SMETE.ORG (Science, Mathematics, Engineering,
and Technology Education). A digital library and portal of services
for teachers and students developed by the SMETE Open Federation.
It provides access to online teaching and learning materials and
communities engaged in the disciplines of science, math, engineering,
XanEdu. This company specializes in
the production and delivery of CoursePacks, customized premium content
and services including research tools that are designed to assist
higher education faculty in development of online courseware and
students engaged in research. It holds large collections of copyright-cleared
materials, including key business and public policy documents as
well as digitized archived materials, some dating back to the fifteenth
The Future of Marketplaces
The vignette of the Knowledge Content Exchange marketplace
for e-knowledge is not far fetched. Similar ventures are undergoing
trials today. Others are in development in Europe and North America.
The unbundling of scholarly publishing, trade publishing, and other
knowledge resources has the potential to free tens of billions of
dollars in resources, reducing the cost of content. Equally important,
this reinvention will empower individual providers of content, context,
and narrative and the aggregators of demand, such as colleges, universities,
other learning enterprises, corporations, and such like. Power relationships
will never be the same.
An example is Learning Content eXchange (LCX), an
emerging venture that endeavors to establish a meta-market for digital
resources in the higher education space by meeting the needs of
the consumers of digital goods institutions, faculty, and
This unbundling will occur through horizontal marketplaces
that slice through the vertical silos of traditional publishers,
universities, enterprise repositories, associations, government
agencies, and other repositories of e-content.
Leadership in Innovation Comes from New Competitors.
When it comes to creating genuine, paradigm-busting innovations,
current market leaders seldom discover the breakthrough. As Clayton
Christensen demonstrated in The Innovators Dilemma,
disruptive innovation generally sneak in from below while the dominant
players are focusing on satisfying existing customers and making
incremental improvements. The new, technology supported innovations
come from the low-end of the market, either domestically or in global
settings. Over time, the innovative offerings get better, attracting
new customers based on lower costs, convenience, and improved quality.
Clayton Christensen writes in The Innovators
Dilemma that a successful value chain becomes, over time, increasingly
focused on the needs of its established market . . . when a disruptive
technology appears and begins to serve new markets with a new value
proposition, the entire value chain is blindsided to the point of
extinction. This tendency is exacerbated by the World Without Secrets.
The effort involved in keeping up with enormous volumes of information
in established markets pushes aside ideas and information about
new opportunities and markets. This is true of individuals and institutions
Richard Hunter, 2002