What’s Intel got to do with mash-ups? Apparently, engineers working for the chip giant demonstrated software that lets user create mash-ups without getting lost in the nitty-gritty details of APIs and RSS feeds. As innovation means more business sense to companies than ever before, the “doing your own thing” concept seems like the next wave in business models.

Intel’s new MashMaker tool allows users to define structures in the Web pages that need to be grabbed (e.g. phone numbers are written in few standard ways, and so are street addresses). Users get to share their structures too, thus including the “social” sauce as well.

Quote from an article @ vnunet:

Mashmaker allows every user to create definitions of information items, and to build cross-references. But it also relies on the collective wisdom of the masses by making the creations available to all other users of the application.

In other news, Novell declared this week (June 25 – 29, 2007) as Hack Week for its Linux engineers the world over. That’s their license to huddle around and work on any new idea or concept in the open source community. Find out what they’ve been up to at SUSE Idea Pool.

Not so long ago, Steve Ballmer had commented at Stanford Business School that he “didn’t believe that a random collection of people doing their own thing actually creates any value.”

Apparently, a random collection of brilliant folks at Google have given us a widely successful Web mail service, highly effective chat/talk application, social engineering platform, global mapping tool, an array of Web applications, and more products are yet to arrive. If these don’t mean value, then nothing will.

Innovation is gaining high ground. For example, examine the following business model — Hire a technically sound innovative group, Let them work on a dream Web-application, Launch it as a free service, Gain popularity, Advertise, and Reap your investment. That seems to be the concept behind the “Entrepreneurs in Residence” (EIRs) program, where firms pay you to just be there and create the next great idea. The program has already cost Google two engineers, Bret Taylor and Jim Norris, who were part of the original team that developed Google Maps and quit recently to be EIRs at venture capital firm Benchmark Capital (Venturebeat).

This seems like the best time to be a software developer. What do you think? Share your thoughts.