"The next big thing will start out looking like a toy" (@cdixon drops knowledge)

The reason big new things sneak by incumbents is that the next big thing always starts out being dismissed as a toy.  This is one of the main insights of Clay Christensen’s “disruptive technology” theory, which has been widely studied but I think is still rarely applied because it is so counter-intuitive to conventional management practices.

Disruptive technologies are dismissed as toys because when they are first launched they “undershoot” their users’ needs. The first telephone could only carry voices a mile or two. The leading incumbent of the time, Western Union, chose not to acquire telephone technology because they didn’t see how it could be useful to businesses and railroads – their best customers. What they failed to anticipate was how rapidly telephone technology and infrastructure would improve. The same was true of how mainframe companies viewed the PC, and how modern telecom companies viewed Skype.

The list of top internet companies in 10 years will look very different than that same list does today. And the new ones on the list will be companies that snuck by the incumbents because people dismissed them as toys.

And that's why you've gotta stay hungry.

Anticipated Amazon Tablet to Take Aim at Apple iPad

Apple also has a lead in design that will be tough to surmount. People want to own its products because they are so good-looking. On the basis of the first Kindle, which critics often compare to an oversize calculator, Amazon has some catching up to do.

Having owned every iteration of the Kindle, Amazon at least iterates quickly. Design matters. People are paying for it.

Why We At Hipmunk.com Love Google

Several entrepreneurs said they stood to benefit from Google launching products that would compete with their own. Adam Goldstein, the CEO Steve Huffman, the CTO of flight and hotel search site Hipmunk, said the debut of Google Flight Search brought considerable media attention and record-setting traffic to his website.

“We should be so fortunate that Google launches Flight Search every week,” Goldstein Huffman said. “We had our best traffic day since we launched on the day that they launched. We got mentioned in almost every story on Google Flight Search. It was a great opportunity for us to grab a lot of users.”

Thanks for the interview, Bianca.