El Viaje de la Innovación – The innovation journey – new book by Carlos Domingo










This book is only in Spanish now .. and and English version is coming soon – which I am looking forward to reading.

I have blogged about how Telefonica is an example of how Operators could evolve into the Open world – and gain competitive advantage ..

In this context, I follow Carlos Domingo‘s (Director of Product Development and Innovation and board member at Telefonica Digital,Member of the Board at Jajah and Chief Executive Officer at Telefónica)’s work ..

And hence I very much look forward to the English version ..

A Google translate version of the book desc below

El Viaje de la Innovación – The innovation journey – book page in Spanish

El Viaje de la Innovación – The innovation journey – facebook page

Today, few are recurrent themes in the headlines of the media and innovation. But, simultaneously, a few spoken with such ignorance. Would we know explain what is actually innovation?,? Creation, invention, economically successful and profitable projects, how many types of innovation exist, or do only one kind of innovation? The manager of Telefónica Digital, Carlos Domingo, gives us the keys to understand, apply and successfully develop projects where we embark.

At any stage, but much more in times of crisis like the present, those who know your industry innovate will be to lead the economic, business and social. So, this book explains all aspects of innovation, from marketing to financing as well as through team management. But mostly it affects the selection of key ideas. The innovation journey, written by Carlos Domingo, one of the foremost experts in the field in Spain, offers the reader a number of basic principles and methodology that will help you avoid many mistakes and although it does not guarantee success a project, it does greatly increase the chance of success, consistently explaining you how to finish the project properly.

Among many other things you will learn:

  1. What innovation really means and how to distinguish it from other similar terms.
  2. There are many types of innovation.
  3. How to identify a problem and develop a product and business model to solve.
  4. How to validate our business model with customers and how to overcome the difficulties inherent in any innovation process.

In this book, Zara innovations, Nintendo, Gamesa, El Bulli or La Caixa, among many others, exemplify that as you progress in your reading, it is understood, by those who have succeeded to innovate, how to proceed through a clear and orderly. A method that will understand the process of innovation as something that can be done systematically and is not reserved for the few geniuses such as Steve Jobs or Amancio Ortega.

It is, in short, the best manual available for approaching the complex world of business innovation in the hand of a Spanish that is one of the largest global innovation experts, and with the example of the most innovative companies in Spain and in abroad.



Informa / Ovum press release points to significance of Big Data / Data scientists for Operators ..









I got the press release below from Ovum and it points to a key trend ..

a) As growth slows, market realities mean telcos must find ways to serve their existing customers profitability rather than simply growing their customer bases.

b) … software and to provide skills such as those of data scientists for Big Data analytics projects

This I very much agree and is a key focus of futuretext

Press release below

Ovum predicts telco IT spending to reach US$60bn in 2017, driven by investments in packaged software and system integration

For immediate release

London, 25 September 2013 –The global telecoms industry’s revenues will remain roughly flat over the next few years, with a decline in spending on voice services counterbalanced by growth in spending on mobile and fixed (broadband) data services, according to global analyst firm Ovum.

In a recent market forecast analysis report*, it was found that as growth slows, market realities mean telcos must find ways to serve their existing customers profitability rather than simply growing their customer bases.

Shagun Bali, analyst for Telecoms Technology at Ovum and author of the report said, “Over the next five years, service and tariff innovation will be key revenue-generating strategies, while LTE rollout, network optimization, and creative approaches to partnerships will become focal points for cost savings. Telcos need to monetize new business models, leverage customer data by investing in analytics, and define their response to over-the-top (OTT) players.”

Ovum estimates that telco IT spending will reach US$60bn in 2017, growing at a CAGR of 0.6 percent between 2013 and 2017. Growth in telco IT spending will be driven primarily by investments in packaged software and system integration. Spending in emerging markets in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa (MEA), and South and Central America (SCA) will drive global IT spending. In North America, telco IT spending will grow modestly at a CAGR of 0.8 percent to reach US$17.5bn by 2017.

Bali states that, “Although overall telco IT spending will grow modestly, the trend is for telcos to reduce internal IT spending and increase spending on external IT projects. To control costs, telcos are outsourcing the maintenance of legacy IT and turning to trusted partners, both to implement unified and standards-based systems and software and to provide skills such as those of data scientists for Big Data analytics projects. Consequently, the overall addressable market for vendors will increase.”

“The combination of middling profits, high capital requirements, high risk, and uncertain economic growth requires telcos to place their bets carefully, including investing in growing revenue streams and managing customer experience more than ever before. The result is increased opportunities for the IT industry. In the long term, telcos will place more focus than they have before on software to drive innovation,” concludes Bali.



*Global Telecoms Technology Spending Forecast Through 2017: Analysis

To arrange an interview or for further details regarding this research, please contact: Claire Booty on +44 (0) 20 7017 7916, or email [email protected]


Ovum provides clients with independent and objective analysis that enables them to make better business and technology decisions. Our research draws upon over 400,000 interviews a year with business and technology, telecoms and sourcing decision-makers, giving Ovum and our clients unparalleled insight not only into business requirements but also the technology that organisations must support. Ovum is anInforma business.


Can teaching programming and performance coaching go together?












This post relates to my edtech start-up feynlabs

For more than half a century, we have been programming computers.

But yet the teaching of programming has not changed much

However, the range and motivation of learners has changed radically

For instance, I know someone who is learning to code Python at age 63 for the first time. He is based in the USA (I am based in the UK) and I help him online with learning Python. It’s amazing how far he has got with simple help from me and others.

Considering that we now have a range of people with a variety of motivations wanting to learn to code, I believe that we need a change in approach

Various things are being tried out: Online forums, The Wizard/apps approach, Classroom based training, MOOCs etc – but in most cases, they are adaptations of historical techniques.

Here are some ideas I am using in our work and online trials at feynlabs trials

Welcome thoughts and comments ..

The approach we are using is inspired from a discipline normally far distant from programming - High performance sports /endurance skills coaching

In this context, when I say ‘coaching’ it does not refer to your typical NLP coach.

Rather, I mean the Olympic level performance coaches like Matthew Syed (Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice [Paperback] ) and UK athletics coach Brian Mc Kenzie who focuses on endurance training (Power, Speed, Endurance: A Skill Based Approach to Endurance Training)

Here is an example .. The Eastern European approach to training was based on teaching the core fundamental concepts first and then the first degree derivatives and the second degree derivatives.

Consideration must be given to the approach adopted by the former Eastern Bloc countries to technique training. The aim is to identify the most fundamental version of a technique, one that is basic and essential to more advanced techniques. Example for the shot – basic model would be the stand and throw, more advanced would be the step and throw and finally followed by the rotation method.

This fundamental component is taught first and established as the basis for all further progressions. Deriving from the fundamental component are exercises that directly reinforce the required movement patterns. These exercises are known as first degree derivatives. They contain no variations of movement that may confuse the learner and second degree derivatives and so on

Then we have other techniques -

1)     ‘Whole part whole’ instruction – show the big picture, then the steps and then combine those steps to solve bigger problems

2)     meta patterns(as in chess) where Grand masters store thousands of game situations/patterns and get the optimal answer based on applying patterns from memory ..

How does this apply to learning Python (or any programming language)?

As with many forms of skills acquisition, the sequence of steps and the practise at early stages will make a difference to learning the skill Ex:

a) Python has two forms of division – normal division and integer division. The integer division could be taught in the first derivative(using the eastern European training example above).
14/3 = 4.66 vs 14//3 = 4

b) More seriously, using local Python variables with same names as global python variables. Again, this can be better understood as a second stage after you understand functions and the passing of variables in Python

Comments welcome.

Image – wikipedia – Liverpool football club coaching staff 

Apple iPhone 5C and 5S – video review by Charles Arthur

Big Data for Telecoms – Telefonica and the Open Data Institute




I have followed Telefonica as an example of a progressive Operator – and here is one example.

Telefónica Dynamic Insights is now a partner of the Open Data Institute(ODI).

I have an interest in this space due to my Oxford University course I teach on Big Data for Telecoms 

The ODI was co-founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee with support from the UK Government with the aim to drive economic growth through the application of open data.

But what’s in it for Telecom Operators?

According to a Blog post by Steve Alder, CEO Telefonica Dynamic Insights, on why Telefonica have joined the ODI  the reasons are

1)  To explore how anonymised and aggregated data can be used in a responsible way to deliver benefits back to business and society.

 2) Engage with developers to come up with innovative ways to use data to create solutions that benefits society. The data available to them will include existing open data sets on transport, health, education, and the environment.

3) Identifying government data sets that could help  product roadmap; exchanging skills and knowledge on how best to extract insights from large amounts of data; and supporting some of the data start ups the ODI are incubating at their offices in Shoreditch.

