This is different from the rest as the focus is on a specific feature of an app. The new Kindle app update that allow (some) books to be loaned once for a period of 14 days. This is such an interesting contribution to the service economy that it deserves a place on the top-ten list.
A key reason for the top-ten position for this feature from Kindle is that it allows for new smart services such as http://lendle.me/. There has been some turbulence around this (Amazon blocked Lendle.me for a while), as always when interesting things happen, but it looks like things are OK again. You can read more about it here.
Many of our needs/wants today are met in unsustainable ways. One important step towards a society is to dematerialize goods and to move from a product to service perspective. The Kindle app has been an important part of both trends.
Amazon has been leading the shift from "forest book" to e-books that has the potential dematerialize a major resource consuming activity to a much smarter (obviously the current system is not optimal, and multifunctional devices will be important to develop to avoid over consumption of electronics, and so is building the devices in module form so that it is possible to reuse well working parts of the equipment as much as possible)
By putting books on line, allowing people to share, comment and build on what is already out there we can see information/books/etc as a service, not a product that I need to own.
Nine billion people can not have a library with paper books similar to those that many westerns have that read books, but nine billion people can have an e-book and access an almost unlimited virtual library.
You can read more about the feature here:
The best with the app/supporting initiative
+ Encourage a move from forest based books to e-books.
+ Encourage lending of books
+ Supporting a development towards a society where 9 billion people can have access to the world's collected knowledge.
+ Available for Kindle, iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry
The weak parts of the app/supporting initiative
- Still only a few books that can be loaned (those not allowing
- Only once every 14 days
- No calculation of how much forest, CO2, water, etc that is saved
What could accelerate this app/supporting initiative into a world changer?
> Calculations that show the savings for nature
> Illustrations of how much better a smart e-book solution is compared with a forest based book in most cases
> Clarification from Amazon that they are supporting and investing in solutons that encourage broad use of e-reader in the world, as well as non-profit access to key publications (especially for poor)
How direct is the delivery of the result the app tries to achieve
- Long shot
As long as it is not over consumption, and Amazon + others are moving towards sustainable electronics, you will help save the planet.
How transformative is it
- A new world
- A major shift
- A bit of a shake-up
- A gentle rocking
Not the most important area, but one more contribution to a smarter society that is just and environmentally sustainable.
How much does it encourage collaborations
How much are new networks supported
- Strong support for global networks?
- Currently encourages new forms of collaboration
- Provides interesting opportunities in the future
- Restricted to a small (expert) group
The lending and "popular sections" have opportunities, but much more can be done.
What synergies can be delivered
How well does it also solve other problems/generate solutions
- It solves everything
- Several important challenges
- Some important challenges
- Only one challenge
Without a clear agenda to help make e-readers environmentally sustainable and available for everyone on the planet it is not really living up to its potential.
Nine billion contribution
How global is it? Is it helping/will it help everyone on the planet
- Instant global equality
- Almost global
- Getting (incrementally) global
- Not applicable
The shift to e-readers is important. But both content and e-readers need to be seen from a 9 billion people perspective. This is not the case today.
Building on current trends
How well does it use current trends
- The app is setting new trends by itself
- Building on multiple trends
- Effectively building on one trend
- Not really building on any major trend
With more e-books than ordinary paperbacks and tablets moving into mainstream we are moving fast towards a smarter reading society.
How fast can it deliver
- It's already happening
- In the coming weeks
- In a year or so
- In a distant future (hopefully)
As soon as the equity and environmental impacts are dealt with the sustainable transformation will begin.
Does it support transformative transparency
- Brave new transparency
- Transparency that is innovative (never seen before)
- Increased transparency, but nothing innovative
- No increase in transparency
The system is still to closed, but the possibilities to share comments is interesting.