Saturday, May 23, 2009

VCE vs UNE, Online education and printernet publishing

VCE = Value Chain Economy. UNE = User Network Economy.

The snippet will take you to a story about how expensive on line education has become for Universities.

Q: Given the essentially free cost of wiki's, blogs, and project management sites in the Cloud, how can this possibly be true?

A: When Cloud based technology is delivered through value chain commercial models it doesn't work. When Cloud capabilities are delivered through a user network commercial model it does.

Once it works, it will want printernet publishing.
Online Education Grows, but Painfully - @Chronicle.com: "Fast forward to 2009: With budgets strained, every state is looking at how it pays for online learning, which can be a big expense."
The first stage of online education was supported by grants for collaboration at the top of the pyramid. The second stage is described below:
Some virtual universities have found financial footing through entrepreneurial savvy, per-course fees, revenue-sharing deals, and other income sources. Texas may join them. It is exploring a plan to build large bachelor’s-degree programs for adults who never finished college. With its experience, says the online-education analyst Richard Garrett, Texas has “a strong hand to play.”

How the New York Times + Versioned Newspapers + Printernet Publishing Can Fix Bottom of the Pyramid High School Education

Note: This also works for legacy K -12 textbook publishers who are trying to figure out what to do next.

1. Translate the content of the NY Times into Basic English. see snippet below

2. Add some age appropriate quizzes.

3. Use excess print capacity to print a library of unit specific versioned newspapers. A 24 page tab should do it. Store the edited, written to National Standards, unprinted stuff in the Cloud.

4. Sell versioned newspapers in Basic English with current event content to replace K - 12 textbooks.

5. Slice and dice the content. Use education printernet publishing to replace supplementals.

About Basic English
from Encyclopedia Americana Volume 3
BASIC ENGLISH, ba'sik ing'glish, is the product of a new kind of functional thinking about language that shows how we may improve and reshape our linguistic instruments. It is not an invented language but a system of 850 English words, setting up restrictions of its own within accepted English usage, to be used for certain defined purposes. The system was on originated and between 1925 and 1932 by the English scholar C.K. Ogden, who was director of the Orthological Institute and editor of the International Library of Psychology, Philosophy and Scientific Method.

Purposes and Character. The primary object of Basic English is to provide an international secondary language for general and technical communication. Its qualifications for this purpose are that it is an undistorted form of what is practically a world language, and that it is simple enough to be quickly and easily learned, yet sufficiently flexible to be adequate for conveying information and expressing ideas. Its systematic character and selectivity make it also an effective introduction to English for the foreign learner, while the principles underlying the limitation of its vocabulary fit it for use as an antidote to confused thinking and verbal abuses by the English-speaking peoples themselves. By implication it is not intended as a substitute for any language or as a literary medium, or for any purposes to which the persuasive and evocative uses of language are appropriate.

Ogden was indebted to Jeremy Bentham, who studied the question of an international language and invented the word international, for some of the fundamental ideas on which the system is based. Particularly valuable were Bentham's investigation of linguistic fictions, his analysis of emotive language, and his penetrating observations on the verb.

Although Basic English is not just an English course, or even a method, but a language in itself, it is associated with certain teaching principles which are essential for its easy assimilation. These concern the proper grading of the material presented to the learner-the relating of expanded senses to root meanings, the logical building up of constructions, and so on. These teaching principles are developed most fully in The Basic Teacher (see Bibliography), a textbook for European adults.

They have been applied to the preparation of an introductory oral course commissioned for use in Gambia, where children are taught English in the schools before they are fully literate. Teaching aids of many kinds have also been developed, including a set of wall pictures embodying new techniques of visual presentation. The teaching principles first developed in connection with Basic English have profoundly influenced studies on the teaching of English as a foreign language by focusing attention on vocabulary control and scientific grading. Whether the diffusion of these Basic teaching concepts would prepare the way for the wider diffusion of the system itself remained to be seen, but improved methods of teaching are not a substitute, and no alternative to Basic English had appeared by the mid-1960's.

Maybe an even more stripped version of this e reader is the one to eliminate textbooks

I found this at the German version of Beyond Print (thank goodness for Google translate. It was enough for me to get the gist and link to the info I wanted.) For our German language visitors:

Der „Cool-er“ kommt vor dem Kindle nach Europa | The "Cool-er" comes before the Kindle to Europe |
Bildquelle: www.coolreaders.com
Bildquelle: www.coolreaders.com Image source: www.coolreaders.com

(19. Mai 2009 – dk) Ende Mai wird ein neuer E-Book Firma Interead in England auf den Markt kommen. (May 19, 2009 - dk) at the end of May, a new e-book reader Interead Company in England on the market. Der „Cool-er“ spricht durch sein Design j√ľngere Zielgruppen an und weist ein vergleichsweise geringes Gewicht sowie einen geringeren Preis als die derzeitigen E-Book Reader auf.
The link to coolreaders.com.


Do you think a kid would rather have a bunch of heavy textbooks or the stuff in the picture?

Good enough and fast always beats perfect and not so fast.
The point is that by eliminating the wireless connection and the keyboard, the MSP is 259 USD. So I would assume an even more vanilla box version could go for 200USD. And maybe someday 100 USD in bulk purchases.

For college textbooks, the wireless and the IP clearance is critical. For K - 12 wireless is not necessary, keyboards are not necessary, and IP clearance is much less important since the content in textbooks is too old too fast to be useful anyway. If someone includes quizzes for the teachers, this scales, in my not so humble opinion.

The other likely replacement for K -12 textbooks is the e reader that Hearst is working on. Since there is now so much activity in the ereader space, sooner or later one or a combination of them is going to get to market. When that happens, whoever has the print piece ready to go, wins. Again, in my not so humble opinion.

The Present Market Cap of Kodak is less than what Ricoh paid for Ikon and Xerox Paid for Global Imaging..

No problem with the underlying value. 30,000,000 users at Kodak Gallery + the largest high res library on the Cloud. Number one player in offset workflow in the States. Plus one of the most respected and valuable brands on the planet. Either this Board of Directors or the next one will get it right. With over 90% of the common held by institutions maybe present Money will be the trigger. But you never know with Money.

My IRA doesn't care and I only buy and hold, so I'm not betting on market price blablablabla.
At Xerox, Mulcahy Passes Torch to Burns --
from Seeking Alpha:
". . . the $1.5 billion purchase of Global Imaging Systems Inc. in 2007"

Any Global or VAR interested in doing a proof of concept using Print to fix education in South Africa?

Send me an email at josefowm(a)gmail.com. To be clear I have no skin in this game. I'm not a consultant. I have no institutional interests. I'm just a retired baby boomer Printer, fighting for truth, justice and my IRA.

A picture about Medicare and Social Security (USA) worth looking at

Getting the cash flow, not the trust fund on Medicare and Social Security is not a "nice to have." It's a "must have." I'm still betting the folks in the White House will get it right. Not only because it's smart. But because it's a "must have." Americans can do amazing things once the signal finally breaks through the noise.

from The Aleph Blog Pt1
the Aleph Blog Pt 2
The image “http://alephblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/debtgraph.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Why I love "talking" to Australasians, how to fix high school education in the States, and more on textbooks going away

Still one more interesting discussion started at Print Ceo when Richard Romano did a good post on ereaders called Being Content with Content.

The Australasian in question is Andy McCourt. Mr. McCourt's day job is something about business development for OCE in Australia, but I don't know the details. He clearly loves books and loves Print. He also seems to love to blabla about either, but only as time permits. It's a rare combination which, except for the "having a day job" part, I share.

The fact that he wrote an awesome piece about the value of the printernet helped me believe that the phrase might be actually useful. When Andy told me that the Printernet is the phrase some creative independently came up with to brand the show, I was even more convinced that I may have stumbled across a useful phrase.

The original article appeared in the words-on paper edition of Print21. I'm sure that folks who attend PacPrint will see it there. But to share with everyone, I posted a words-on-the screen version at The Digital Nirvana.

