After Hours

Peter Cochrane's Blog: The view from China

The East - 1. The West - 0?
Customer needs - A different take
05.05.05, 12.41 GMT, Martlesham Heath, UK

In response to even more emails and inputs received following my earlier blog posts on customer needs (part one and part two)...

For those of you who take exception, object to or misconstrue my words and views on MP3, piracy and copyright, check out this story by Kevin Maney of USA Today.

Kevin is out in China right now discovering a new world beyond the four per cent of humanity in North America and the eight per cent in the wider Europe.

What is more, with a population in excess of one billion and a manufacturing engine that supplies the rest of the world, China increasingly dictates the economic and political landscape for everyone.

It may just be that their model is already the end point we are looking at in the same way Korea and Japan are way in the lead with broadband delivery and services. Only in our world do we download directly, and see CDs as an increasingly limited and dying technology, not to mention a downright annoyance!

The army are having a shoot up at a Motorway Services
03.05.05, 19.30 GMT, M25 Services

I'm having a coffee at a service station on the M25 where a contingent of UK army troops in desert kit have swollen the population of travellers. A few are sat around having coffee while another group has gathered around a shoot-'em-up computer gaming area. There is obviously some kind of rivalry with cheering and occasional good-tempered jeering. I look around; the irony of the scene seems to have been lost on the other travellers, so I just smile and say nothing but reflect on the paradigm.

People have always come together for sporting, entertainment and social gatherings. Our innate sense of community, fun and interaction is a fundamental need that cannot be sated. Even the geekiest of IT communities need to get together in person from time to time. In its latest guise the gaming fraternity now meet for weekends in hotels and homes to aggregate bandwidth and to form teams in contests across the planet.

It seems the community of gamers needs its champions - its Chelsea and its Boston Red Sox. The really interesting feature is the combining of virtual and physical locations. In the US, some hotels provide facilities for gaming events with large bandwidth pipes and rooms set aside with all the necessary power outlets and connectivity to allow teams to operate 24x7 over a weekend, with continuous drink and food available.

We may be on the verge of a virtual World Series

About

Peter Cochrane is an engineer, scientist, entrepreneur, futurist and consultant. He is the former CTO and head of research at BT, with a career in telecoms and IT spanning more than 40 years.

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