18.7. Understanding Our Elephant
The information architecture community has much to learn from this expansive, honest, multifaceted approach to strategy. We are a young field, and we often resemble the illustration that
Figure 18-6. The Blind Men and the Elephant (image from http://www.jainworld.com/literature/story25i1.gif)
As we continue to
This is not to say that we haven't made great progress already. The practice of information architecture has come a long way since the early 1990s. We
As we struggle with these ideas, an interesting question arises: do we create information architectures or reveal them?
In Information Ecology , Thomas Davenport and Laurence Prusak have this to say on the topic:
From an ecological perspective, identifying what information is available today and where it can be found is a much better use of architectural design than attempting to model the future. Information mapping is a guide to the present information environment. It may describe not only the location of information, but also who is responsible for it, what it is used for, who is entitled to it, and how accessible it is.
This provocative statement is partly true, but it's also partly false. Information mapping is a useful approach that more of us should embrace, but it doesn't negate the value of other approaches. Remember, we are all blind men, and information architecture is our elephant.
18.8. Competitive Advantage
The fact that we can't see the whole picture doesn't mean we shouldn't
Figure 18-7. A competitive-advantage hierarchy
Moore explains that while most people focus on the top layer of differentiated offerings (e.g., branding and positioning), businesses can achieve
At the base lies the technology itself, the
While the media pundits and water-