"Innovation is CREATIVITY that ships" (Steve Jobs). Not a PowerPoint slidedeck.


The late Nelson Mandela was the embodiment of change through non-violence and ardently believed that to serve is human. Mandela served with attunement, benevolence and clarity. In Mandela’s own words:

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

“Ubuntu, named after the South African philosophy of “humanness”, is about creating a common platform across many devices, so as you move from one to another you interact with each in the same way [1].”

Mark Shuttleworth of Canonical has clearly articulated that “What I’m really interested in is this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a free and open platform that is THE LEADER across both consumer and enterprise computing.”

This sentiment provided the stimulus to reflect and write this blog posting so that I can discover the path to authentic leadership in a special situation.

Pixar Pitch

Once upon a time, the mobile industry was crowded with a number of smartphone operating systems such as Android, iPhone, Windows Mobile that offered varying value propositions.

Every day, Google, Apple and Microsoft competed with each other and remained content surfing the red ocean within a (partially) closed ecosystem and an oscillating marketshare. Yet creating differential value using these mobile devices remained somewhat suboptimal.

One day a company called Canonical, navigating in the blue ocean, announced a disruptive innovation with a pioneering design called Ubuntu Edge (Ubuntu smartphone) that challenged conventional and siloed assumptions of the status quo.

To overcome resistance from partners and users, change minds and win hearts, Canonical used a combination of persuasion, negotiation and inclusivity to build alliances.

Because of that creative developers implemented game changing mobile applications, targeting both the Ubuntu and Android ecosystems, that made users discover the feeling of being alive.

Because of that the passion for learning and entrepreneurship on both Main Street and Wall Street, empowered with an Ubuntu Edge smartphone, increased by an order of magnitude at all levels and became an unstoppable force, especially at the base of the pyramid.

This set the stage for a global tilt and, in the true spirit of Mandela’s rugby strategy that changed minds, Canonical created the context, unification and cemented the emotional connection across the alliances among early adopters, skeptics and laggards.

Until finally the venturesome consumption of Ubuntu Edge innovations reached its the target goal is 200 million Ubuntu users by 2015 and created a craving to become a “must have” device for a spectrum of users and enterprises in a multipolar world.

This crossing of the chasm set the stage for Ubuntu Edge to be positioned as a candidate in the digital business strategy of a firm and steer a dialogue regarding its scope, scale, speed and sources of value creation and capture.

My Intent

My intent is to perform beyond where I am today in an increasingly digital world. When I say “perform” it is not about performance using a conventional lens. Rather it is about navigating in a turbulent environment through improvisation and an outside in mindset so that I can discover my true potential.

This navigation is a Hero’s Journey — a storytelling narrative to guide me past the hesitation and doubt and into a rich, inviting series of experiences that improves my adaptive capacity and leaves me feeling great about myself despite the hardships.

Ubuntu Touch Heros Journey Change

(click to enlarge)
Ubuntu Touch Blue Ocean Strategy

I imagine that Ubuntu Edge promises to ignite and enhance my capability to be more entrepreneurial than I am today. Using Ubuntu Edge and its ecosystem as an enabler, I search within myself and ask the following strategic five questions to prevent inertia:

  • What business should I be in?
  • How will I add value to the business?
  • Who are the target customers for the businesses?
  • What are the value propositions to the target customers?
  • What capabilities do I need to add value to the businesses and differentiate these value propositions?


“I found that the use of ubuntu was instrumental in all learning. The doll emerged as a powerful tool for transformation, providing opportunities to celebrate diversity, establish values, address bias, social behaviors and structures, identify and communicate feelings, problem solve and exercise change.”

Catherine Amanda Clark
Ubuntu: Cradle for Development of Authentic South African Selfhood
Ph.D. thesis, Fielding Graduate University, South Africa, UMI No: 3321026, 1998

Predictable Magic


  1. King, Will. “How Ubuntu translates hi-tech into humanity; Canonical is writing the future for IT with common software that will even work on devices yet to be invented.” Daily Telegraph [London, England] 4 Dec. 2013: 3. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 30 Dec. 2013.

This is a living blog by Last Mile Resource

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