Everyone in my family is a big fan of the new TV show “Numbers.”  We are also big fans of Tivo, so even though the show airs on Friday night, we don’t usually watch until Saturday.  

I just watched a repeat episode where Charlie (the mathematician) is bothered because his mathematical model didn’t predict the existence of a very large drug lab.  In discussing it with another character, he says “I have data that I know is true, but it isn’t predicted by my algorithm.”

The other character replies “Then your algorithm is wrong.”

“No,” he replies, “It is incomplete.”

I guess this distinction is lost many times.  I’ve seen it over and over.  If an approach has some minor flaw, then the entire approach must be wrong, rathern than saying that it is correct, but not complete.

A few years ago, we all said that there would be commercial ‘services’ available and that it would change the nature of software on the web. That’s a big part of what folks have been calling ‘Web 2.0.’  So if it is so compelling, how come the nature of software on the web hasn’t changed?

Because the model is incomplete. 

We’ve taken ‘supply’ into consideration, but not demand.  (Show me an economic system that works without both).  I guess we figured we could use the web for supply but that we would use traditional business means to figure out demand.

Why not use the web to figure out demand as well.  (As Homer would say “Doh!”)

I suggest that we create an exchange site where the following activities occur:

  • A consumer (developer?) can ask for a service, and can describe it, and can describe the money they would pay, per transaction, for it.  Other consumers can join the request.
  • A supplier (developer?) can respond, and can make a proposal.   One or more consumers can accept the proposal.  More than one supplier can build a service.
  • Once the service is built, it is listed on the same site.  This allows someone looking for a service to come to the site as a ‘one stop shop’ to either find an existing service or request a new one.

Kind of like ‘Rent-A-Coder’. 

Could work…

By Nick Malik

Former CIO and present Strategic Architect, Nick Malik is a Seattle based business and technology advisor with over 30 years of professional experience in management, systems, and technology. He is the co-author of the influential paper "Perspectives on Enterprise Architecture" with Dr. Brian Cameron that effectively defined modern Enterprise Architecture practices, and he is frequent speaker at public gatherings on Enterprise Architecture and related topics. He coauthored a book on Visual Storytelling with Martin Sykes and Mark West titled "Stories That Move Mountains".

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