Anyone familiar with the very successful AMC series Mad Men will know what I mean when I talk about 1960s office architecture. Uniform floors stretching from the heart in the middle (with the central organs like elevators and receptions) to the lower management employees in the next ring, ending at the windows where the real white-collar workers were seated in their closed offices. And the real important managers usually inhabited the squares of each floor.
It seems to make sense, providing prominent managers with the best spots near the window. Yet not according to the world-renowned scholar Richard Florida. In The Rise of the Creative Class (2012) he explains that a worse office architecture is almost unthinkable, especially in our modern economy.
Creative work today is almost necessarily co-creative work. Co-creation can take the form of crowdsourcing (Malone et al., 2010), but Saarijävi et al. (2013) argue that co-creation is a hard concept to grasp. The question is for whom, by whom and with what, which sort of value is in fact created. According to Florida (2012) one thing is clear: co-creation can be improved through architecture.
Why are the offices of the Mad Men era no longer suitable? Continue reading Does “co-location” precede co-creation?
Why choose public transportation, trains which are always delayed, taxies which are way overpriced, or busses which are way too full? Now there is backseatsurfing.com, an online platform where you can find a cheap ride to where-ever you need to go.
The slogan of the website is ‘the social network for hitchhikers’, and Backseatsurfer is meant as a platform where people can get cheap (sometimes even free!) transportation. The network facilitates contact by means of profiles people can create, and people can chat and/or make appointments on the platform. This online form of trading an offline service, transportation, seems an opportunity to counteract expensive public transportation.
How does it work? Continue reading Surfing on the backseat
Applause is the largest marketplace for software testing on the web. On this platform more than 100000 testers allow companies to launch their high quality applications. Thousand of companies choose Applause as partner for their quality assurance processes and among those firms we find start-ups but also Fortune 500 companies such as Google and Microsoft.
Start-ups choose Applause for its cost, since it provides an on-demand pricing system that allow companies to buy exclusively the services they want and not what they don’t need. They choose it for its quality, since companies can always check the characteristics of each tester and they can match their applications with their services ( for instance, they can restrict testing to only one category or they can ensure the quality of their products through different systems). They choose it for the easiness to communicate – in the shortest time possible – and the control day-to-day that would not be otherwise possibleon the testing process.
Big companies trust Applause as a partner because Applause has invented the idea of in-the-wild testing as opposed to lab testing. Companies create their software and applications and they work perfectly as long as they are tested in the lab.Applause ensures that an application is not only able to work perfectly in a lab but also in a real world environment. Its motto is “Are your apps ready for what lies beyond the firewall?” and relies on the assumptions that in the real world imperfect connectivity, outdated software and unique hardware actually exist. Continue reading Applause
I stumbled upon this article recently about one startup company in Asia that presented their latest product to an audience, called App Virality. What this product does is allowing web developers to monitor their application’s usage like an analytical dashboard and to grow their application ‘organically’ with tools such as surveys or polls and in-app testing (Millward, 2014). While I was interested in this app, but I was more intrigued by this term which is heavily used in the article, Growth Hacking. According to the article, App Virality is essentially “a growth hacking toolkit” for app developers but what does this mean?
You would think that the term growth hacking has bad connotation. However this terms is actually introduced by the Sean Ellis, the man who helps various internet companies in Silicon Valley achieve growth in their startup stage, when he searched for his replacement in every startup company he worked for (Patel & Taylor, n.d.). This is Sean Ellis job advertisement:
Growth Hacker Ad (source: QuickSprout.com)
Basically growth hacker is a person whose job is to grow companies using methods beyond traditional marketing. The term hacker was added because hacker is often referred to someone who is ingenious in finding solution that often overlooked by people when achieving his/her goal which in this case is growth (Patel & Taylor, n.d.).
Continue reading Have You Heard of Growth Hacking?
We are going to discuss a bad example of recommendation agent (RA) used by an Indonesian e-commerce/ online forum platform, Kaskus. You would immediately think that this platform performs badly these days, but you cannot be more wrong. Recently, Kaskus announced that the site has achieved 600,000,000 page views every month and 40,000,000 users registered to the site which certify Kaskus to be the biggest online forum in Indonesia (Lukman, 2014) and Indonesia’s #1 website in 2013 (Redwing, 2013).
Kaskus started as an online bulletin board forum for gamer communities (Wee, 2012). When the traffic picked up, the users saw the opportunity to sell their things in the forum and thus e-commerce threads were popping up everywhere. Seeing how many e-commerce threads were created, Kaskus established a sub-forum called Kaskus Jual Beli (KJB) or Kaskus Selling and Buying especially for e-commerce threads.
For a long period of time, KJB has no recommendation agent what so ever to assist the buyers when purchasing something. What it had was merely content filtering system which was very inefficient because KJB had too many thread posts. Recently, however, KJB started to implement rule based preference elicitation to its existing RA system. This new type of RA is arguably effective because there are many different types of item sold. For example, if we want to buy a puppy (Yes, real puppy!) then the condition rule such as “new” or “second” will not be valid anymore.
Continue reading Kaskus: Does Recommendation Agent Really Matter?