Category Archives: Open Source

The Foundation of the U.S. Knowledge-Based Economy

Pool of Knowledge by Ian MuttooIn a recent academic journal article co-authored with Godwin Ariguzo and Angappa Gunasekaran, the ascension of the U.S. economy from service-based to knowledge-based is investigated and a foundational model offered. According to official U.S. sources reporting gross domestic product (GDP) data, the U.S. became a service-based economy (majority of Gross Domestic Product made up by services) at the end of 1958, beginning of 1959 ($211.2 billion GDP services, $200 billion GDP goods), much earlier than previously proposed. Today, services make up 70 percent of total U.S. GDP ($9.8 trillion out of $14.07 trillion).

Following the logic of total factor productivity, the argument can be made that the U.S. officially became a knowledge-based economy, simply measured as the point at which a majority of total service exports are made up of knowledge-based services, at the end of 1997, beginning of 1998. By the end of 1997, 50.74 percent of all U.S. service exports consisted of knowledge-based services. Today, knowledge-based service exports make up 64.6 percent of total U.S. service exports, accounting for $390.95 billion of $604.90 billion in annual service exports for 2011. The diffusion of the internet is thought to be the proximate trigger for the transition of the U.S. to a quaternary stage economy.

We attribute the establishment of the U.S. knowledge-based economy, based on the best available extent research, to the synergistic interaction of five components. The five components consist of a foundation of information and communications technology, plus open innovation, education, knowledge management and creativity. A visual representation of the foundational structure on which the U.S. knowledge-based economy is built is offered below.

Structural Components of the Knowledge-Based Economy

The proposed model is not exhaustive. Certainly other factors contribute to the ascension of the U.S. economy from primarily service-based to knowledge-based. However, while the five structural components offered above are well known and well researched individually, ours is one of the first manuscripts to suggest that the synergistic interaction of the five has provided the U.S. knowledge-based economy with its competitive advantage in the global market.

How long we will enjoy this competitive advantage remains to be seen and depends, in part, on the fate of our system of higher education and its ability to generate graduates with the knowledge and skills required to foster innovation.


Watch Me: The Growth of Internet Television in the U.S. Market

Television by *USB*, on Flickr

Is 2010 the year that internet television goes mainstream? Evidence exists to suggest that we’re well on our way to adopting internet television as a viable alternative to broadcast, cable and satellite television. According to recently released statistics, there are 240 million people in the USA using the internet (77 percent of the total population) with 66 percent of total US households accessing the internet via broadband. Of the 240 million US users, 84.1 percent watch online videos of some sort yielding a total of roughly 202 million US users who are favorably predisposed to watching video online. While YouTube continues to dominate the online video viewing marketplace, Facebook is making significant gains in total video views. But what about internet television? How is it growing in the US marketplace?

Hulu, the top online television provider in the US, reports a total of 30 million users, representing 12.5 percent of all US internet users and 14.85 percent of all US online video viewers. To be certain, current versions of internet television contain limitations regarding content availability and quality, but the perceived limitations are decreasing annually. As more people adopt and use internet television, a safe assumption is that advertising dollars will follow. Although concrete figures for the amount of advertising revenue generated by all US internet television providers remains difficult to ascertain, the growth of the top internet television provider serves as a surrogate for the industry’s potential. Since 2008, Hulu has reported a compound annual growth rate in total advertising revenue of 209.84 percent, beginning with $25 million in 2008, hitting the $108 million mark in 2009 and estimated to reach $240 million by the end of 2010. Hulu launched as a free service, but is now offering subscription to premier service, HuluPlus.

Hulu Ad Sales Growth Rate

Netflix, a subcription-based provider of online movies and television content, is expected to reach 19 million users in the US marketplace by the end of 2010, representing 8 percent of the total US internet users and 9.4 percent of all US online video viewers.

