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by Ryan MacInnis
Here are some of the past week's highlights from DigitalDisruption.com, Acquia's portal for examining the impact of digital disruption.
Google Glass at Harvard Medical - Video
In this hour plus video you will hear honest experiences and opinions by Dr. Karandeep Singh, Nephrology Fellow at Brigham and Women's Hospital / Massachusetts General Hospital, Software Developer, Informatician and Dr. Synho Do, Assistant Medical Director for Advanced Health Technology Engineering, Research, and Development, MGPO. We were also joined by Dr. Ismail Nabeel of Ohio State.
The general consensus is that we are now in the very early stages of a promising future for better patient care enabled by wearable technology. The wearable medical tech of the future may be Glass, something that resembles Glass or another competitor but there is little doubt that your doctor will one day have immediate access to your records without taking her eyes from you, the patient.
The Business Behind Open Source
While it's true that the Open Source "business model" has produced few large businesses (Red Hat being one notable example), we're also evolving the different Open Source business models. In the case of Acquia, we're selling a number of "as-a-service" products for Drupal, which is vastly different than just selling support like the first generation of Open Source companies did.
As a private company, Acquia doesn't disclose financial information, but I can say that we've been very busy operating a high-growth business. Acquia is North America's fastest growing private company on the Deloitte Fast 500 list. Our Q1 2014 bookings increased 55 percent year-over-year, and the majority of that is recurring subscription revenue. We've experienced 21 consecutive quarters of revenue growth, with no signs of slowing down. Acquia's business model has been both disruptive and transformative in our industry. Other Open Source companies like Hortonworks, Cloudera and MongoDB seem to be building thriving businesses too.
Society is undergoing tremendous change right now -- the sharing and collaboration practices of the internet are extending to transportation (Uber), hotels (Airbnb), financing (Kickstarter, LendingClub) and music services (Spotify). The rise of the collaborative economy, of which the Open Source community is a part of, should be a powerful message for the business community. It is the established, proprietary vendors whose business models are at risk, and not the other way around.
Hundreds of other companies, including several venture backed startups, have been born out of the Drupal community. Like Acquia, they have grown their businesses while supporting the ecosystem from which they came. That is more than a feel-good story, it's just good business.
Facebook Wants to Be a Retail Store
With so many people spending countless hours each day on Facebook, it really came as no surprise when we found out that it was testing "Shop Now" buttons and ads that look like Amazon reviews. During a press roundtable discussion in San Francisco earlier this year, Nicolas Franchet, Facebook’s global head of retail and e-commerce, said, "We can offer a sheer reach that no other platform can.”
"With the preferences and social lives of one billion users to analyze, shopping on Facebook promises—in theory—to be a kind of personalized experience that no physical store could hope to replicate.
Ideally, the experience would resemble hanging out at a store with your best friend, except instead of browsing shelves with an unchanging selection of items, the shelves are constantly circulating merchandise right in front of your eyes to show you the stuff that you and just you are most likely to like."
British police force uses Snapchat
Recently we saw Snapchat being used by an Ireland bar for recruitment, an entrepreneur for his recycling business, and now a British Police force.The West Midlands Police Department in the UK will keep the locals informed with its activities through Snapchat photo and video updates.
"West Midlands Police already have an extensive presence across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Instagram, so presumably the force knows what it’s doing when it comes to social media.
With the username “WestMidsPolice” officers will be sharing images from all across the various departments using the Snapchat Stories feature, where pictures are available for 24 hours."
Continue to tune in for weekly wrap-ups, and be sure to subscribe to DigitalDisruption.com’s RSS feed for innovative examples of business change in the digital age.