Bolstering Backupify

web1_thumb254As more content is moving into the cloud and people are increasing their dependence on access to the information that is stored within web services, having Redundancy, a backup, an alternate storage, an alternate means of accessing the data, is critical to maintaining continuity and stability. Products that facilitate Redundancy empower their users, and demonstrate trust in, and service of, the consumer over antiquated concepts of protection and restriction, even of the content that that very user has created.

Quick-MI provides for the rapid, simple and quantifiable assessment of a product’s Modular Innovation (MI). Among the various components that define a product’s Interoperability, as well as Quick-MI’s, are Sharability, Flexibility, Portability, Convenience, and Interoperability.

In understanding the characteristic of Interoperability the sub-category, or variable, of Redundancy plays an instrumental role. Redundancy is …

  • the ability, provided by the product, whereby external products are leveraged to provide replication of functionality and/or content, and
  • one of the many characteristics and features of Modular Innovation increasingly central to today’s successful and emerging products.

Example: Non-existent Redundancy (value = 0)

In the study of Modular Innovation Redundancy, Backupify presents as a fairly unique subject. There are not many products that result in me doing a double-take.

00_backupify_homepage

The Backupify product is described by many as a way to backup one’s cloud. It basically makes remote copies of one’s content and activities from many online products and services. By "remote," I am referring to content copies that are not stored within the confines of the originating product.

01_backupify_supports

Instincts

My initial instinct for Backupify was to designate it as a good example of Comprehensive Redundancy and move on. It made copies of stuff, lots of stuff, from lots of products. But wait, that didn’t seem right at all. Something felt unique, something about my thinking felt backwards. So I spent just a few brief moments more and here is what I found, and concluded.

One Cloud

02_backupify_s3 Beyond what this product does for other products, which we will discuss in the next section, Backupify depends entirely on the Amazon cloud (S3) as well as the proactive user’s manual downloading of archived content to their local computer, earning Backupify a Modular Innovation Redundancy variable value of 0, Non-existent Redundancy.

Neither the core functionality, nor the storage capabilities present a consistent and reliable means of Redundancy or replication.

While Backupify stores 100% of its primary content within a 3rd party service, S3, the lack of alternate synchronization options prevents it from achieving a 1.0. The minimal requirement for achieving a value of 0.5 is that there exist at least a single external product that can be (or is being) used to replicate some of the primary functionality and/or content. Allowing the user to download the files from S3 to local storage, the user’s computer, does not meet the set bar of a single external product.

Enabler

What makes Backupify a unique and interesting product in the exploration of Modular Innovation Redundancy is what it is able to do for those products that it supports.

In contrast to Backupify’s Non-existent Redundancy, it enables a Redundancy value of at least 0.5, Partial Redundancy, in all the products that it supports. Backupify, in the supported products’ cases, is the single external product that replicates some (or all) of the products’ primary content. Furthermore, without the existence of Backupify, those supported products would be on weaker footing, and in most cases, themselves only earn a Redundancy value of 0, Non-existent Redundancy, as most do not provide any inherent means of Redundancy of content nor functionality.

Backupify is a Modular Innovation with Non-existent Redundancy (value 0) that enables at least Partial Redundancy (value 0.5) in the products and Modular Innovations that it supports, disaggregating those products’ content risk.

Double-Take

Yes, the Backupify product caused me to quickly double-check my conclusion. Quickly double-checking the rules and guidelines is never a bad idea, whether you are performing a full Quick-MI analysis or merely seeking to understand a product or two from various perspectives and touchpoints. It will provide deeper insight into the product, a better understanding of Modular Innovations, and still allow for the “quick” of Quick-MI to hold true.

Should Do

Due to the nature of the Backupify product, 100% of the product’s content is, by definition, made portable. It is the storage options of that portable content that needs to be expanded upon by allowing for the consumer specification of multiple, parallel storage options for all the backed-up content.

