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Day October 18, 2011

Clayton Christensen and Siri

At the Open Source Business Conference in March 2004 Clayton Christensen gave a presentation. It’s available as an audio file for download here: Clayton Christensen | Capturing the Upside. I strongly recommend listening to the whole thing because it’s the quintessential Disruption lecture.

It has relevance in many areas of analysis, but when I was trying to think of a way to characterize the potential for Siri I recalled one particular passage that I saw as almost clairvoyant. Seven and a half years ago, Clay said:

… the next time you go to a computer superstore, go to the voice recognition software shelf and pick up a box there that’s called the IBM ViaVoice.  Now don’t buy it, but just look at it!  They have a picture of the customer on the box, and it’s an administrative assistant who is sitting in front of her computer wearing a headset speaking rather than word processing.