Innovation In Assembly

This is a harder topic to talk about since I am lucky enough to be in the younger generation where these services and concept is common place. When things like amazon and ebay have been around since I was 10 I have never stopped to think what the web was like before these architectures where invented. To be online automated billing and despatchin of goods is standard and being able to access and use massive live datasets commonplace. When I ran through the list of sites I use regularly and tried to apply the pattern the most obvious and one I can relate to the most is

Being a totally user powererd service that is used in the public and private sectors, satisfying people need for convenience and drive for personal gain. Where before you would have just thrown away that old TV or given away that pair of diesel jeans you dont fit anymore its a couple of clicks and they’re sold. The real innovation in the site is the toolsets that a given to users to not only generate an attractive add but to build their own unique ebay store if they wish too. Making limited development tools usable to everyone means that they can get the most out of the service.

Ebay has also extended its service to be able to have embeded advertising with actual running relevant auctions that play on the users impulsivness. Like the candy in the checkout line in the supermarket when your standing in line, not something you go out of your way for but since its there, you see it and it seems like a good deal you grab the snickers bar. This is cheeky marketing tactic that works.  Thats a bit off topic but I find it clever.

The ebay model is something that has been employed by other online auction sites such as and to name two australian companies. Although they are their own web services each developed by their own companies the looks, feel and functionality of the services are very much ebay. The user interaction with the service and ability to personalise their account makes it more user friendly, making it their own and something they will find easier to relate with and use. They also record what categories you have viewed in the past while you are logged in and will show you auctions of items that you mite find interesting, indicative of web 2.0 and ebay.

Ihaven’t found it so hard to find good examples of the innovation in assembly pattern I have just found it hard to discuss it. The concept makes perfect sense and it would seem obvious to work on such a pattern. Developing something that will not only grow as more people adopt it and become comfortable with it but also help improve and further develop it means sharing some of the work and research all be it un knowingly with the consumer. Peoples desire to continuely alter, tweak and personalise things is driving them to build web services that are becoming more integrated and usable. Companies like amazon have realised that the consumer wants to take part and contribute and by giving them the tools to do so it has enriched their service exponentially.

It seems in the case of google earth and a number of other services this idea of opening the technology up to the public and allowing them to essentially hack it freely seems to have been done retrospectively; which makes you wonder how much innovation was there in their assembly? It wasnt until users forced their way into google earth that they realised that the 100 or the 1000 people they have on the payroll working on this stuff is good,  but what about the 200 million people who are potentially going to use it? Google might employ some of the brightest minds but not all of them. Innovation in Assembly to me implies that the innovation was done in the actual assembly phase. To me with alot of the services its more like renovation post assembly. Although that is the point that the googles and the amazons have done the research, the development and come up with a model and now all we have to do is take note and get it right from the start.


One Response to Innovation In Assembly

  1. jrwightman says:

    The idea of using users as your ’employees’ who are creating new things for you is really interesting. Companies use users as beta testers, but they don’t tend to use them as part of their business, like Google has. A really interesting read. Nice to see it form the point of view from someone who’s grown up around this and hasn’t known anything else!

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