At any rate, someplace in the current thread at PrintCEO, Andy said,
As I wade through my eBook Dostoyevsky, I am finding what you say is just so Michael:-convenience. In traffic, waiting around in receptions and for appointments, on a recent plane trip (where I was asked to turn it off as we commenced descent, even though e-Ink ‘paper’ uses no energy when a static page is displayed - I complied of course). So my journey with eBooks has so far revealed that they may encourage more reading - good. They may even encourage more books to be printed: “Seen the movie, bought the T-Shirt, read the e-Book, own the real book.”

My daughter has a treasured 3-volume slip-cased set of Lord of the Rings - unachievable with e-Books. She also takes half a ton of books to school, in her backpack. Maybe if these were all on the e-reader it would still achieve the desired result and reduce back injuries. Techincal manuals too, maybe?

The journey continues…the road goes ever on.

Then I said,
The description of your daughter’s back pack is the reason that I think textbooks are going to morph into combination of e readers and print on demand.

Amazon will have the big Kindle on sale in September. The big new thing is that they have made agreements with Pearson and Wiley to deliver their textbooks through Amazon. When Jobs unlocked the IP issues it enabled iTunes. I think it’s plausible to believe that Bezos will do the same for college textbooks.

The new opportunity for customized print is in K -12 education. Keep the textbook on the ereader for reference. But for the classroom, customized printernet publishing.

Doing a unit on World War I? Personalized 48 page paperbacks or mechanical bound personalized copies with wide margins for notes. The students read, highlight and take notes. The teacher collects the books to see what they’re thinking, Then the students make considered comments on a wiki. When the unit is complete, a final version is printed so that they remember what they read and what they said. Or have a publishing party.

Since I couldn't stop myself, I added one more...
"I apologize for two in a row and climbing up on my little soapbox, but this is a subject near and dear to my heart. . .

I’ve found it helpful to think of a book as either a tool, a token or a toy. The paperback was the most convenient tool for reading. It changed the landscape. I think the ereaders will do the same. Comic books were the most convenient toys, but that is being eroded by video games.

Print remains the optimal tool for learning to think logically in the sense of being able to do “compare and contrast.” It’s very inconvenient to compare and contrast on any potentially moving screen.

The new mass market value of a book is as a token.

It’s the best physical object to capture and share a memory. It’s why photo books are mass market and people still love to receive printed greeting cards. The recent Amazon HP collaboration delivering picture books of the Obama campaign, into which you can put your own picture is an example of a new kind of book that functions as a token of an important personal historical event.

It will be interesting to see how well it sells."

Since the primary purpose of this blog is to allow me to bloviate at will, I will continue ....

Consider Andy's description. “Seen the movie, bought the T-Shirt, read the e-Book, own the real book.” Exactly! The basic principle of media is "the more, the more . . . only different." Contrary to the common wisdom, media has never been a zero sum game. It is an win - win game. The best way to win is with an ESS strategy.

"Wrote the book, followed it as it was being written, bought the book."
A significant number of the best sellers in Japan were written on cell phones on the trains to work. An extraordinary phenomenon that can be understood as unlocking for the mass market the value of a book as token of memory.

The very fact that the book was written collaboratively in the Cloud created the experience that was captured in the printed book. Making that experience shareable created enormous value that was monetized by the purchase of the printed object. It's a lovely example of how the network can create a monetizable value to a commodity. It's the same mechanism that unlocks the value of publishing in K - 12.

The lesson for globals and the printernet
In a VCE (value chain economy) additional value was added to the box by advertising. "No ever got fired for hiring IBM." In a UNE (user network economy) additional value is created by collaborative creation. The amount of value created is exponentially related to the number of users/creators. The value explodes when the number of users reach some critical mass.

The new thing is that "critical mass" does not have to mean a gezillion users. For the printernet, the 24 Oce jetstreams around the globe is already a critical mass if someone facilitates the connections between them. The Color Company stores in London are a critical mass. The Alphagraphics world wide network is a critical mass. Xerox Premier Partners is a critical mass. HP's Indigo owners are a critical mass. What's next is energizing those in place networks. In a UNE, that role falls to the User Network Facilitator. In the world of evolutionary biology enzymes can be seen as User Network Facilitators.

Random Mutation, Selective Destruction
Like an enzyme in a creature, so is it in a human community. A seemingly insignificant difference can lead to a phase change that results in a creature's survival or disappearance. The process of evolution has been described as random mutation and selective retention. I think it might be better described as random mutation, selective destruction. It's like weeding a garden, pruning a bush, forest fires or reorganzing a global.

For globals and VCE - value chain economy - enterprises, behaviors continue until they don't work. Only then do new behaviors emerge. For people and small business, they respond in real time to changes in signals. When gas prices went to $4 in the States, miles driven went down about 5 or 10%. No advertising, no "social responsibility," no blablabla. Just real people adapting in real time to clear signals from a noisy messy environment.

Newspapers are only the most recent example. They've been in secular decline since the 1970s. But the legacy behavior was producing money. There is still lots of blablabla about why. Some believe it was the content. Others believe it was the monopoly position. Others believe it's the End Of Print. Others believe that the Internet Changes Everything. I happen to believe its a broken advertising business model.

Probably all the opinions are true. But as long as the money machine was working, it didn't matter. The ensuing blablabla can be fun and reveals all kinds of ways the world has always worked. It's a field day for bloviators like me. But if your day job is making money, it's just blablabla.

It's only when things don't work, that it's appropriate to do new things.
Now the newspapers will evolve into their next business form. It will most probably be some combination of versioned newspapers, web based something and finding new stuff to sell. My bet is that they will go in with both feet into the education business. At any rate, as printers we've lived through this a couple of times. In my lifetime it was cold type, then Postcript and DTP, then color separations. Many shops had their most profitable years just before they were destroyed by waves of destruction. But the ones that made it through probably have the right organizational dna to thrive in the next destructive wave.

Waves of creative destruction periodically sweep through the world. They destroy much. A tiny, often accidental difference is often the difference between life and death. Usually it's about being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Most often it's about the inability to respond fast enough to stay alive.

Evolution, Biology, DNA and organizational dna
In the world of biology and evolution, the cycle time between waves is very short. Virus dna lives 1000's of generations in a few days. The unlucky or unadaptive virus do not make it to the next generation. Because virus DNA replicates so many times, one gene attached in one way has the opportunity to move from Mexico to New York City to Japan in a matter of weeks. Or a tiny difference to DNA in monkeys can turn into AIDS.

Humans have only gone through less than 150 iterations since the time of the Greeks. The real stage of human evolution happened over the tens of thousands of generations during the Pleistocene era. Tiny differences destroyed most of that DNA after a while. What remains is the DNA that defines both our physical abilities and our cognitive frameworks. It's not only about opposable thumbs. It's about the surviving patterns in our brains that make humans love art, conversation, style, and "love" itself.

Long business cycles seem to have a 50 year periodicity. When they crash it is"interesting times." We now seem to be at the crest of the latest wave. Many business organizations are being destroyed, leaving room for more adaptive sustainable organizations to take their place. To us time bounded humans, it seems as if change happens in "tipping point" time.

But consider that earthquakes are eons in the making, but appear as tipping point events when they present. Since business is just what humans do in nature and since nature is governed by the rules of evolution, it only makes sense that the rules of evolution is the best way to make sense out of what is happening in business.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The opportunity for Lexmark printing RFID to fix High School Education in the States

I did a post saying the RFID on a laser printer by Lexmark is way cool. Then I got some clarification and changed the post. You can check the snippets below of he said, I said.

Here's the thing about bottom of the pyramid high school. The amount of time that is wasted by taking attendance and finding the right person during the day would amaze anyone not familiar with it. Although it's very similar to the time wasted in meetings.

The situation today:
There are typically 45 minutes of instruction time a day in a subject. Of that precious time 10 to 15 minutes for stragglers to show up, the class to settle down and then take attendance. Then another 10 minutes for the teacher to walk down to give them the attendance report. Then that paper is fed into a computer. This has to be done because funding depends on attendance. It takes teacher skill and transforms it into clerical skill.

