Updated: 9/11/06; 7:03:37 AM.
Gil Friend
Strategic Sustainability, and other worthy themes of our time

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz musing at AlwaysOn about 'Java, and Survival of the Most Adaptable' (which has to do with much more than software).
I'm still amazed when I hear folks wondering how Sun monetizes Java. So at the risk of repetition, I'd like to share a few thoughts.

When Thomas Edison first introduced the lightbulb, he held patents he tried to wield against potential competitors - he wanted to own the client (the bulb) and the server (the dynamo). He failed. Standards emerged around voltage and plugs, and GE Energy (formerly, Edison General Electric), to this day, remains one of the most profitable and interesting businesses around. How big would the power business be today if you could only buy bulbs and appliances from one company? A far sight smaller, I'd imagine. Standards grew markets and value.
And they still can. (As long as they're designed so they don't stiffle innovation.)

We've seen the power of standards -- even voluntary ones -- in the impact that the LEED™ rating system has had on the growth of 'green building' -- and in the impact we hope to have with the development of the S-BAR 'sustainable business rating system.' (Not exactly the same sort of standards that Schwartz is discussing, but in the lineage.)

10:35:16 PM    comment []  trackback []

Building Green quotes my Sustainability -- At the Tipping Point? article in their recent posting on Passive Survivability: A New Design Criterion for Buildings. (Another aspect of future-proofing; more to come on that soon.)

Here's an excerpt:
In some ways, the failure of conventional buildings to maintain survivable conditions can be thought of as a failure of design. 'If they lose only electricity,' notes building researcher Terry Brennan, of Camroden Associates, Inc., in West-moreland, New York, 'few buildings in the U.S. can provide as much comfort as my backpacking tent; if the gas lines and water lines go, the situation is even worse.'

Some strategies for passive survivability can be found by looking back at our building heritage -- vernacular designs that were in place before electricity and readily transportable fuels became available. The wide-open and well-ventilated 'dog-trot' homes of the Deep South are examples, as are the high-mass adobe buildings of the American Southwest.

The house designs of some animals display even better examples of passive survivability....
Thanks to Arthur Young of iGreenBuild for the tip!

11:13:58 AM    comment []  trackback []

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