Other online television and movie content providers worth mentioning are Boxee and Ziggy TV. The former, like Google TV, offers a control box that can be hooked up to a high definition television and broadband cable access to allow viewers to watch online television on their regular television sets. But unlike Google TV, you can access Boxee via your laptop and/or mobile device. Boxee provides access to movies via Netflix as well as television content via Hulu (much to Hulu’s dismay). In my opinion, it is one of the better options available for online television access. Ziggy TV offers access to multiple types of media, but when I ran it on my Windows 7 laptop, it was a memory hog (even with 4 gigs of RAM) and slowed down my machine considerably. For Mac users, AppleTV offers access to online video content for different subscription rates. Boxee integrates well with AppleTV.

Google TV has launched and is targeting the mainstream television audience. Like Boxee, Google TV is delivered via a control box that you hook up to your television and broadband access. Unlike Boxee, Netflix, Ziggy TV and Hulu, Google TV is not accessible via your computer, laptop or mobile device. This may limit the overall appeal of Google TV and thus, the total number of users. Instead of choosing to compete solely via traditional television, Google TV should deliver its content in all potential viewing platforms. In my opinion, this is clearly a mistake in the strategic positioning of Google TV.

Finally, if your goal is to access online television via your regular television set (as with Google TV), think about looking into Orb TV. Orb TV provides access to Hulu, Netflix and other online video sources but uses your iPhone or Android phone as the TV remote control. Boxee provides this same feature (iPhone remote app).

In summary, as more US internet users switch their television and movie viewing to online and mobile platforms, advertising dollars are bound to follow. To ignore the opportunities provided by online and mobile television/video advertising is foolish.

How do you prefer to access and watch movies, television and video content online?


Peace, Out: Strategically Eliminating Your Web 2.0 Past

Soylent Green

Ideas for blog posts come from surprising sources. Last week, I flew to Wisconsin for a conference meeting. During the trip, there was nothing to read other than the American Airline’s magazine, American Way. As it turns out, that was a good thing. Otherwise, I would have missed this incredible article by Larry Dobrow entitled “The Ultimate Sign-Out”. In the article, Dobrow discusses a somewhat visceral response to Web 2.0 burnout – the open source solution known as the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine.

Dobrow offers the Suicide Machine, developed by Gordan Savicic and Walter Langelaar, as a solution for those experiencing Web 2.0 overload. Using their website, you can erase your entire history on four different social media platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and Twitter. Buzz about the program is growing so quickly that it was recently featured in an episode of South Park. To date, 4,344 people have eliminated their Web 2.0 identities on one or more of the four social media platforms listed above.

My recommendation for using the program is somewhat more strategic. It’s no secret that employers are checking the social media profiles and habits of potential employees. Most likely, current and recently graduated college students established their social media pages and profiles years ago without thinking about personal branding implications and the potential impact on their future job searches that these sites may have. Postings about “how wrecked I am” and pictures presenting less-than-flattering behavior abound on their personal social media sites. I’m not for or against this practice – who among us didn’t have some fun during the late teen, early twenties period of our lives? And at some level, posting evidence of this fun via social media is a cultural bonding experience and provides representative documentation of one’s carefree pursuit of hedonistic endeavors.

However, the follies of youth are not typically considered an asset when searching for a job. So from a personal branding perspective, my recommendation is for you to selectively kill your past Web 2.0 presence and emerge with a unified personal brand across all social media platforms. Before launching into this, spend some time thinking about how you want to project yourself (your personal branding approach) to the general public and potential employers. Monitor your newly created social media identities for consistency of message and image across platforms. Use the “grandmother” rule for new postings (i.e., what would my grandmother think if she read this post or viewed this picture). Consider increasing your privacy levels to not allow people to tag you in photos or disclose your location (if possible).

The key to personal branding is to remain consistent and focused. After sending your “party-self” to the suicide machine, you gain the opportunity for a strategically focused re-birth. Done correctly, you’ll only have to eliminate your history once. So as the new academic year begins, think about when you’ll make the transition from youthful indiscretion to job-seeking professional and mark it on your calendar. Don’t think of it as the death of fun, but rather as the birth of an exciting career.

Just like Soylent Green, social media is people.