4)  Synergies with Wyra (Telefonica’s start-up accelerator programme)

I met Steven Bartholomew, director of public affairs at Telefónica Digital, (picture below) at Campus Party and he added

1.       The ODI can provide us with greater awareness of open data sets that are out there (you don’t know what you don’t know)

2.       Skills development – 2 way – what learnings can we exchange on handling data, extracting insight from big data

3.       Digital confidence – we believe it is important to build trust and confidence among consumers, to demonstrate that anonymised and aggregated data can be used in a responsible way to deliver benefits to business and society

4.       We are looking to collaborate with the ODI on areas of social good. Starting with Campus Party – Europe’s biggest tech festival – where we are holding a competition to use existing open data sets to create a solution that benefits society – transport / health / education / environment

All very progressive indeed!

I watch this space ..


Why the Hilton honours site is fundamentally misleading ..

Firstly, let me say .. that I am a fan of the Hilton hotels and service.

I have stayed in Hilton hotels across the range for years. I have read Conrad Hilton’s book Be my guest  

So, I hope this blog can be seen as a trigger for improvement.

I contacted their customer services but still I think they did not get the point ..

There is a fundamentally misleading sequence of events with the Hilton Honours web site

Here is why ..

Like most people, I went to the Hilton Honours web site to redeem points

I think this is the normal use case of the Hilton Honours site i.e. to make a new booking, people will either go to a site like expedia or they will go to the individual Hilton properties

I did the same
However, as per below, there is a little check box which is NOT checked by default when I go to the honours site ..
It means, by default .. you DONT use points .. you make a NEW booking .. unless you see and check that small checkbox
That’s exactly what happened with me ..
Sales/marketing seems to have got the better of customer service – at the expense of customers.. 

Ex .. when I go to an airline frequent flyer site, my default action is to redeem points .. it is not to make a new booking
Hilton must have spent a lot of money on the site .. yet this seems to have been missed? or was it intentional?
Someone in sales/marketing seems to have seen this as a way to sell NEW bookings at the expense of your existing customers
Among the response I got from Hilton by email was the below
But this seems to have missed the point that I did not intend to make the booking in the first place(I wanted to redeem my points to book the hotel as opposed to make a new booking)
This is sad indeed ..

Please be advised that during the process of your reservation, you booked a special rate called ‘Great Getaway’.  While our Terms clearly state:  


  1. Rewards may not be combined with other certificates, discounts, packages or promotional offers unless otherwise specified in writing by Hilton HHonors Worldwide.

It was not our intention to make you book a paid reservation.  Even if this is the case, most of our reservations are cancelable; however, the reservation which you confirmed was a non-refundable booking.

Mobilista rockstars event by Tomi Ahonen

 Our friend @Tomiahonen brings is a brand new event Mobilista Rockstars, which is a series of absolutely sensational mobile technology conferences with incredible speaker faculties.
Some more details on Mobilista Rockstars:
  • It’s 3 separate events, all being organised in one week in early October, which feature theLEADING GLOBAL EXPERTS, all of whom will be discussing the future of mobile technology.
  • The events will be held in Hong Kong (7 & 8 October), London (9 & 10 October) and New York (10 & 11 October).
  • The best information resource is the website: http://mobilistarockstars.com.
  • Your 10% discount code is 1MRTA; please use this when you register online.
  • Also, the first 100 tickets for each location are being sold at a considerable discount.

2013 M2M & Internet of Things Global Summit




The 2013 M2M & Internet of Things Global Summit has some interesting sessions which I am following

From the Sessions at M2M & Internet of Things Global Summit - here are some interesting themes for IOT/M2M

  • What is the current state of play of M2M innovation and what does today’s Internet of Things ecosystem look like?
  • What different IoT and M2M applications and platforms are available to help combat the emerging global challenges affecting the environment, society and technology?
  • Building the Internet of Things – Challenges and opportunities
  • Managing personal data appropriately is key in ensuring consumer confidence and trust is guaranteed from the outset.
  • What needs to be done to ensure the protection of users now and in the future?
  • What assurance techniques and counter measures are in place and what others could be implemented?
  • How can we educate consumers, industry and governments?
  • What are the greatest concerns and emerging security risks associated with M2M communications and the Internet of Things?
  • What impact can the 4G evolution have on industry and consumers?
  • What role are other ‘Connected Devices’ playing in reinventing the mobile experience?
  • Reinventing the mobile experience in vehicles
  • Governance and Standardization
  • What will be the future interplay between Cloud Computing and the Internet of Things?
  • What current technologies are available to residents?
  • What is the current state of Connected Home technology deployment in the United States?
  • What role can the smartphone play as an interface for the Connected Home experience? Is there a need for a platform approach?
  • What are the key privacy concerns?