Pattern Recognition and Pattern Creation


“We have no idea, now, of who or what the inhabitants of our future might be. In that sense, we have no future. Not in the sense that our grandparents had a future, or thought they did. Fully imagined cultural futures were the luxury of another day, one in which ‘now’ was of some greater duration. For us, of course, things can change so abruptly, so violently, so profoundly, that futures like our grandparents’ have insufficient ‘now’ to stand on. We have no future because our present is too volatile. … We have only risk management. The spinning of the given moment’s scenarios. Pattern recognition”
William Gibson, Pattern Recognition

The question then is what do we do when we recognize the patterns. I know that’s giving us a lot of credit…it assumes we recognize the pattern(s) but this would be a short post w/out that assumption so we’re just going to roll on.

I think one interesting development is that we’re starting to see pieces of this come together. Just like programming got easier and even 3D generation got easier — now we’re seeing the birth of drag-n-drop pattern creation. We’ve had things like pattern libraries around for the UX world for a while but that’s on the UX side and while important, isn't on the quite the end-user, workflow side I’m looking at.

What I’m looking at has more to do with the continued flow of innovation from the consumer sector to the corporate sphere (and then years and years later, into the government). IFTTT has been around for a while and now only is it’s underlying dynamic of creating actionable “recipes” leaking into the corporate sector, IFTTT is literally coming in too. Look at this collaboration between IFTTT and Beezy — an app that lets people post a pic to Twitter and Flickr at the same time is being used to create tasks in Sharepoint — you don’t get more corporate than that.

None other than SAP is also in on this. They've created Work Patterns by SAP. The main factors here are that the patterns are

“Centered around you: Dynamically connect the dots by recommending and assembling 20% of the data, process, content and network of experts you need 80% of the time.

Repeatable: Slow kills. Kick start each pattern you follow by suggesting prior art — formal and informal learning content to allow for repeatable best practices to get you working, fast.

Flexible: Your needs will change. Fine-tune any element of a work pattern to conform more closely to how you work.”

So we've already moved from just seeing the pattern to using end-user level tools to allow the linkage of the patterns to workflow processes. Now can we maybe start experimenting using IFTTT or something very much like it to create patterns that create linkages between actions in enterprise systems like a social layer to systems that deal with training or expenses or project management? Can we figure out a format to share those “recipes” (to borrown an IFTTT term)? That would be valuable right?