AppsLab: Year One

April 9th, 2008 11 Comments

A year ago was my first day at AppsLab. Paul and I huddled (virtually) to talk about plans for the team. It was exciting stuff. We had a unique opportunity to operate like a startup within the bowels of a huge corporation.

We had simple plans that I used a mnemonic device to remember, the three E’s: evangelize, educate and execute. We’ve done a lot of each in the elapsed year. Initially, we did educational sessions with every team in Applications Strategy, the what is Web 2.0/Enterprise 2.0 and why you should care slide show.

As we made the rounds, people came out of the woodwork within Apps and in other divisions to talk New Web to us. There was a lot of innovation going on already, and we were glad to have like-minded teams to collaborate with to further the mission of innovation.

After a while, the education gave way to evangelism. We made the rounds again, reenforcing the New Web messages and helping teams flesh out the ideas that had bubbled up after our first sessions. Once we had ideas, we needed to execute or assist teams with execution.

Rather than wander down memory lane, I’ll focus this retrospective on items that I feel represent our success in the execution department.

Connect
Rich joined the ‘Lab in June of last year. Without him, we’d be nowhere now. In July, he put together IdeaFactory in about a day, then tacked on the social network pieces that become Connect in August.

We haven’t done any development on Connect since mid-September, when we switched over to Mix full-time. However, Connect continues to reflect the demand for New Web within Oracle.

Here are some stats:

Right now, Connect is primarily social networking, with some idea activity. Even though we started out to collect ideas, there hasn’t been a lot of focus on that for months. Still, we get a few new ideas each week.

After we launched Connect, I was amazed at the hidden demand for social networking inside the company. People really wanted to get to know people at Oracle, a pleasant surprise for me.

I can’t wait to upgrade Connect with the code we’ve built for Mix. The top ask among Connect enhancements has always been groups, which we built into Mix.

That project has been waiting in the wings for a while, and I think it’s time to promote it.

Mix
Since Connect is internal to Oracle, basically all the execution visible outside the firewall has been through Mix, which we launched at OpenWorld 2007 in November. Mix passed the 10,000 user mark on Monday, thanks to recent promotion from Justin and others.

Throw in a couple hundred ideas, a couple hundred questions, and a boatload of groups and we’re well on our way to building a great community.

Looking ahead, Mix will be the home for more Oracle activities in the near future, including preparation for OpenWorld 2008. Stay tuned for details. It’s going to be great.

The Future
It feels like more than a year since the ‘Lab started. It’s been an absolute roller coaster with peaks and valleys equally high and deep. Anthony’s arrival in September was a huge help. He rocks. I know Rich is most grateful.

We’ve managed to execute some pretty cool things in a year. A few internal product teams have borrowed our designs, our features and from our playbook, which is awesome. This is what we set out to do, drive innovation.

I hope you’ll recognize the AppsLab impact on Oracle products in the near and distant future, and I hope I’m around this time next year to write another braggy post about how awesome we are. Sorry, glad you made it this far.

On a personal note, Rich had some surgery this week. He’s recovering at home, resting, I hope. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, pal.


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11 Responses to “AppsLab: Year One”

  1. Paul Pedrazzi Says:

    Has it been a year already? Time flies. We have been blessed with some freedom to explore and a capable team. Not only Rich and Anthony, but Jake as well keep this train moving. They have reminded me of why I like small teams so much – laser focus, high output, and passion. Quite special.

    Hopefully we can do even more in the coming year.

  2. Paul Pedrazzi Says:

    Has it been a year already? Time flies. We have been blessed with some freedom to explore and a capable team. Not only Rich and Anthony, but Jake as well keep this train moving. They have reminded me of why I like small teams so much – laser focus, high output, and passion. Quite special.

    Hopefully we can do even more in the coming year.

  3. Graham Says:

    Happy birthday all. It’s been fascinating watching from this end, and it sounds like it’s been a blast working in it.

    Here’s hoping the next year is as produtive and twice as much fun :)

  4. Graham Says:

    Happy birthday all. It’s been fascinating watching from this end, and it sounds like it’s been a blast working in it.

    Here’s hoping the next year is as produtive and twice as much fun :)

  5. Jake Says:

    @Paul: Thanks for driving the bus and not throwing me under it (yet).

    @Graham: Thanks, it’s been fun. I hope we can keep the momentum of the last year.

  6. Jake Says:

    @Paul: Thanks for driving the bus and not throwing me under it (yet).

    @Graham: Thanks, it’s been fun. I hope we can keep the momentum of the last year.

  7. Shishir Says:

    Best Wishes and congratulations to everyone aboard!

  8. Shishir Says:

    Best Wishes and congratulations to everyone aboard!

  9. » Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for April 10, 2008 - Silicon Florist Says:

    […] Oracle AppsLab: Year One […]

  10. Jake Says:

    @Shishir: Thanks, keep reading, commenting and helping us steer this bus.

  11. Jake Says:

    @Shishir: Thanks, keep reading, commenting and helping us steer this bus.

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