Again

Take a look back at real-world examples of Redundancy values…

Comprehensive Redundancy (value 1) [Ping.fm]
Partial Redundancy (value 0.5) [Picnik]
Non-existent Redundancy (value 0) [Backupify]

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring the Interoperability and Redundancy of Quick-MI, the quick and easy method of generating quantifiable and comparable metrics representing the understanding of the overall Modular Innovation of a product, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.

Enjoy, Discuss & Tweet!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

About these ads

From Designing for Women to Reducing the Noise through Modular Innovation

Every week I read thousands of blog posts. Here, for your weekend enjoyment, are some highlights from my recent reading, for you.  Have a great weekend!

01_startup-visa

On Starting Up…

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-the-startup-visa-is-actually-a-really-bad-idea-2010-3
Check out (and join in) the debate over the proposed Startup Visa.

 
 

On Design & Product Experience…

http://www.grokdotcom.com/2010/03/12/a-womens-clothing-website-that-actually-speaks-to-women/
What does it mean to design for women?

02_women-design
03_reducing-noise

On Modular Innovation…

http://blog.louisgray.com/2010/03/my6sense-debuts-attention-api-for-devs.html
Reducing the noise in the content stream through Modular Innovation.

 

What are you reading this weekend?

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

jQuery Plugin: Give Your Characters a NobleCount

jquerylogo256_thumb[1] NobleCount… for a more ‘proper’ count of the characters remaining.

twitter

A very common requirement with many of the more social products of the various companies I work with is the dynamic display of the number of characters remaining in a textarea, Twitter-style. When implemented, every one of these companies either developed a simple solution in-house or found a re-usable front-end plugin online. Most common, implemented within these products, and of all I could find open-sourced online, were sources lacking customization and/or, almost universally, lacking the desired user experience – updating the character count AFTER all or most of the user’s typing had ceased.

As a result, and also in my quest to always help provide my clients free, cheap and easy to use tools, I have been on the lookout for a jQuery plugin that would provide the ability to …

  • provide non-delayed, real-time character counts,
  • enable easy to customize visual behaviors, and
  • permit event and DOM hooks for the savvy with more advanced character counting needs.

While there are other similar tools out there, none adequately met my goals. Therefore, I created the jQuery NobleCount plugin.

Usage

NobleCount is a customizable jQuery plugin for a more improved counting of the remaining characters, and handling of resulting behaviors, of a text entry object, e.g. input textfield, textarea. Also, NobleCount supports pre-existing text within the text object and jQuery chaining.

$('#textarea1').NobleCount('#characters_remaining1');
$('#textfield2').NobleCount('#characters_remaining2', { / * OPTIONS * / });

As text is entered into the target text area, an object for the purpose of tracking the total number of characters remaining, defined as the maximum number of characters minus the current total number of characters within the text entry object, is updated – storing that information visually and/or within the DOM as an HTML 5 compliant data-* attribute.

Events and CSS class alterations, if defined, are triggered based on current user interaction with the target text entry object as well as the current state (positive or negative) of the character remaining value.

Example:

$('#test1').NobleCount('#count1');
<div>
	<textarea id='test1'></textarea>
	<br>
	<span id='count1'></span> characters remaining remaining
</div>

METHOD(S)

To properly initialize, both the text entry object and the object that will store the total number of characters remaining must exist and be passed to NobleCount.

$(TEXT_ENTRY_OBJECT).NobleCount(CHARACTERS_REMAINING_OBJECT);

Both TEXT_ENTRY_OBJECT and CHARACTERS_REMAINING_OBJECT must be specified and valid.

Upon successful initialization, all appropriate events and classes are applied to the CHARACTERS_REMAINING_OBJECT, including the storage visually (if not disabled) or only in the DOM (if enabled) of the integer value representing the number of characters remaining.

The target maximum number of characters (max_chars) are determined by the following

precedence rules….

If max_chars passed via constructor
max_chars = max_chars passed
else if number exists within characters_remaining object and number > 0
max_chars = number within the text() of CHARACTERS_REMAINING_OBJECT
else use NobleCount’s default max_chars

Also note that within the NobleCount context…

NEGATIVE is defined as Integers < 0
POSITIVE is defined as Integers >= 0 [on_positive will fire when char_rem == 0]

Settings

By default, the maximum number of characters is set to 140 (à la Twitter), a negative number of characters remaining is permitted, and no events, classes, or DOM attribute modifiers are enabled.

To change these settings, they can either be accessed directly…

$.fn.NobleCount.settings.max_chars = 40;

… or at the time of initialization…

$(t_obj).NobleCount(c_obj, {max_chars:100});

The default settings data structure is…

$.fn.NobleCount.settings = {

on_negative: null,
on_positive: null,
on_update: null,
max_chars: 140,
block_negative: false,
cloak: false,
in_dom: false

};

The parameters are defined (and all can be overridden) thus…

on_negative

  • class (STRING) or FUNCTION that is applied/called when characters remaining is negative IF DEFINED
  • on_postitive class, if defined, is removed when on_negative event triggers

on_positive

  • class (STRING) or FUNCTION that is applied/called when characters remaining is positive IF DEFINED
  • on_negative class, if defined, is removed when on_positive event triggers

on_update

  • FUNCTION that is called when characters remaining changes

max_chars

  • target maximum number of characters

block_negative

  • if TRUE, then all attempts are made to block entering more than max_characters
  • if FALSE [default], text area will let individual entering the text to exceed max_chars limit (characters remaining can become negative)
  • not effective against user pasting in blocks of text that exceed the max_chars value

cloak

  • if TRUE, then no visual updates of characters remaining object (c_obj) will occur
  • if FALSE [default], then the text within c_obj is constantly updated to represent the total number of characters remaining until the max_chars limit has been reached
  • note, this does not have any effect on the char_rem value returned via any event callbacks

in_dom

  • if TRUE and cloak is ALSO TRUE, then the number of characters remaining are stored as the attribute of c_obj named ‘data-noblecount’
  • NOTE: if enabled, due to constant updating of a DOM element attribute, user experience can appear sluggish while the individual is modifying the text entry object (t_obj)

Settings example:

settings =
	{
		on_negative: 'go_red',
		on_positive: 'go_green',
		max_chars: 25,
		on_update: function(t_obj, char_area, c_settings, char_rem){
			if ((char_rem % 10) == 0) {
				char_area.css('font-weight', 'bold');
				char_area.css('font-size', '300%');
			} else {
				char_area.css('font-weight', 'normal');
				char_area.css('font-size', '100%');
			}
		}
	};

Any callback functions assigned to any of the available events are passed the following parameters: (t_obj, char_area, c_settings, char_rem)

t_obj

  • text entry object

char_area

  • characters remaining object

c_settings

  • result of the options passed into NobleCount at the time of initialization merged with the default options

Having custom function append their own data to c_settings is also a great way to pass in and remember other state information that will be needed upon the triggering of NobleCount events.

char_rem

  • integer representation of the total number of characters remaining resulting from the calculated difference between the target maximum number of characters and the current number of characters currently within t_obj

Get It

You can download NobleCount, dual licensed under GPL and MIT, from…

jQuery Repository
http://plugins.jquery.com/project/NobleCount

Git
Public Clone URL: git://github.com/theproductguy/NobleCount.git
GitHub: http://github.com/theproductguy/NobleCount

Zip
http://plugins.jquery.com/files/jQuery.NobleCount-source-bundle_1.0_20100322.zip

Demo

http://theproductguy.com/noblecount/noblecount.demo.html

Status updates can be found here, jQuery NobleCount.
If you find this useful, or have any questions, ideas, or issues, leave a comment.

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

From Pairwise and Digg to Plancast #SXSW Edition

Every week I read thousands of blog posts. Here, for your weekend enjoyment, are some highlights from my recent reading, for you.  Have a great weekend!

01_pairwise

On Starting Up…

http://pairwise.posterous.com/startup-created-aboard-a-bus-from-sf-to-austi
On the bus to SXSW, a startup was born, it is Pairwise.

 
 

On Design & Product Experience…

http://mashable.com/2010/03/14/new-digg-jay-adelson/
A peak at the coming new experience of Digg 2.0.

02_digg2
03_plancast

On Modular Innovation…

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/plancast_future_as_platform.php
Building a Modular Innovation platform of intent with Plancast.

 

What are you reading this weekend?

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

Partial Picnik

web1_thumb25As more content is moving into the cloud and people are increasing their dependence on access to the information that is stored within web services, having Redundancy, a backup, an alternate storage, an alternate means of accessing the data, is critical to maintaining continuity and stability. Products that facilitate Redundancy empower their users, and demonstrate trust in, and service of, the consumer over antiquated concepts of protection and restriction, even of the content that that very user has created.

Quick-MI provides for the rapid, simple and quantifiable assessment of a product’s Modular Innovation (MI). Among the various components that define a product’s Interoperability, as well as Quick-MI’s, are Sharability, Flexibility, Portability, Convenience, and Interoperability.

In understanding the characteristic of Interoperability the sub-category, or variable, of Redundancy plays an instrumental role. Redundancy is …

  • the ability, provided by the product, whereby external products are leveraged to provide replication of functionality and/or content, and
  • one of the many characteristics and features of Modular Innovation increasingly central to today’s successful and emerging products.

Example: Partial Redundancy (value = 0.5)

Picnik is self-described…

"…photo editing awesomeness, online, in your browser. It’s the easiest way on the Web to fix underexposed photos, remove red-eye, or apply effects to your photos."

This product is an online web service that allows for the editing of photos, online images, and web screenshots — captured through Picnik’s various toolbars and plugins.

00_picnik_homepage

In addition to the ability to easily import content from a wide variety of sources, including Flickr, Picasa, local computer, MySpace, and Facebook…

01_picnik_services

… Picnik provides for Redundant storage and distribution of the user’s saved content, the ability to save being a primary feature of Picnik, earning it a Modular Innovation Interoperability Redundancy variable value of 0.5, Partial Redundancy.

Saved

While not every aspect of Picnik is Redundant, it does provide for the redundancy of storage as well as distributing the risk of loss of user content. You have the choice to store the images locally (within the product or on your computer) or through any of a variety of third party products.

02_picnik_choices

With this level of Redundancy, should the Picnik service go down, either temporarily or permanently, or should one of the storage options falter, the content will still be accessible via one of the enabled third party providers.

For example, this captured screenshot…

03_picnik_screenshot

… can be edited, saved, and then re-accessed by any of the user’s enabled storage methods …

04_picnik_inapp

05_picnik_local

06_picnik_flickr

07_picnik_picasa

08_picnik_facebook

Should Do

The Picnik product’s Redundancy can be improved by providing…

  • automatic saving and distribution — when a image is imported, updated, or captured, it should allow for the un-prompted, automatic saving to all connected storage locations
  • API(s) to allow other products to leverage part or all of the Picnik functionality — thereby enabling third parties to bolster the Redundancy of the product’s core and further extend it
  • options for editing of photos / images by other online editing tools within the Picnik environment
  • access for users to plugin additional editing options / features from other parties — encouraging Redundancy of functionality and content within, and facilitated by, the Picnik product / platform

Again

Over the next several weeks I will be providing real-world examples of Redundancy values…

Comprehensive Redundancy (value 1) [Ping.fm]
Partial Redundancy (value 0.5) [Picnik]
Non-existent Redundancy (value 0) [Backupify]

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring the Interoperability and Redundancy of Quick-MI, the quick and easy method of generating quantifiable and comparable metrics representing the understanding of the overall Modular Innovation of a product, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.

Enjoy, Discuss & Tweet!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

From Product Focus to the Enticements of Color

Every week I read thousands of blog posts. Here, for your weekend enjoyment, are some highlights from my recent reading, for you.  Have a great weekend!

01_product-focus

On Starting Up…

http://visitmix.com/Opinions/Bass-ackwards
Forget about the technology. Focus on the product.

 
 

On Design & Product Experience…

http://sixrevisions.com/web_design/a-look-into-color-theory-in-web-design/
Influencing your visitors through color.

02_color
03_virtual-states

On Modular Innovation…

http://highscalability.com/blog/2010/3/9/applications-as-virtual-states.html
Virtual States from Modular Innovation. Inevitable?

 

What are you reading this weekend?

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

The Product Group: Products, Postabon, and Product People & A Seriously Great April!

theproductgroup_logo_200909_thumb752
balsamiq_logo2_thumb2633
RymaLogoHighRes257_thumb52

A big thank you to everyone who made it to our latest meet-up of The Product Group, as well as to our sponsors, Balsamiq Studios and Ryma Technology Solutions! We all had a blast discussing Product People-oriented topics and enjoying Wonderful food.

DSC06216

Over the 3+ hours we discussed…

Featured Product: Postabon: explored the product, its challenges and successes, from requirements management and incentive systems to addressing the target users and the competition (with guest Product Person, Shaneal Manek, Postabon’s Product Manager / CTO / Co-Founder)

Product Management & Politics: explored scenarios and challenges and sharing advice on how to obtain buy-in and overcome

DSC06227 DSC06229

The Product Group meet-ups are an opportunity for Product People (managers, strategies, marketers, etc.) to come together to meet, interact, and network in a roundtable setting. It’s awesome to meet fellow Product People in a laid-back, conversational gathering like this one and I am looking forward to seeing everyone, new and familiar, at our next meet-up …

Thursday, April 1st @ 7PM
@ Wonderful @ 172 8th Avenue (bet. 18th and 19th St)
NYC

If you would like to attend our next meet-up, RSVP today or visit our group webpage at…

http://meetup.com/TheProductGroup

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

P.S. If you or an organization you represent would be interested in sponsoring or hosting an upcoming gathering of The Product Group please contact me.

Redundancy: Just a Ping.fm Away

web1_thumb2As more content is moving into the cloud and people are increasing their dependence on access to the information that is stored within web services, having Redundancy, a backup, an alternate storage, an alternate means of accessing the data, is critical to maintaining continuity and stability. Products that facilitate Redundancy empower their users, and demonstrate trust in, and service of, the consumer over antiquated concepts of protection and restriction, even of the content that that very user has created.

Quick-MI provides for the rapid, simple and quantifiable assessment of a product’s Modular Innovation (MI). Among the various components that define a product’s Interoperability, as well as Quick-MI’s, are Sharability, Flexibility, Portability, Convenience, and Interoperability.

In understanding the characteristic of Interoperability the sub-category, or variable, of Redundancy plays an instrumental role. Redundancy is …

  • the ability, provided by the product, whereby external products are leveraged to provide replication of functionality and/or content, and
  • one of the many characteristics and features of Modular Innovation increasingly central to today’s successful and emerging products.

Example: Comprehensive Redundancy (value = 1)

Since I started writing about Modular Innovation and the Modular Innovation variable of Redundancy, many products have come and gone. Back then, I was a user of Jaiku, Twitter, and Pownce. Fortunately, for me, I didn’t lock myself into any single one of these products (Jaiku is basically non-existent, and Pownce is gone), I didn’t hazard choosing the wrong product to count on to win the micro-blogging, status-update wars, but found a way to mitigate my risk of functionality and content loss. Instead, I chose to use the Comprehensively Redundant Ping.fm.

Ping.fm, a recent acquisition of Seesmic, is a wonderful example of Modular Innovation, from Connectivity to, more relevant for today’s examination, Redundancy.

00_pingfm_homepage

At the core of Ping.fm is the functionality to update one’s status by leveraging a multitude of 3rd party applications.

01_third_party

No Choice

Why choose between Twitter or Facebook or Plurk? Which products will last? Which products will fail, and along with them vanish a user’s status update ability and content? Ping.fm does a great job in removing the peril of ‘forcing a user to choose,’ risking a choice that results in a dead-end product path with the user’s generated content eventually becoming unavailable and lost to posterity.

No Time

Typically, an online user of such products as Twitter, LinkedIn, Posterous, and Facebook has to individually log into each of these products , and one-by-one update their status.

02_various_updates

However, instead of a user having to spend the time to update numerous products or depend solely on any one product to provide their online community with status updates, Ping.fm empowers the user via Redundancy of both content and functionality.

Continue

The Ping.fm user is neither solely dependent upon Ping.fm nor any one of the 3rd party applications. This product provides, across every of the user’s activated 3rd party apps, the …

replication of status information (content)

  • mitigating the risk of the loss of user generated content — the user’s status information can always be available for as long as at least one of the many 3rd party products remains in existence, and

replication of the means to update (functionality)

  • providing numerous points of access to update one’s status information,
  • saving time for anyone who transmits their updates via one of the ping.fm interfaces.

Impressively, Ping.fm exists to facilitate the users’ updating of status information and allows for 100% of the information generated via the product to be stored and replicated across numerous, popular online 3rd party products. This, in turn, produces a level of Redundancy that saves time and provides security for the consumer through its ability to distribute the risk of both functionality, the ability to update one’s content, and the content itself; earning Ping.fm a Quick-MI Redundancy variable value of 1.0, Comprehensive Redundancy.

Should Do

With strong Redundancy, as demonstrated with this product, should any product be discontinued, should even Ping.fm disappear, the consumer can STILL access their content, the consumer can STILL make their status updates.

Ping.fm very soundly provides for the ability to replicate information submitted to it across many third party products. Ping.fm even provides for a good variety of interfaces to submit new content, beyond their basic website. But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.

03_posting

Two-way Redundancy would further solidify the importance and innate value Ping.fm brings, enabling other products that currently only receive updates from Ping.fm to, themselves, become instantly Redundant, stronger Modular Innovations. For example, allow a user to either submit updates directly to Ping.fm or import those updates for replication across the various enabled third-parties, via Twitter or Facebook (and other currently, one-way Redundant apps).

Again

Over the next several weeks I will be providing real-world examples of Redundancy values…

Comprehensive Redundancy (value 1) [Ping.fm]
Partial Redundancy (value 0.5) [Picnik]
Non-existent Redundancy (value 0) [Backupify]

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring the Interoperability and Redundancy of Quick-MI, the quick and easy method of generating quantifiable and comparable metrics representing the understanding of the overall Modular Innovation of a product, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.

Enjoy, Discuss & Tweet!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

Add to Social Bookmarks: Stumbleupon Del.ico.us Furl Reddit Google Add to Mixx!

From Remote Collaboration to the Passwords of Modular Innovation

Every week I read thousands of blog posts. Here, for your weekend enjoyment, are some highlights from my recent reading, for you.  Have a great weekend!

01_collab

On Starting Up…

http://sixrevisions.com/project-management/how-to-make-remote-team-collaboration-work/
Design through remote collaboration.

 
 

On Design & Product Experience…

http://www.visitmix.com/Articles/The-Future-of-Wireframes
Rethinking the function of the wireframe in the product process.

02_wireframes
03_password

On Modular Innovation…

http://lifehacker.com/5483119/the-easy-any+browser-any+os-password-solution
The passwords of Modular Innovation.

 

What are you reading this weekend?

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

Add to Social Bookmarks: Stumbleupon Del.ico.us Furl Reddit Google Add to Mixx!

Quick-MI and the Redundancy of Interoperability

web[1] This article marks the start of a series of articles diving deeper into Modular Innovation (MI) and many of the characteristics and features increasingly central to today’s successful and emerging products.

To Recap

Today, Modular Innovation is a prevailing trend that can be described as products and platforms consisting of or facilitating Relationships (people-people, products-products, people-products), and through these Relationships …

  • Control of Experience (from creation to storage to interaction)
  • Ownership of Content (personal content, from comments to friend lists and more)

"Modular Innovation is Relationships. The more relationships, the stronger the relationships, in turn, the stronger and broader … a product’s acceptance, support, and success." (from Quick-MI. Quick Heuristics for Modular Innovation. 2008)

Quick-MI

These relationships can be quantified, analyzed, built and expanded upon. Once quantified, products are better understood, and clearer courses are able to be set for improvement and solidification of the elements within products directly relevant to Modular Innovation, directly relevant to sustained success.

Quick-MI is the simplification of the quantification of the Modular Innovations, the products and platforms that make up Modular Innovation. The Quick-MI method, much like Quick-UX, is a great way to build a summary description with quantifiable and comparable metrics, representing the level of Modular Innovation present within a product.

The Quick-MI evaluates the degree to which a product successfully addresses the following 5 categories:

Once quantified, the variable values associated with each of the categories are summed to represent the Modular Innovation Index of a given item (product, platform, etc.).

The characteristics evaluated within each category constitute a minimal representative subset that accurately evaluates the Modular Innovation Index while adhering to the goals of a method that are (1) quantifiable, (2) comparable, and (3) quick.

More detailed and extensive heuristics are, of course, possible (I frequently evaluate along many more variables in my studies of Modular Innovation). Quick-MI allows you to dive into a product and quickly extract valuable, representative data points.

Interoperability & Redundancy

The variables that constitute the Interoperability category are:

  • Connectivity,
  • Redundancy, and
  • Legality.

For this series, we will be taking a close look at Interoperability (within the context of Modular Innovation) and specifically focus on the variable of Redundancy.

Redundancy is the ability, provided by the product, whereby external products are leveraged to provide replication of functionality and/or content. The many benefits of a product with strong Redundancy are:

  • saving time,
  • replicating data, and
  • ensuring continuity even when one or more of the products goes offline.

As more content is moving into the cloud and people are increasing their dependence on access to the information that is stored within web services, having Redundancy, a backup, an alternate storage, an alternate means of accessing the data, is critical to maintaining continuity and stability. Products that facilitate Redundancy empower their users, and demonstrate trust in, and service of, the consumer over antiquated concepts of protection and restriction, even of the content that that very user has created.

Redundancy can be found on the user-facing side or just under the surface, e.g. using multiple data clouds to store data. One such scenario could be, over the course of storing content, a product could choose to not just store the content locally, but to also, Redundantly, store that content within two additional data cloud products, Amazon’s S3 and Rackspace’s Cloud, retrieving that information from whichever service is immediately available, providing the user with a more reliable service.

The Redundancy variable is assigned the value of 0 or…

  • 0.5 if a single external product can be (or is being) used to replicate some of the primary functionality and/or content (e.g. status updates sent to both Twitter and Jaiku), or
  • 1 if multiple external products can be (or are being) used to replicate functionality and/or content throughout all the primary functionality and interaction points of the product (e.g. everything from status updates to pictures to messages to data storage).

Again

Over the next several weeks I will be providing real-world examples of Redundancy values…

Comprehensive Redundancy (value 1) [Ping.fm]
Partial Redundancy (value 0.5) [Picnik]
Non-existent Redundancy (value 0) [Backupify]

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring the Interoperability and Redundancy of Quick-MI, the quick and easy method of generating quantifiable and comparable metrics representing the understanding of the overall Modular Innovation of a product, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.

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Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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