Just returned from my annual visit to the technology altar:
Intriguing to be brought up to speed on some of the research being done there, like with enigma.mit.edu.
….And then there is blockchain.mit.edu The term “blockchain”, in tech circles, is like a bell to pavlov’s dogs. The salivation quotient skyrockets. The venture money soon follows.
It was a treat to sit in a session that realistically puts blockchain (NOT Bitcoin) innovation a little further out. This is not, as it is often pitched, a human regulator replacement mechanism (“The Trust Machine”) . The world as we know it will NOT change overnight (blockchain is in a race with sea level rise when it comes to earth shaking change). But the technology does have implications for our future – and it has a future. To paraphrase one panelist “If you are looking for a slow distributed database, you’ve come to the right place.” Intermediaries are not disappearing – they will change. Standards are needed. New regulatory frameworks are needed. Then the killer question: “Would blockchain have prevented the $84M (almost $1B) SWIFT cyber theft? The simple and fast answer: No. A stolen key is always a stolen key. Inside jobs won’t go away.
I was keeping a count of how many times “blockchain” was mentioned. Take out the actual session focused on that technology, and there was one other term that seemed to have taken hold of CIOs even more: MVP. We’re not talking Bryce Harper, Josh Donaldson, Miguel Cabrera baseball MVP.
The runaway most oft mentioned buzz word(s) was “Minimum Viable Product”; delivering an MVP, testing an MVP, defining an MVP. Its all fair game. In our “I want it NOW culture” media commercials have gone from minutes to 15 seconds or less, deliveries are same day, and systems need to be delivered in a way that basic functionality gets delivered ASAP. Hence MVP. A byproduct of Lean, and a child of Agile.
Can’t say that I am sad about that trend. Waterfalls be damned. It’s not like I am going to step in front of a train going 300 MPH. But you are talking to a guy with an average 90 apps on my iphone needing update at any given time. That’s iterative development.
So this faster cheaper world is not always better. and sometimes not cheaper too. But it definitely is getting faster. My colleagues Marcus Blosch and Betsy Burton recently wrote about how the MVP culture is changing Enterprise Architecture (you’ll need a subscription to access).
So if you haven’t heard MVP it probably means your not agile. But you will be. Soon. Probably before blockchain hits.
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