Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Standards and Innovation

The emergence of standard components for ubiquitous and common activities does not impair innovation but accelerates it. This is the principle of componentisation; the speed at which a system develops is directly related to the level of organisation of its subsystems.

Mashing up web services to create a new application depends upon layers of standard components, including standard protocols, operating systems, CPUs etc. If there were no standard components and you had to start with chip design before writing an application, the rate of innovation on the web would be snail like.

The only people who oppose standardisation are generally those who sell their product on the basis that it provides a differential. Of course, an activity which is ubiquitous is not a differential in any sense of the word. The arguments against standards are false.

"Cloud" computing is ripe for emerging standards and those standards won't hamper innovation, they will accelerate it.