15 minutes out of 45 is a full 33% of face time in the classroom. That means 33% of FTE is wasted. Meanwhile teachers are laid off to save 5 to 10% of a budget.

The situation as it could be:
Student ids could be laser printed on RFID tags. Lateness and absence is picked up by the Cloud. It is instantly in the admins office and to central for accounting purposes. A text message could be triggered to mom's cell phone. An email could be triggered to mom's email address. A postcard could be triggered to notify mom that junior was late or didn't show up.

All in the background. Creating 15 to 33% more teaching time with no investment in headcount. And no layoffs.

The Butterfly Effect
Sooner or later someone is going to do it. When they do they will be surprised to find out that the primary reason bottom of the pyramid high school ed is broken is that everyone is too busy being busy to leave time for reading and talking.

Sounds much too simple?
To see if I'm on the right track talk to anyone you know who teaches in the classroom. Not an admin or on a school board. It has to be a student facing teacher.

Ask "How cool would it be if you never had to take attendance or send a postcard home to a mother? Ever. Then ask "how would you like to have online or in print, the record of who came to class on what day and who was late, and how many minutes late they were?"

I'll deal with principals in a later post. But for now, principals will understand the I-can't-find-her/him -problem when a parent is taking a break from work to deal with a child's school problem. Or the professional development teachers-acting-worse-than-kids problem.

Consider the demonstrated significant effects of a printed checklist in reducing medical errors in emergency rooms. Or the government's response to the swine flu to print millions of three by five cards to be handed out at airports. Or the best advice from the CDC - Wash your hands. Sneeze into your elbow, if you don't have a handkerchief. Or the radical decline in mortality at birth when doctors learned to wash their hands or ......

It really is true that in complex communication ecology, a seemingly prosaic tiny intervention can lead to a radical phase change. Once the communication ecology of a school is healthy, the dirty little secret is that almost anything that is done in the classroom, consistently, every day, day after day, works. Until the communication ecology is fixed, nothing works predictably. Nothing can scale.

The other under appreciated fact about high school education is that it's a logistic problem of organizing movement through space and time during the school day. The other factor is the skill of the classroom teacher in discovering teachable moments and understanding how to intervene as necessary. It has almost nothing to do with curriculum, tests or specific content.

If you want to know why I know this is true, just post anon, ask for more and I will be glad to share what I think I know.

Comments from previous post are below:

He said: A little picky there, as you still can't name another vendor that can even do this and it'll be a good 6+ months bare minimum before anyone does this.

The potential behind this is huge with exhibitions, people tracking, security, product tracking in distribution and legal/financial document tracking. Having seen an example of this in person, the ability to program and print onto an RFID tag is very impressive. If they can improve the technology to print onto multiple RFID tags on a page, then they're going to be streets ahead of other vendors in relation to this technology.

I said...

Dear Anon,
Notice I didn't change the headline. I still think it's way cool. It's just the engineer wanna be in me that loved the idea that it could print RFID tags complete.

I agree that the new applications are awesome. The one I'm interested in finding out about is anything that is happening in bottom of the pyramid high schools.

I'll do a post describing the opportunity in a little great length than is appropriate in this comment.

Imagine if there were a printernet . . .

I got this in a spam see snippet below a couple of minutes ago. I'm on the email list because I contributed $100 to the campaign. I'll leave the printernet application to you.

50,000,000 print pieces delivered overnight with a minimal carbon footprint.

And clicks and impressions for everyone!

Remember this date: Saturday, June 6th, 2009. We will look back on that day as the moment when the fight for real health care reform began in your neighborhood -- perhaps even in your own living room.

On June 6th, in thousands of homes across the country, we'll gather to launch our grassroots campaign for health care. We'll watch a special message from the President. We'll build the teams and draw up the plans for winning health care reform the same way we won the election: Building support one block, one neighbor, one conversation at a time. And we'll put those plans into action.

These kickoffs are so crucial that President Obama will join confirmed hosts and attendees on a live conference call.

IDEAlliance: The more standards grow, the faster the printernet will grow

IDEAlliance has been developing standards for many years. When it goes mainstream it will be tipping point blablablabla. Another overnight sensation that took years to develop.
G7 Master Printing Firms Skyrocket
- 5/22/2009 9:25:00 AM -
@Graphic Arts Online:
"The numbers of printing firms certified to print following the IDEAlliance G7 specification has grown dramatically. Woodridge, IL-based All Out Print Communications says its G7 Master certification assures its customers they will receive a 'remarkable visual match between the proof and the final print product.' The G7 certification is conferred on printers who adapt their processes to follow IDEAlliance G7 specifications. 'G' refers to calibrating gray values, while the '7' refers to the seven primary color values"

It's not about sustainability. It's about making money by reducing expenses.

The snippet below came in from Ad Age. It's not a bad article from the point of view of an agency. Good recommendations to do advertising. But it misses the point. Why do advertising at all? The money spent advertising could be better spent in using excess capacity at innovation centers doing proof of concept new applications. The internet will take care of getting the message to anyone who is paying attention.

Corporations are not in a position to be socially responsible. They are organized to make money. Once externalized costs are given dollar amounts, sustainability is just another rule in the money making game. As the Carbon Cap Exchanges grow money will maintain the rules.

When a global focuses on being socially responsible, it doesn't focus on delivering a better customer experience. Given that the only constant constraint is the amount of time and energy to focus, worrying about the environment is nice, but is not the job that managers are paid to do. Government is paid to do that job. Managers of public corporations are paid to make money.

The best sustainable communications is to stop the 50% of advertising that doesn't work. If it works, do it. If it doesn't don't do it. If you can't tell, do it as little as possible.

Meanwhile, at the click, the writer says it enables a brand to deliver a service in addition to a product." Sorry but brands don't deliver anything. People organized in micro, medium and global business deliver services and products.

Brands live in a user's mind that indicates an expectation of future behavior. Google is the best brand on the Planet. They don't buy advertising. They sell advertising. I trust Google to work tomorrow, because it has worked pretty well so far. And they constantly improve their product without asking me to pay for their beta. Same thing with Amazon.

How Sustainability Marketing Can Help in Recession - GoodWorks -
@Advertising Age
: "it enables a brand to deliver a service in addition to a product, helping consumers reduce their environmental impact. But this can be a credible strategy only if the brand can demonstrate a real commitment to responsible business and sustainability. Environmental and social messages are simply not enough."

Analysts blablabla and advertising shmadvertising.

According to what I think I heard on Bloomberg, Sears radically cut their advertising costs. According to the analyst reports posted at Bloomberg, Sears Holdings had the lowest consensus ratings of any company in their sector. Analysts are great to get a feel of the common wisdom. But not for making bets on the future.

It sort of make you wonder why globals spend so much time and effort and really smart people managing what "analysts" say or carrying unsustainable SAG with advertising expenses. see second snippet below.

U.S. Stock Futures Advance After Sears Posts Unexpected Profit -
@Bloomberg.com: "May 22 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock futures rose, indicating the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will extend its weekly advance, as better-than-estimated earnings at Sears Holdings Corp. offset concern the U.S. may lose its AAA credit rating.

Sears, the largest U.S. department-store chain, soared 24 percent in pre-market New York trading as the retailer also said it amended a credit agreement"
The advertising snippet
CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- You don't have to have a nine-figure ad budget to boost sales and get your brand noticed -- but it could require some ingenuity. The Taco Maker, a Puerto Rico-based fast-food chain, saw 21% same-store sales increases in central Florida following a combination radio and mobile-marketing promotion in which it offered free burritos.

Money prowling and circling: Anyone notice that USD is .94+ to the yen?

A good time for yens to buy stuff in the States. I haven't been following the value against Euros, but this came over the transom from Seeking Alpha.com, this morning.
Opel draws another vulture.
A Chinese automaker expressed interest in GM's (GM) Opel and Vauxhall operations in Europe, bringing potential bidders to four: unnamed Chinese firm, Fiat, Magna International (MGA) and RHJ International, a buyout firm with automotive assets.

The end of funny money means more Print (a UK viewpoint)

My favorite economic analysis comes from Martin Wolf at the Financial Times. Wolf's column today is well worth the click at the snippet for a full read.

