A note on this blogs format - I will not hide my drafts until they are ready. All my writing will be displayed as soon as it's down in bits and bytes. Posts will be labeled Draft and Final according to my view on the topic.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Gadgets and Gizmos


This is a post about the recent attacks on Mumbai.

I thoroughly enjoy the work 37signals does promoting themselves and their products. I don't even need a disclaimer; Not only am I completely unaffiliated with any of the partners, I don't even use their products. I am, however, a rabid consumer of their blog and book

Their entire focus is on overperforming while un-delivering.  They take keep it simple stupid to its brilliant extreme.  Choose the most basic tool that does the job and make that tool the best damned widget imaginable but realize that the process is iterative.  To get to that end killer app you should throw together as many practical drafts as possible and make them live to real life conditions so as to expose the flaws. 

Like I said above, this is a post about Mumbai, in particular the tools that the terrorists used to create their mobile network that could keep inside the decision cycle of millions of minds.  John Robb at Global Guerillas has a post up called "Off the Shelter Leverage" where he gives a preliminary (final?) list of the off-the-shelf technologies that were fused with group cohesion to create a cascading system affect in a major metroplitan area.  My question is, where was the off the shelf response?

The terrorists didn't have to go through a year long RFP and procurement process.  They had the flexibility to shop, compare, buy, and modify their own tools. Compare that to the procurement process for a government agency, even (particularly?) in the security realm.  While the security forces probably had more advanced technology, or more "secure" technology, the terrorists didn't care.  The terrorists were able to take advantage of the ocean of masking signals to stay anonymous - official security relies on dedicated services.  Terrorists modify their equipment to meet changing needs. Government has standard issue supplies.


No comments: