New Paradigms (was Re: Lotus Notes -- Too much Hype !!!)

Ravi Kalakota (
Fri, 9 Sep 1994 20:26:40 +0200

> >Peer-to-peer interaction is very useful in environments such as engineering,
> >R&D, problem-solving essentially, where a dialogue is essential and
> >exchange is more like rapid-fire. But it creates anarchy in terms of
> >organizational communications as there is not much structure in the process.
> But anarchy can be *good* when people are faced with overwhelming amounts
> of information. Anarchy allows communities of interest to spring into
> life, merge, divide, etc., without being stifled by bureaucracies. For the
> on-line equivalent of talking in the hallways at a conference, where a
> great of information is exchanged, anarchy is appropriate.

I think the bureaucracies have been beaten up too much. It didn't
actually spring up overnight but took years of evolution. Whether it
will disappear like the dinosour remains to be seen. But, given
the track record of re-engineering, downsizing, TQM, quality circles,
teams, cross-functional teams and other numerous Harvard Business Review
buzz-words I still think that producer-consumer model will survive, may
be not in the static sense of today but more interactive models will
be developed. (and this is the point all of us are trying to make in our
own various postings).

For instance, I currently working on an advertising model
for start-up firms on the Internet with a Chicago agency. As we were developing
the model we found that we can do things with/in the Internet
environment that are revolutionary not only in terms of ads but sales,
marketing functions. To give an example, you can have real-time
infomercials with a Mbone pipe accessible through a WWW interface. Could
you think of the potential of this environment, say in the medicine, where
before buying a product I actually see a doctor use it and even interact
with the doctor. Now think, not of one doctor but several doctors all
over the world say in India, South Africa, South America all accessible
for interaction so I can learn how the product "behaves" in different
environments. This is no longer an ad but an education in tune with the
Internet culture.

That is just one example, of the producer-consumer model with enhancements
for additional interactivity. The potential is just incredible for
organizations to reach customers and get close to them (relationship

Another producer-consumer model that is being explored is the
notion of product catalogs as seen with the NIPDE initiative.
Here the information related to electronic components
-- logic, schematics, timing, thermal, placement, parametric etc. --
are integrated with other info. such as Purchasing, Legal/contractual,
customer service etc. The interesting question that needs to be explored
is how does this published on the WWW influence the actual processes
internal to the organization. Does my getting purchasing information
faster make comparision shopping easier? Maybe or may not be if there are
too many alternatives.

My point is that, we ain't seen nothing yet even in terms of
producer-consumer (interactive or non-interactive) yet. So critiques of
it with respect to our pre-WWW ways of thinking don't hold much

> >My point is that we have not even scratched the surface of the
> >network publishing model in terms of applications. We can effectively
> >subsume the on-demand publishing (video on-demand, games on-demand etc.)
> >applications very easily in this model. And, that is one of the reasons
> >why it is so popular.
> Small data point -- no one has demonstrated that video-on-demand or
> games-on-demand will succeed. The only place that VOD works now is in
> hotel rooms, but I supposed almost anyone will use it if you put them in a
> strange city with nothing to do and no VCR. ;-)

My earlier point about on-demand publishing still stands. I must
add that my examples are a little out of whack. VOD,GOD are small data
points in terms of on-demand publishing applications.