In the States, President Obama has made it clear that he wants to lead a movement from an economy based on maxed out credit cards and under priced oil to one based on diverse energy sources and making stuff.

Print is about making stuff.
Martin Wolf -
Why Britain has to curb finance:

. . . Third, it must reject egregious special pleading from the industry. The sector argues that moving derivatives trading on to exchanges might damage innovation. So what? Maximising innovation is a crazy objective.

Fourth, while trying to create a stable and favourable environment for business activities, the UK should try to diversify the economy away from finance, not reinforce its overly strong comparative advantage within it."

Why I'm going to add 1000 shares of Xerox to the IRA

1. I'm in so deep that waiting for another $6800 to pay off is ok. Plus my strategy is buy, hold and kibbutz. (that's one purpose of this blog.)

2. Ursula Burns has just the right dna at the just the right time. Anne Mulcahy had just the right dna when the company was deep in debt and had big legal problems. It's taken 7 years to fix that. Nice job! But now the game has changed. Now the game is about engineering and logistics. Less about the blablabla to keep wall street happy.

3. I think this is going to be a V shaped recovery. That's what happened in 1907. That's what happened in 1932. I can't see why it won't happen now.

4. Trading carbon caps is going to replace trading mortgage based securities. It gets the incentives nicely aligned. With the new regulations, it should keep funny money to a minimum at least for ten years or so. Once the funny money is under control, it's easier to break through the noise to get some signals about what's going on.

From Xerox PR

Burns joined Xerox in 1980 as a mechanical engineering summer intern and later assumed roles in product development and planning. From 1992 through 2000, Burns led several business teams including the office color and fax business and office network printing business. In 2000, she was named senior vice president, Corporate Strategic Services, heading up manufacturing and supply chain operations. She then took on the broader role of leading Xerox's global research as well as product development, marketing and delivery. In April 2007, Burns was named president of Xerox, expanding her leadership to also include the company's IT organization, corporate strategy, human resources, corporate marketing and global accounts.

Burns earned a bachelor of science degree from Polytechnic Institute of NYU and a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University. She serves on professional and community boards, including American Express Corp., Boston Scientific Corp., CASA - The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, FIRST - (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), National Academy Foundation, MIT, the U.S. Olympic Committee and the University of Rochester.

And this from Seeking Alpha
Leading indicators show signs of growth. The Conference Board's Leading Indicators rose 1% in April, in-line with consensus. It was the first increase in seven months, and indicates the recession will be less intense - at least in the near-term - and give hope for growth in H2. "The question is how long before declines in activity give way to small increases. If the indicators continue on the current track, that point might be reached in the second half of the year," Conference Board's Ken Goldstein said. (Conference Board's release)

Organizing busyness for SMB means competing with iTunes for software. It might mean iTunes for textbooks.

Back in 2006, I did a 2 part column for What They Think called iPods and Textbooks. If I had to write it again, the title would be iPhones and Textbooks. But the argument is pretty much the same.

If Apple introduces an 8 by 10 iPhone, netbooks and laptops will have a new 800# gorilla to fight off. IBM sold their laptop piece. HP bought a laptop piece. C'mon HP, spin off the print piece while you try to compete with the iPhone.

Helping you run your small business, one app at a time.
On the back page of the May 25, 2009 issue of the New Yorker is an ad for iPhone apps with the "Helping you run . . ." title. Following are some of the available apps.

$6.99 . . . Print & Share - email + print to local printer
$29.99 . . LogMeIn - log in to your desktop from the road
$3.99 . . . Jobs/Time Tracking - track your billable hours
$49.99 . . .Credit Card Terminal - accept credit card payments
$12.99 . . . Quicksheet - spread sheet
$0.00 . . . FedEx Mobile - fedex tracking

Instead of trying to sell organizing software, maybe a global could do a deal to become an iPhone reseller. Or talk to Google. They have a Google Apps reseller program and need to get Android to scale. When the other phone companies release 8" by 10" phones/computers the other players for "laptops" or "netbooks" are going to have a very bad day.

MPS = Enterprise Printernet "land grab for managed print service . . is currently underway "

The snippet below supplies the context. The sentence quoted is in the last paragraph.

FMAudit is an SaaS solution presently scaling in Australasia. It is box agnostic. It allows boxes to talk to Cloud and harvests the data to manage the process. They have a reseller network. They are OEM/UNF. The Original Equipment they manufacture is software + links. The Network they facilitate is the enterprise printernet.
Death of The Copier:
Managed Print Services spike an increase in FMAudit installation:
"Sydney, Australia - PrintSolv, the Australian distributor of FMAudit software and a leader in managed print services applications, has reached a significant milestone by distributing over 1000 licenses of the ‘FMAudit Onsite' application in April. PrintSolv resellers now extend the benefit of remote meter collection and automated toner fulfilment to over 15,000 end-users in Australia. PrintSolv

This remarkable growth has been facilitated by both advances in deployment capabilities and the rapid growth of the PrintSolv reseller base. 'Photocopier and printer resellers Australia-wide are now turning to PrintSolv with high demand for vendor agnostic automation of meter collection and consumable fulfillment,' says Andrew Tsiorvas, General Manager of PrintSolv. 'These repetitive processes have traditionally been ‘pain points' for both reseller and end-user, because of the manual methods that were required.

The emergence of managed print services is also a major factor in the month-to-month increase of FMAudit installations. A land-grab for managed print service opportunities is currently underway - and by installing the FMAudit application, PrintSolv resellers are first in line to strike.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Here comes the Espresso. K - 12 Textbooks? and Espresso in every school district ?

from SF GLBT Literary Examiner:
Zumaya Publications takes the Espresso challenge:
"The following press release is from Elisabeth Burton, Executive Director, Zumaya Publications:

Late in April, Zumaya Publications, parent company of the GLBT publishing imprint Zumaya Boundless, completed the paperwork that places all their titles currently being printed at Lightning Source into a pilot program with On-Demand Books, makers of the Espresso Book Machine. Other participating publishers are John Wiley & Sons, Hachette Book Group, McGraw-Hill, Simon & Schuster, Clements Publishing, Cosimo, E-Reads, Bibliolife, Information Age Publishing, Macmillan, University of California Press and W.W. Norton.

Through this program, Zumaya books will be available for printing at all facilities that have an Espresso. There are currently 12 EBMs operational worldwide, and it is my understanding that this pilot program is the first phase of a marketing plan to place more of them in the next few years. The ones already in operation are located at:"

WOW! Anne Mulcahy to Retire as Xerox CEO; Ursula Burns Named Successor

Go Ursula!
Anne Mulcahy to Retire as Xerox CEO;
Ursula Burns Named Successor
"NORWALK, Conn., May 21, 2009 -- Xerox Corporation's (NYSE: XRX) board of directors announced today that Anne Mulcahy, chairman and chief executive officer, will retire as CEO effective July 1. Ursula Burns, current president of the company, was named by the board to succeed Mulcahy as chief executive officer. Mulcahy will remain as chairman of the board."

Another Quibble with Dr Joe Webb

Dr Joe says,
from WhatTheyThink Economics & Research Center - Printing Industry Economics, Trends and Research:

"I still strongly recommend David Meerman Scott's “The New Rules of Marketing and PR.” I suggest reading it three times. First, read it for familiarity. Second, read it for ideas about services to offer clients and prospects.

Finally, read it with an idea of how to implement it in your business.

Remember that the focus should be on small and mid-size business who would not be able to initiate these techniques on their own. Find dependable freelance programmers and designers who can add insight to the projects. When there is constant change, there are always opportunities to start something new. Not starting, however, is becoming a very bad choice. Like many digital printers find that those forays led to increases in their traditional print business, one should work toward that same synergy here."
I say, most printers are not marketers. It would be great if they were, but they're not. Every still surviving Printer is a printer. So be the best printer you can be.

As usual, most of what Dr Joe says is smart. My quibble is with this sentence "Finally, read it with an idea of how to implement it in your business." It is too easy for a printer to think they have to hire people or change what they do.

