SoMa company seeks to cut out tech middleman
San Francisco's South of Market district is enjoying an growing influx of technology firms. Many of those firms dream of an ecosystem like Apple's, where the entire process -- from design to consumer hands -- is tightly controlled inside the company.
Say that you come up with a new idea: You hire someone to visualize your idea. That person uses someone to create a prototype. Someone else tests the idea on real users. Another company gets regulatory approval, and still another firm markets the invention.
Kevin Farnham, CEO of a company named Method, says this takes too long.
"User experience experts, usability experts, anthropologists in some cases. There are a lot of skills that can be necessary to pull some of these things off."
But even a slick ecosystem like the one South of Market, is not fast enough, because today's product cycle is growing shorter and shorter.
"We're going to a world," says GlobalLogic CEO Peter Harrison, "where we went from yearly updates to quarterly updates to monthly updates, to daily updates, right? And even hourly updates for software!"
That's why Harrison's firm espouses a technology called "Agile", and why it recently acquired South of Market design shop Method.
"One of the things that we've consistently struggled with," adds Farnham, "is the ability to be an end-to-end solution for people who want to invent the next thing, but get stuck at one place or another."
Now, in what could portend a trend in technology production, GlobalLogic does the engineering, and Method does the design -- for big name clients that include Google, Yahoo, Amazon, IBM, SAP and Oracle.
"Because we get to see all of these different things, we get to connect the dots on how medical and how wireless and how social are all converging."
So what do the idea experts see in our future?
"Television becomes an incredibly important interface over the course of the next decade, and maybe several decades to come. And that the car is going to become an Internet device. These kinds of Ah-Ha! moments are very interesting for us to think through. No, television is definitely not going away. People will just interact with it differently."