Disruption and or digital transformation are key themes in business and technology today. everyone wants to be a unicorn, or be like a unicorn
Enterprises and corporations are coming round to the idea that they need to find new ways of working in order to change, rather than relying on change from the inside. We’re seeing the creation of innovation departments, collaborations with accelerators, and attempts to find new ways of working that will drive meaningful change
One of the first great examples of a new type of approach was Xerox Parc, a hugely influential tech campus in Silicon Valley. Notably it was 3k miles away from Rochester, NY, where the company was head quartered. Thye invention was real, but arguably being so far from the head office meant that technology transfer and market innovation were lacking.
Today we’re seeing a huge movement of talent into San Francisco. Silicon Valley is not seen as being as cool or innovative any more. The people building new digital services want to be located in town, they want to have experience to great coffee and food. It’s about talent density. Indeed “must relocate to San Francisco” is even a meme
Apple intentionally designs social serendipity into its architecture. The way it organizes space, and particularly cafeteria space is designed so that people from different groups meet and collaborate.
It is interesting that these companies, creating tools that allow you to be social or consume digital services wherever you are on the planet, are all generally very much focused on campuses, with collocated people.
Open source is about culture as much as anything else. Certainly it can’t be reduced to say, a particular license. It’s a culture of collaboration based on underlying norms and ways of working. Silicon Valley is all in.
Open source is generally about co-creation at some level. Enterprises increasingly want to tap into that.
Foraging for ideas, Foraging for Code, Foraging for talent. A large element of modern digital culture, underpinned by open source thinking, is a foraging mentality and approach.
This is @harper – he’s pretty awesome. He ran the team that fixed healthcare.gov in the US
This is heavybit in SF. It’s a lovely open space, designed for hanging out and working.
One of the favoured methodologies in driving software development transformation is pair programming. We’ve seen corporations become religious about it. programmers work together in pairs, reviewing each other’s code as they type it in. Pivotal Labs had notable success with this approach.
“Silicon Roundabout” was originally a joke name for 10 or so businesses in and around Shoreditch. Coined by Matt Biddulph of Dopplr, the Evening Standard wrote a story about it, and a cluster was born. The Cameron government tapped into that energy, with an explicit strategy of driving inward investment.
We opened the Village Hall in October 2013
Events and meetups are a super important part of the new culture. We ran hundreds of events for software developers and local community organisations
Then the money arrived. Aviva bought the building, asked us to leave, and opened in January 2016
Barclays Rise- a global network of accelerators.
Etsy preferred Berlin. Again – plenty of industrial space and artistic talent. Same pattern of gentrification will apply.
This is CompoZed in Northern Ireland, run by Allstate. They have adopted the pair programming, SF style working wholesale
“It’s critical that Apple do everything it can to stay informal. And one of the
ways that you stay informal is to be together. One of the ways that you ensure
collaboration is to make sure people run into each other—not just at the
meetings that are scheduled on your calendar, but all the serendipitous stuff
that happens every day in the cafeteria and walking around”
– Tim Cook, Apple CEO
“Developers used to spend
only 20% of their time
coding and now it's closer
Doug Safford, Allstate
Starting with culture – top down and bottom up
Getting out of the Corporate office environment
Agile and pair programming
Knowledge and skills transfer
Open source culture and making contributions
Go to where the smartest people are at the highest density
Meetups, meetups, meetups
Optimise for serendipity
Reshoring is the new outsourcing
Breaking down large teams into small teams, loosely joined