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Data network connectivity developments, networking business news, and related computing items.

Ken Novak's Weblog


daily link  Thursday, February 22, 2007


The endowment effect, the 9X problem and collaboration:  Nice summary from HBS.  "the "endowment effect" [is when] we value items in our possession more than prospective items that could be in our possession, especially if the prospective item is a proposed substitute.  We mentally compare having the prospective item to giving up what we already have (our 'endowment'), but because we're loss averse giving up what we already have (our reference point) looms large. 

And Gourville points out three factors that make the situation worse for product developers who want their offerings to succeed.  First is timing:  adopters have to give up their endowment immediately, and only get benefits sometime in the future.  Second, these benefits are not certain; the new product might not work as promised.  Third, benefits are usually qualitative, making them difficult to enumerate and compare. ..

Because of all of the above, Gourville talks about the '9X problem' --  "a mismatch of 9 to 1 between what innovators think consumers want and what consumers actually want."1  The 9X problem goes a long way to explaining the tech industry folk wisdom that to spread like wildfire a new product has to offer a tenfold improvement over  what's currently out there...

Email is a channel technology.  It creates a private conduit between the sender and receiver.  Other parties don't know that the email was sent, and can't consult its contents.   Wikis, del.icio.us, Flickr, Myspace, Facebook, and YouTube, on the other hand, are all platform technologies.  They accumulate content over time and make it visible and accessible to all community members.  [They also foster emergence, where structure emerges rather than being imposed by "groupware" products.] ..  So the new tools are not direct substitutes for email; instead, they're intended to provide capabilities that email can't.  Will they succeed?  It depends  heavily, I believe, on whether companies and their managers want technology platforms for collaboration.  This desire will be an important factor in solving email's 9X problem. "
  1:44:26 PM  permalink  


daily link  Wednesday, February 14, 2007


On the Reliability of Hard Disks:  Summarizing research papers: "there was no correlation between disk failure rates and utilization, environmental conditions such as temperature, or age. This means that high disk utilization or age of the disk have no significant impact on the probability that it will fail.  .. the expected remaining time until the next disk failure grows with the time it has been since the last failure...

They did find a strong correlation between manufacturer/model and failure rates. They observed that older disks had a much lower failure rates then newer disks, where the newer disks in general were less expensive. Basically you get what you pay when you talk about disk reliability. ..

The only exception to the lack of correlation was that infant mortality rate for disks showed a correlation with high utilization: if a new disk is really crappy you can detect this by putting a high load on it. ..

Both papers report disk failure rates in the 6%-10% range: in a datacenter with about 100,000 disks you will need to replace up to between 6,000 and 10,000 disks per year. "
  10:44:53 AM  permalink  


daily link  Monday, February 12, 2007


EPEAT: "EPEAT is a system to help purchasers in the public and private sectors evaluate, compare and select desktop computers, notebooks and monitors based on their environmental attributes. EPEAT also provides a clear and consistent set of performance criteria for the design of products.. On January 24, President Bush signed Executive Order 13423 that mandates federal agencies to buy EPEAT registered products."  8:49:16 AM  permalink  

Copyright 2007 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 2/22/2007; 1:46:27 PM.
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