It's not plausible to think that an outfit with Printer experience, spirit and dna is going to change that very easily or quickly. Much more plausible to partner with best of breed in a specific region so that 1 + 1 = 3.

The Printernet, Teachable Moments and Fixing High School Ed: The President v Dick Cheney

This morning at 10:oo President Obama will talk about National Security. At 10:45 Dick Cheney will talk about National Security. A great opportunity for logical thinking enabled by compare and contrast. Passionate opposing viewpoints create teachable moments. That's what works in a classroom. That's what works in public discourse. It's not about non partisan. It's about Free Speech and democracy.

Imagine how much teachers and students in K -12 will learn if someone printernet published 50,000,000 4 page newsletters delivered to every High School in America, tomorrow morning with a minaml carbon footprint.

Consider the reach when the kids took the print piece home and left it on the kitchen table. If it were supported by ads for public health it could lower health costs.

Vertis has the network and production and Quincy Allen at the helm. The newspapers have the last mile distribution. Or it's Staples or Office Max or Office Depot. Or it's Alpha Graphics or Sir Speedy. Or it's the Indigo DSCoop network.

All the pieces are in place to do it. It just needs a little focus, some good business reasons, and VARs on the ground.

HUGE Score for HP and Amazon! Obama Time Capsule

Based on this one, I think Amazon is going to beat Google at using printernet publishing to fix high school education.

Cmon HP. Spin off the Print part. Lenovo can't make money selling laptops. If you think you're cheaper, better and faster than Lenovo, that's fine with me. But let me get part of the action on the Print piece. Print 2.0 = the printernet. You say tomato, I say tomahto.
HP and Photojournalist Rick Smolan Offer Customizable, Print-on-Demand Obama Time Capsule Book
: "HP and Photojournalist Rick Smolan Offer Customizable, Print-on-Demand Obama Time Capsule Book

HP (NYSE:HPQ) and Rick Smolan, co-creator of the best-selling 'Day in the Life” and 'America 24/7” books, today announced 'The OBAMA Time Capsule,” a first-of-its-kind customizable coffee table book showcasing President Barack Obama’s journey to the White House, including his first 100 days in office.

The book will be available exclusively online at Amazon.com."

GM being nibbled from the bottom up. Networks eat Value Chains. Networks with accessible APIs scale much faster.

I think heard on Bloomberg this morning that Magna is top of the line in Germany to buy Opel. And Penske + Money might buy Saturn. Magna is a Canadian parts manufacturer. Penske is a huge auto dealer. Penske is an OPM/UNF/VAR. Magna is an OEM/UNF - user network facilitator.

The Print Industries
The new globals in Print will be OEM/UNF with organic connection to their own VARs or much better a self energizing network of VARs. Those networks will live in other globals or be independent.

The regional powerhouses will be OPM/VARs. Independent MPS are one OPM/UNF/VARs. They facilitate regional UNF. Commercial and quick printers are mostly OPM/VARs.

Google is an OPM/UNF. The product they have manufactured are their server farms with a very low marginal cost of processing power. Their VARS are the web. Amazon is an OPM/UNF. They've manufactured a logistics system that has very low marginal costs of delivering stuff. Their VARs are the web.

Staples and some of the Franchises are VAR/OPM/UNF for Print. The product they've manufactured are business processes that have a very low marginal cost for selling stuff and business services. The VARs are the stores that make choosing the stuff to buy easier than any place else. The marginal cost of selling more stuff is very low. They are the UNF for proprietary networks.

The opportunity for Franchises is to release their APIs in the sense of opening their networks to community of interest printernets in versioned newspapers, education, health, government printernets. The mitochondria are the creatives who live in organizations.

WalMart and Tesco are OPM/UNF/ VAR. The manufactured product and the VAR part is the same as Staples. They are the UNF for their own massive network of VARs. But WalMart and Tesco sell stuff, food and services. People in the metropole need less stuff and more services. People in other places need the right kind of stuff. Everyone, everyplace, every time needs food.

MindFireInc and EFI are at the center of the Internet piece of the Selling Stuff Printernet

EFI connects the Cloud to the Box. MindFireInc adds intelligence to the Cloud so that it's more valuable when it gets to the Box. Maybe they should talk. Then everyone can focus on what they do better than anyone else.

If either looked at printernet publishing to deliver pURL's in samples for printers, what a nice world it would be. Once they notice the high margins available in an education printernet we could be much further along in fixing high school education. And they could get into a growing business with good margins, instead of selling more stuff to people who don't need that much more stuff.

The selling stuff business in the metropole is full of ferocious competition and Printers who are trying to be Market Solution Providers instead of Marketing Services Suppliers. But whatever they call themselves, they are Printers. It's good to be a Printer. It's much better to Print stuff than to try to sell stuff. People learn how to think logically from print, not from the web.

Until everyone gets comfortable with what they are, printers and the globals that supply them will focus on everything not to be Printers. When people face the dirty secret that the selling stuff business is changing too fast to make margins, we can get down to solving problems that are worth solving. Education, health and government are full of complex problems that are worth solving.

Simple solutions to complex problems lead to very nice sustainable margins.
MindFireInc Powers Integrated Marketing Campaigns in Eighteen Countries
from WhatTheyThink:
"Thursday, May 21, 2009

Irvine, California -- MindFireInc, the leading developer and distributor of ondemand marketing intelligence and personalized multi-channel marketing solutions, announced the signing of its most recent international clients. A South American-based marketing service provider, a full service advertising agency based in Germany, and a direct mail marketing agency in UAE are the latest additions to an international client base that now spans eighteen countries and six continents."
EFI Fiery Powers Konica Minolta bizhub PRO C65hc
Ramsey, N.J. and Foster City, Calif. -- Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc., a leading provider of advanced imaging and networking technologies for the desktop to the print shop, and EFI , the world leader in customer-focused digital printing innovation, have launched the Fiery IC-305 v2.0 with customized color profiles for the newly available bizhub PRO C65hc from Konica Minolta allowing production printers to support both traditional and new sRGB workflows.

An opportunity for an education printernet in South African Schools

Harry Dugmore posted Bringing HyperLocal Citizen Driven Media to South Africa. at PBS.IdeaLab.

Click on the picture to see what I\
at a Global or an Independent in South Africa

I would get in touch with Harry.

Ricoh, Big X or HP for MPS and boxes. Oce for versioned newspapers delivered to schools. Anyone for A3 color output from the Cloud.

MPS: Xippa.net = trust = tansparency = numbers, the David Advantage, Fixing High School Education and Xippa.net

David is fast and flexible. Goliath is slow and one size fits all. Flexible,fast and good enough is what wins.

The David Advantage was best described by Charles Darwin.
"It may be said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good; silently and insensibly working, wherever and whenever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life."
—On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, 1859
Numbers are crystal clear signals. The problem is getting the right numbers all in one spreadsheet. Blablabla doesn't work in an information rich world. It no longer works for the Bush Republicans or opaque globals. It doesn't work if you are trying to sell MPS to people who don't have time for blablabla and don't trust that anyone is focused on helping them.

Paragraph changed 10:31 AM EDT.
I got the following from Xippa.net. The point is that Xippa.net is helping legitimize the MPS space which is wide open for the independents. They are supplying the standards that replace the power of blablabla with the reality of numbers. They don't sell boxes to customers. They sell numbers in spreadsheets to customers. Two different businesses. Each creates a different value.
The independents are getting a lot of traction in the Managed Print Services mid-market arena. That is where the action is. Ma X and Ricoh-Ikon are positioned at the enterprise space for “one off services” but struggle in the mid-market where they still have the “box dropper” mentality.

The other nationally recognized players are getting into the Managed Print Services space but struggle with a uniform program and sales rep compensation. Contract structure involving copier and printer leases needs to be addressed as customers and end users may feel the Managed Print Service Program offerings are just another way to increase margins.

