Daily Archives:July 23rd, 2008

Non-commercial options

Oh, and while I’m on the subject of iPhone software, here’s a handy hint. In the browser and in various other apps there’s a special ‘.com’ key which saves you a few keystrokes.

What’s not so obvious is that you can press and hold on that key to get some other options.

Now, if someone can work out how to add ‘.co.uk’…


WordPress have, as is the mode du jour, released an iPhone/iTouch app which makes it easier to blog on the move. Or on the loo. If you can read this, it works. (The app, not the loo. No, don’t worry, I’m not really there!)

It’s a little flaky at the moment, but the concept is quite neat, except for the fact that you have to type on the little keyboard. Too bad it won’t rotate into landscape mode…

The price of failure

A great talk by Cory Doctorow last night – he spoke for an hour but packed in more words than most people would manage in two hours, and certainly more insights.

One phrase I liked:

“Innovation happens when people can afford to fail”

This is exactly right. I’ve said a related thing before in a talk about innovation: “Redundancy pay is a wonderful thing”. For many people, especially young people, it’s the first time they get a chance to raise their heads, look around and think about options beyond the next month’s pay cheque.

Most people will not, or cannot, risk the roof over their family’s heads, or their career prospects, or their employees’ livelihoods, if that’s the price of experimenting and failing. The thing Silicon Valley got right is the understanding that a high proportion of new ideas will fail, and that’s OK, because enough of them won’t. If investors looking at proposals, or employers looking at CVs, or governments thinking about policy, understand and allow failure (in moderation, of course), then great things can happen!

Many thanks to Neil Davidson of Red Gate Software for the invitation to the talk.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser