2011 12 30 pmworks change: we can now test our Evolutionary Vision Model
This is a guest post by Pasion Mura, HCI researcher, UX Designer, and founder and current CEO of pmworks.
September 26, 2011 marks the initial public changes after our announced refocus of the company. After more then 2 years of evolution the new brand for pmworks is ready to hit the public grounds.
Started as a Digital Agency in 2007, and incorporated in 2008, pmworks has become a leading force in our home country, but we want more: we want a flexible startup to tackle advanced problems in technology. Unfortunately the agency model was an impediment to the nature of flexible startup we needed.
We want now to test a novel business model we call Evolutionary Vision (EV or EVM). As a company to achieve this we opened a skunk works division, pmworks research, the incubator which is pmworks itself, and pmworks creative, which will develop projects targeted at the state of the art (this is where the core of the Digital Agency has moved).
The same thing happened to our corporate identity. pmworks has now only the essence of the past company, and is now ready for “evolutionary design”. You’ll understand why this choice of a “blank” canvas later, when we publish about Kudite and the related research.
The fundamental changes includes a sharper vision of the future we want to build. pmworks has the right experiences necessary to accomplish our goals (it somewhat resembles world domination). The only company that seems to share this type of vision seems Palantir (see his conclusions as to why it is a different type of company).
We iterated through various models, and even though many of them were viable enough, they all appear to limit innovation at later stages (at least earlier than the EV).
The product/service business model
While it can be very short-time profitable, it often sucks when you start or get at the end of sprint. Once a market for a product has been validated, more and more competitors will join the run. Sometimes this can result in the most successful experiences of the whole life. The energy of early competition is incredible, though.
It starts to be painful when you realize your product isn’t viable anymore. After time passes you find yourself barricaded in the same market, you can’t think out of the box anymore. It is very difficult to adopt the product to new markets. This is where young startups shine. They’re like the special forces of market disruption.
The infrastructure business model
Infrastructure is in my opinion one of the most powerful models out there. When done right it brings to incredible events happening (see Evolutionary Vision model below). The main pitfall is that most of the time, eg. hardware, this model is truly constrained by physical limitations.
Evolutionary Vision Model
When you build infrastructure, and you do it right, you open the doors to new incredible possibilities, and I want to emphasize possibilities not opportunities. I believe opportunities exists, because they’re made possible.
Look at NASA on SpaceX, DARPA on our beloved Internet, the incredible research done at Bell Labs, or the developments research at Stanford and Xerox PARC led to today profits for companies like Apple. They all opened the eyes of people, and made it possible so that today we have the opportunity to build on those resources, on that knowledge.
Hence the Evolutionary Vision Model: an hybrid infrastructure/product/service model driven purely by innovation. Let’s say this is the reason of our shift and the birth of pmworks research.
This leads to sometimes involuntary inspiration and makes it possible to advance in cross-disciplinary fields easier, since no direct leadership or resource-hogging model exists. You don’t want a division funded enough to give it power to block others who may be able to innovate in new grounds, and shape and evolve continuously the company throughout eternity.