If done properly, the independents can do customized studies of a customers current environment and give the customer a flexible yet good deal. There is still plenty to go around but the vendors need to legitimize the space. Independents need to lead this charge as the big boys are too slow to move in this area. Xippa offers a customer centric model to ensure end users “get what they bargained for”. www.xippa.net
From the Xippa About Us page:
Xippa’s founder, Wade Cascini, has over 20 years of experience in the back office equipment, leasing, service, supplies and facilities management industry. Additionally, he has a Juris Doctorate degree, a Master of Public Administration degree and is a licensed Attorney in the State of Washington . Wade’s integrity and straight forward approach gave him an unparallel reputation of respect by both customers and vendors/employers.

Wade has held leadership roles at Pitney Bowes, Print Inc., IKON and Global Imaging Systems – Xerox. He's worked with a variety of different professionals in a host of different industries: entrepreneurs, professional services firms, hospitals, technology, manufacturing and Local, State and Federal Government. Some of the more recognized names over the last decade have been AT&T Wireless, Nike, Hewlett-Packard, Nordstrom, Starbucks, Weyerhaeuser, John Deere, and Amazon - and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Wade's extensive experience is now being brought to your side of the table.
Better Margins in the Education Printernet
I bet that if someone could get Wade to focus on K - 12 education, he could show them how to cut SAG instead of student facing teachers.

Consider how many FTE's could be saved if teachers didn't have to take attendance or admins could locate everyone in the building. RFID tags printed on the Lexmark printer connected to a local printernet makes those problems go away.

Consider how much money could be saved by replacing textbooks with printernet published customized Print for Learning. Always better to increase the top line instead of cutting costs. The top line in K - 12 is demonstrated student learning. There are much better margins at the top line.

The problem is that educators don't speak numbers. But given the disappearance of funny money and the drive for numbers from the Department of Education, even they will have to work with numbers instead of blablabla.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

HP MarketSplash v Indigo Independents or Staples vs everyone else?

My bet is that Staples will be the UUnet of the Printernet.

"Cross-Wind enables us to easily distribute, via the Web, specifications for an order, allowing numerous suppliers to respond electronically with a pricing quote and delivery date. Our buyers can then instantly compare prices and select a supplier, ensuring a cost-effective and quick response to our valued customers."
Maggie Witt, Director, E-Procurement & Outsourcing Staples Print Solutions (formerly Corporate Express)
from SiloBreaker: Coporate Express

Here's what it says about Coporate Express.
Type: Company
Name: Corporate Express
Nationality: Netherlands
Web Address: http://www.corporateexpress.co.uk/
Fact Sheet: Fact Sheet for Corporate Express



BP: It's not about Color Cube (Qube) . It's about XPS.

No margins in boxes. Lots of value in the network. Printernet is the network. Xerox Print Services is a good enough way to build local printernets. If someone figures out how to clip on Production Print, we'll start seeing the Xerox Education Printernet. Reasonable margins in an Education Printernet.

DP: Wow! A Google TV ad for Chrome.

As I sit and blog with Bloomberg TV playing in the background, I looked up and saw a commercial for the Google chrome browser. I don't remember ever seeing a Google TV ad before. BTW, it was an awesome ad. No voice over. No people. The message was crystal clear.

Does this mean they are going in with both feet for the enterprise?

Consider
Bloomberg TV, at 9:00 am EDT. Who do you think is watching? It ain't kids. It's not about being cool. They've always said they want to organize the world's information. Enterprises are part of the world. They sold Google Apps to Washington DC municipal government.

Click on the picture to see what I\
If I were in the organizing busyness business, I would do a lot of very quiet thinking about how this might change the game.

If I were Google, I would figure out how to better tell the story of enterprises that saved a gezillion dollars using an SaaS solution. You should consider printernet publishing. How about versioned print to deliver to every appropriate school in the States (later for global) and solve the education and textbook problems at the same time?

You better than anyone understands that the web is a niche market. Educators and administrators don't have time to read the web. Plus they need that print piece to convince their admins.

If anyone is interested in getting in touch with a 40 year old very internet savy, 10,000 hour expert with an MBA who is ready to invent this, just comment anon, and I'll post the contact information.

When Google or Amazon gets focused on K -12 and figures out how to integrate the Print piece, they will most definitely change the game in what will create lots of blablablablaba about Tipping Points blablablababa.

BP: Market Splash version 1.5. Evolution can get very messy.

I received a background PDF on the really interesting developments with Market Splash as they move from version 1.0 to version 1.5. Most definitely worth watching. Watching a global respond in real time, as opposed to corporate almost gets to the Black Swan category.

The crux of the matter, in my not so humble opinion, is do they give the franchises the same deal as Staples? No doubt it's heavy lifting, but it's the necessary piece to scale fast. The franchise printernet is the real threat to the Staples copy shop advantage.

If only HP would spin of the print piece. If HP thinks they can get a margin from computers, go with good luck. But why steal from that awesome print business. If they don't want to focus on it, sell it. Based on what I read this morning at Business Week, it sounds like they could use the cash.
From the release:
What changes is HP making to MarketSplash by HP?
In the future, MarketSplash will be re-purposed as a value-added differentiator for our HP printing products. Specifically, in line with the Print 2.0 strategy, HP will adjust MarketSplash.com in the following ways:

1. HP will no longer advertise on the open market to drive traffic to MarketSplash, effectiveimmediately. In September, the MarketSplash.com site will be turned off and re-launched as a service targeted to HP customers with a focus on print-to-desktop. The site will stay up through September to service existing customers.

2. HP will open our print fulfillment network to our PSP partners in two ways: 1) we will add a PSP locator to refer customers to HP PSPs for local print fulfillment (PSP takes order, no back-end integration), and 2) for print-to-mail fulfillment (HP takes order, deep back-end integration), we will add additional PSP vendors when MarketSplash revenue scales to a $10M annual run-rate.

3. HP will pilot a white label MarketSplash solution for HP’s PSP partners. If this pilot is successful, we will launch the white label solution to our HP PSP community.

Additional details will be provided over the coming months.
HP customers can learn more about MarketSplash by HP at www.marketsplash.com.

Oops! Fedex/Kinkos leaves the UK. The Color Company has the money to pounce.

Legacy size is no guarantee of success. In fact, global size responding in corporate time may be the real tragedy for globals. If The Color Company can get a piece of the big money on the prowl, maybe they can replicate in other global cities around the globe. Fedex could use the cash. If they do a sweet deal to keep the pick up points, and stop the pain on the Print side, it should be a win-win.

The Color Company printernet is all over London. In the language of the printernet the retail stores are OPM/VARs. Since they say they have an iGen3, at least one OEM is Xerox. The Color Company was formed in 1996. They are a Market Service Support company. They are not a Market Service Provider. They are printers. They are not marketers. They support marketers.
FedEx Kinko's quits UK and sells sites to The Color Company
@ printweek.com
Helen Morris, printweek.com, 20 May 2009

FedEx Kinko's has exited the UK market with the sale of its five UK sites to Printing Investments, which trades as The Color Company, for an undisclosed sum.

The move includes the sale of five of the print and mailing company’s branches – four in the centre of London and one in Reading. They will be rebranded under The Color Company banner."

BP: What happens when Black Swans gather? Versioned newspapers and the legacy textbook business disappears

Reinventing textbooks, high school education, newspapers, the communication ecology of formal organizations and health doesn't seem like such a big deal when you consider the last 100+ days. Black Swans appear and disappear in real time. Not in corporate time.

Consider
Yesterday, the auto executives + unions + the EPA + DOT + environmental groups + the Governor of California + 10 CEOs of international Auto joined the U.S. President to set national fuel economy and tail pipe emissions in the States.

In the last 100+ days, we saw Members of the Boards of GM, AIG fired by their largest debt holders. Going forward it looks like the UAW will have a representative on the Board of GM. And Chrysler joins with FIAT.

The financial meltdown came and went in about 8 months. No doubt there is still lots to do and challenges ahead, but the blablablablabla is over. see Martin Wolf at the FT.

The US Congress is passing a credit card legislation, plus lots of other important stuff.

The US President had serious conversations with many of the most important global leaders.

The Bush/Cheney defined Republican Party has imploded and the President called for a civil discussion about abortion at a major Catholic founded University in the States.

