As I said on Twitter a few days ago:
My Team of 2008 award goes to IBM’s Eight Bar at Hursley Labs. RedMonk celebrates makers and doers – these guys exemplify getting on with it.
As regular readers will know I regularly ding IBM about its lack of a really strong grassroots-led innovation story. The company is great at top down, but bottom up, not so much. Which is why I rate the EightBar team so highly. Competition in this category was obviously very strong- I can point to any number of awesome teams in software development. BT’s Osmosoft were a pretty strong second, but what tipped EightBar over the top for me was the contribution the Hursley crew made to Chris Dalby‘s HomeCamp. When about ten people come down from Hampshire on a Saturday to share their knowledge its heart-warming and hopefully planet cooling.
That’s the charm you see – HomeCamp is all about home automation, using home metering to improve the sustainability of our home lives. Andy Stanford Clark, IBM distinguished inventor, is building a community around IBM messaging microbroker technology (MQTT) for home consumption. Hursley is best known for Big Middleware generally and MQSeries specifically. Oh sorry did I say MQSeries? I of course meant WebSphereMQ. Seeing Hursley technology applied to home automation hacking, used by people that had never touched an IBM tool before, is pretty mind-blowing.
EightBar is trying to build A Smarter Planet.
Another reason EightBar won it for me was the emergence of epredator 2.0 – Ian Hughes went through a stage earlier in 2008 when he came across as a negative influence – but towards the end of the year he is seemingly re-energised and ready to help EightBar make even more of a go of it. EightBar – activist evangelists.
So well done Andy, Dale, Ian, Graham, Laura, Nick and anyone else in the cluster. I bet Roo is kicking himself for joining the BBC and missing out on this ever so prestigious award 😉
Have a great Christmas folks!