loyalty Points in Advanced Ecommerce(Apache Ofbiz / Opentaps) The Reward Points features allows merchants to promote customer loyalty and increase sales by rewarding customers for their purchases and for referring other customers. Loyalty points program allowed companies to reward their … Continue reading →

Grinder Setup

Amicon Tech Blogs - Mon, 01/10/2011 - 23:00
This document describes how to setup Grinder for running system and performance testing against our web application. Grinder Introduction There are three main processes to are used to run tests across machine: Worker process: interpret Jython test scripts and performs … Continue reading →

Selenium Tutorials – To test OFBiz/Opentaps Ecommerce UI

Amicon Tech Blogs - Mon, 01/10/2011 - 23:00
Selenium Tutorials 1) Selenium IDE is an integrated development environment for performing selenium tests. Selenium tests can be written as HTML tables or coded in various languages like C#, PHP, Perl, Python and can be run directly in most modern browsers. … Continue reading →

XSS- Cross-site scripting in OFBiz/Opentaps

Amicon Tech Blogs - Mon, 01/10/2011 - 23:00
1. What is Cross Site Scripting? Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of computer security vulnerability (Susceptibility to injury or attack) typically found in web applications which enable malicious attackers to inject client-side script into web pages viewed by other … Continue reading →

Eclipse: Reset your saved SVN credentials

Amicon Tech Blogs - Mon, 01/10/2011 - 23:00
If you have saved your SVN credetials in eclipse and want to reset it then we can follow the below process - Check your subclipse settings: 1. If it uses JavaHL: Windows: USER_HOME/Application Data/Subversion/auth Linux: ~/.subversion/auth OSX: ~/.subversion/auth For a … Continue reading →

Opentaps: Important Links

Amicon Tech Blogs - Mon, 01/10/2011 - 23:00
You can go through the following links to experience the Opentaps environment: 1> About Opentaps: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opentaps, http://www.opentaps.org/ 2> Opentaps Documentation/Wiki: http://www.opentaps.org/docs/index.php/Main_Page 3> Source Repository(SVN): http://www.opentaps.org/community/source-repository 4> Framework introduction and videos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46CDSZ-rnVw 5> Forum: http://www.opentaps.org/forum 6> Service Providers And Partners: http://www.opentaps.org/partners 7> … Continue reading →

How MiniLang is formed

Amicon Tech Blogs - Mon, 01/10/2011 - 23:00
How minilang can be defined? Its is simply well formed XML. Developers write XML that obeys a defined schema, this XML is then parsed by the framework and commands are executed accordingly. A local copy of the schema is included … Continue reading →

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Amicon Tech Blogs - Mon, 01/03/2011 - 15:17

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