And that doesn't even start to describe what's happening in the BRIC countries or Australasia.

Sneak Preview of upcoming column at PBS MediaShift. It's about QR codes.

Connecting Print to the Cloud is the next big thing. QR codes+ RFID + Transpromo are the mechanisms.

The issue is no longer to go from the Cloud to Print. That's well defined once we can print from data streams instead of static masters. The new real value is going from Print to Cloud to get the information about activity in real life.

Everybody in education, health and government needs real time information about activity in real life. And it might even help more stuff, for those people that are in the selling stuff business.

Anyone else notice that Lexmark has a laser printer that can print RFID on regular paper.

DP+BP: Some win, some lose. Real Digital (UK) is winning. and blablabla Market Services Provider

Real Digital opens northern office and posts record turnover
@ printweek.com
"Digital print and data business Real Digital International has opened its first regional sales office and recorded a record monthly turnover.

The Croydon-based direct marketing business, which was formed in 2004 with a £20m investment in a state-of-the-art facility, this month launched its Leeds sales office, headed up by regional sales director Gary Wild."

Some signals are breaking through the noise over at PrintCeoBlog after a post titled "To Be or Not to Be a Marketing Solutions Provider. The reality is that when Hamlet asked the question of what "to be" he was talking about deciding to continue living. That's decision that had an immediate and practical action implication. But for everything else, new enterprise comes from combining people with experience in old enterprises.

That's why the appropriate answer to the question of what to be is "Be the best version of what you are." It reminds me of some of my best high school students. They got 500s on their SATs and wanted "to be" a student at NYU. One of them went to community college, where he finally got the time and teacher focus to develop his writing. He is now publishing a book. And is taking a second run at NYU.

Real Digital has a six person leadership team. Consider the demonstrated skill and experience from just the first two listed on their website:
Peter Rivett, This forward thinking maintained Peters’ former company, Olwen Direct Mail, as the industry leader for many years until it was sold in 1997 for £25 million. . . . Peter subsequently moved to Australia and spent 7 years in commercial property development, establishing 13 factories on the East Coast.

And
Andy Ruddle A classically trained marketer and listed in Marketing Direct’s 2007 ‘Power 100’, Andy has been a great influence in the direct marketing industry. . . . In 1989, Andy joined up with Peter to establish Olwen’s mailing operation and became Managing Director. After the company was sold to Big Flower, Andy stayed with the company for a further 6 years and remained a Director of the business with responsibility for Enterprise Solutions.

Color Cube in the workgroup for powerpoint. Nuvera at the CRD for textbooks.

The dirty little secret is that color is only a nice to have for customized textbooks. Mechanical bound black and white product is good enough.

"Good enough" at the right price and ease of use always beats out "perfect" that is too expensive, hard to use and comes to market at the wrong time.

Consider : VHS v Betamax and SONY, since the Walkman, and especially for the last four years.
Xerox unveils latest Nuvera printer
@ printweek.com
"The mono engine can output up to 200 images per minute, equal to 100 A4 pages a minute, and treads the middle ground in a Nuvera family that spans speeds from 100 up to 288 image per minute.

The Emulsion Aggregation (EA) perfecting production system prints at resolutions of 4800x600dpi and is claimed to excel at the printing of high-volume jobs, including statements, books and manuals."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Spirit of the Printernet

The blabla begins on the Color Cube or is it ColorQube.

Since I'm not an expert in MFPs I have to listen to what other people say. I care about high school education, my IRA and getting the printernet working. Below are some of the things I've heard so far about the the Color Cube. I refuse to use Qube. Everyone searches on color cube. It sounds like color cube. What's a qube, anyway?

Bruce says
As I pondered the introduction of this printer. I was wondering how Xerox was going to hit their lofty goal by making color prints the same price of black & white. Sure enough, Xerox comes up with some funny Math.

4 black ink sticks for $570
12 color ink sticks for $528

Art Post says
Notes:- inside mailer were print samples that showed typical shortcomings of wax prints, including fuzzy photos, and difficulty with fine lines and small text
- apparantly does NOT support coated stocks of any kind (issue with wax adhering to surface)
- note that sometimes banding appears in prints, meaning lines of light color or no color, and end user may choose the “Full Banding Fix” on the control panel, which will take 8 minutes to kick out test pages, and waste wax until complete
- End users are advised not to turn unit off if possible, due to waste of wax, and long warmup times
- End users are advised that if they need to move the unit, they should turn off and wait 30 minutes, so wax cools and hardens and does not splash when unit is moved.
- End users are warned that when replacing the “Cleaning Unit”, it is possible to spill the silicon oil inside, which is used to keep the drum clean
- End users are instructed to remove and replace the waste ink tray, as unit will not operate if it is full
Anon says
While this is no new technology... ie: phaser printer solid ink/crayon tech. the concept is nobal. the reality is that the is process is fair but not great. the crayon technology has and will alway be less than acceptable for the business world and will never be acceptable for Production system... the fact that the "rub resistance" will never be good enough for use with mailing systems or in catalog or sales brochures... presentation material will be fine..

Again,. this is nothing new... the low fuser tem technology is employeed by many mfg's today... Canon uses a wax polimer with a toner partical to image with.. this leave no residue or chemical matter ... a very clean technology.

most of the other mfg's use something simular in their business color devices...

BP: Small companies in niche markets. Xeikon v Flexo.

Punch Graphix predicts second-half growth despite 8% fall in sales| @printweek.com
"'Going forward there are some great opportunities to place some more 3000 label presses. The digital label market is coming of age and we're seeing some flexo users starting to invest.'

He also added that the Xeikon range could prove attractive in 'dark economic times', thanks to its lower price than other digital presses on the market."

DP+BP: Quark: How about trying this out at BOT High Schools and Community Colleges in the States?

It's too time consuming to teach technical skills, when you get paid to teach students to think logically. Maybe you can help? You do your job. Teachers will do their jobs.
Quark gives RMIT an education in design and print -
@Print Graphic News
: "QUARK Pacific has announced the launch of its Quark Education Program which will see the company invest in Australian and New Zealand design and print student’s education.

Developed with the consultation of educational institutes and the design and print industry, the Quark education program includes the unlimited use of QuarkXPress 8 within the educational institution and a full version of QuarkXPress 8 for each student enrolled in a design or graphic technology

Quark says they will also provide training for both teachers and students in programs as well as sharing QuarkXPress 8 educational material to assist the teachers with the preparation of their teaching syllabus.

DP: Another piece of the printernet falls into place. SaaS Pricing layer that talks to enterpise MIS from Austrilasia

Estimating is a time sink. One solution is a templated website - MarketSplash. Another solution comes from a tech firm in New Zealand. I can't tell from the site, but my bet is that PalomaTech is three really passionate smart people in whatever equals a garage in New Zealand.
Tharstern NZ to preview Print IQ at Pacprint -
@Print Graphic News:
"THARSTERN New Zealand has announced it will give a preview of its Internet Quoting and MIS intelligence solution Print IQ this month at Pacprint.

Print IQ (Internet or Intranet Quoting) has been developed as a web based estimating tool which only requires Internet monthly subscription to Print IQ.
. . .
The solution also includes Job bags, Reposts, Invoices and the ability to export files into an accounts package.
. . .
Print IQ is the culmination of development collaborations between Tharstern NZ and development partner Paloma Technology. Both companies have worked on a number of projects for common customers in Australia and NZ and felt the market was ready for the release of Print IQ.

Palomatech’s Print IQ tool integrates with the TharsternSQL database, allowing customers to access online estimating tools and also have to option to scale up to a full service MIS in their local environment.

Print IQ is developed to be layered over a companies own MIS solution achieving point of sale customer traffic, franchise linking to a centralised database as well as simplification of the estimating process to a broader group of non specialised individuals.


DP: EFI opens Innovation Centre in Australia

"Don't tell me what you are going to do. Show me what you've done." - NYC High School Student.
As more and more players set up innovation centers, "educating" the customer will move from tell me to show me.

Proof of concept real world interventions, using top intelligence and unused production capacity is much cheaper and more effective than "marketing or advertising."

Perhaps some of them will morph into degree granting schools and get some of the education money floating through everyone's society.

Innovation Centre brings DES and EFI together
from Print21:

DES and EFI join forces to open Sydney-based Innovation Centre.

In July this year, the two companies will open the EFI Innovation Centre in Rhodes, which will cover e-commerce products such as Digital StoreFront, commercial and industrial printing solutions including the Jetrion full-colour digital label press, the Fiery XF and Colorproof XF range of colour management software along with large-format and superwide format UV solutions."

BP: China Print bigger than Drupa?

The snippet below quotes Alon Bar-Shany, HP Indigo VP. The blablabla is that's the big opportunity for Euro based globals. But be very careful. In Asia it's head to head competition with Fuji, Ricoh, Canon and many others.

No doubt it is an opportunity. But it is not easy to pick low hanging fruit. If HP does an Asian version of MarketSplash 3.0 before Ricoh or Fuji that might help. In any case, it's going to be a tough fight.

Europe/New World has to keep adjusting. The common wisdom is that global economic engines will be in Asia. True, but it misses the fact that economic engines will be scattered in city-regions all over the planet. Given the rise of so many cities, with so many people, in so much of Asia it looks like it's about global regions.

In fact all business, like all politics, is local.
Next China Print may be bigger than drupa, says Alon Bar-Shany -
from News Archive - Print21:
Wednesday, 13 May 2009

HP Indigo vice president predicts the shift in printing power to Asia will see the regional exhibition outpace the established European and US shows.

. . . According to Bar-Shany, the growth of HP Indigo press business in Asia more than justifies the company holding its InfoTrends event in Beijing. With 47 percent annual growth in the Asia Pacific, HP Indigo is looking to China to fuel its ongoing 25 percent annual growth. There are approximately 5,000 HP Indigo presses installed around the world, but only 200 in China.

Nice one for InfoPrint: ADF on a global scale = Printernet

ADF = Automated Document Factory = OPM = Original Product Manufacturer. A global network of standards based OPM's = the Printernet. If it lived in a school district it would be an education printernet.
InfoPrint Unveils Postal Optimization ADF Solution
from WhatTheyThink
Tuesday, May 19, 2009

BOULDER, CO -- InfoPrint Solutions Company, the joint venture between IBM and Ricoh, today announced the creation of the Postal Optimization ADF Solution to maximize postal discounts, minimize waste and enable a more productive, streamlined printing environment. This ADF workflow Intelligent Mail-compliant offering will help mailers see less returned mail, greater process control, lower postal rates and in certain cases, the reduction or elimination of expensive sorter equipment.

This bundled offering is built on the InfoPrint ProcessDirector (IPPD) backbone, the company's market-leading* ADF (Automated Document Factory) software technology."
Does the Printernet look like this?

The image “http://holistic-quantum-relativity-hqr.googlegroups.com/web/WebGraphofWebSite.gif?hl=en&gda=FKWT8kcAAAClvyDu6d4-glr6pRd4Mwqvkplav-GaVlZOWy531hp3vcht1Y7C9rfL96Vyt7tzsMP3XXKIYZncDABJH1J1wWzieV4duv6pDMGhhhZdjQlNAw” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Or does the Printernet look like this?

The image “http://holistic-quantum-relativity-hqr.googlegroups.com/web/SynchronicityBall.bmp?hl=en&gda=kH2bp0cAAAClvyDu6d4-glr6pRd4Mwqv4V3O9__IiNWBDtSnPWbNECdHbS_BqLy7hAIvf-5H3sDeRg8fGpQ8mZQeVjJAkeaheV4duv6pDMGhhhZdjQlNAw” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Images from Holistic Quantum Reality

A game changer from HP: MarketSplash catalyzes the Indigo printernet.

The new thing is that HP will set standards to be part of the Market Splash print providers network. see snippet

That gets to a standards based PSP/OPM (original product manufacturers) network. Every Indigo owner gets to compete to be part of the network. Competing on the basis of clear standards with a valuable prize is much better than "educating" the customer. It's also what works for "educating" that bottom of the pyramid high school kid.

Click on the picture to see what I\
I would now supply a path for OPMs to also be standards based VARs. In the jargon, it's called being a Market Solutions Provider.
On the ground it could mean:
1. reselling Salesforce.com and Google Apps to micro and small business
and/or . . .
2. linking good marketing/design studios to micro-small business
and/or . . .
3. linking good independents to sell MPS or MFP as appropriate
and/or . . .
4. linking to newspapers to sell sMB ads for news-on-papers or news-on-screens
and/or . . .
5. whatever else their customers might want to buy

The sooner the print nodes become VARs for their communities of interest, the sooner the whole thing shifts into organic growth. If you've ever seen a garden explode in the spring, you know how fast plants grow.

Very nice. If they would only spin off the Print piece, I would be happy to place a bet, while the Top Management and the Board figure out how pay for the $10 billion purchase of EDS and struggle to maintain margins from laptops, netbooks and computer services.
fromPrint CEO -
HP Announces Changes to MarketSplash:
"As of today advertising for MarketSplash.com on the open market will cease. Over the next 4 months HP is going to phase out the current public site. In September the MarketSplash.com site will relaunched with tools to connect content creators with print providers.

A new referral option will provide a lookup functionality to locate HP Indigo customers. HP will set qualification criteria to become part of the the MarketSplash print service provider network. HP plans to expand the number of print-to-mail vendors. HP will share more details on these changes in the next month."
Meanwhile, I think I heard on Bloomberg that HP has a "strong" relationship with Canon. Is there a way that Canon can leverage that relationship to get back at Ricoh for the Ikon hit?

The next battle is the Ricoh and Fuji/Fuji Xerox/Fuji response. The clash of the titans continues. Oce keeps on keeping on. Kodak? KM? All the while, my IRA is feeling much better.

Go Print! Go Printernet!

Monday, May 18, 2009

MPS: OOPS! dr droock is wrong again..Wow! Lexmark can print RFID with a laser printer. That's very cool.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) --
@Lexmark United States:
Lexmark introduced the first and only RFID laser printer . . . . In fact, it was recently recognized by the RFID industry as one of the best new RFID technology innovations for 2008 by RFID Switchboard and was first runner-up for Best of Show at the 2008 RFID Journal conference."

ID cards for everyone who works in a high school. Students, teachers, admins, janitors. How's that for security?.....

Added May 20, 11:49 EDT:
A sincere thank you to George Alexander of Beyond Print for helping me get this right. Lexmark is still cool, but doesn't rate a Wow. Here's what I found out:
Don't be misled by the confusing Lexmark announcement. The machine does NOT print RFID tags. It prints on paper that has an RFID tag embeded in it (not "regular paper"). Here's a description of the printer from the Lexmark site:

"The T640rn has a radio and an antenna integrated into the printer. By adding up to four additional drawers, you can print multiple sizes and types of media. It can print, program and verify RFID media as well as print your current business documents all on the same printer. With this solution, the tag that is embedded into the media is parallel to the long edge of the paper."

DP: Money keeps Prowling. 10,000 JPY = 105.59 USD

At least that what is say on the web
Takeda to buy IDM Pharma from Seeking Alpha.
Takeda Pharmaceutical agreed Monday to acquire IDM Pharmas of IDMI">IDMI), a developer of anti-cancer treatments, for $2.64/share in an all-cash tender offer followed by a merger. Shares of IDM were recently +19% premarket to $2.02.

DP: Economic Engine Keeps Drifting East. Or is it West from California? Or is it South to Brazil?

India Stocks, Rupee, Bonds Surge on Congress Win; Shares Halted -
@Bloomberg.com: "May 18 (Bloomberg) -- India’s benchmark stock index jumped a record 17 percent, bonds rose and the rupee gained the most in two decades after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Congress Party won nationwide elections."

Brazil food giants talk tie-up. Brazil meat processors Sadia (SDA) and Perdigao (PDA) said they're in discussions of a merger that would rescue struggling Sadia, and create one of the world's largest frozen and processed food companies. In a report Thursday, Citigroup speculated the Brazil government could help finance a merger with as much as $750M.