"All businesses, no matter what they make or sell, should recognize the power and financial value of good design.
Obviously, there are many different types of design: graphic, brand, packaging, product, process, interior, interaction/user experience, Web and service design, to name but a few. ...
You see, expecting great design is no longer the preserve of a picky design-obsessed urban elite - that aesthetically sensitive clique who'd never dare leave the house without their Philippe Starck eyewear and turtleneck sweaters and buy only the right kind of Scandinavian furniture. Instead, there's a new, mass expectation of good design: that products and services will be better thought through, simplified, made more intuitive, elegant and more enjoyable to use.
Design has finally become democratized, and we marketers find ourselves with new standards to meet in this new 'era of design.' To illustrate, Apple, the epitome of a design-led organization, now has a market capitalization of $570 billion, larger than the GDP of Switzerland. Its revenue is double Microsoft's, a similar type of technology organization but one not truly led by design (just compare Microsoft Windows with Apple's Lion operating system)."
(Adam Swann, 5/03/2012, Forbes)
Fig.1 "Mille Miglia" bicycle by VIVA [http://www.vivabikes.com/].
"Thomson [Thomson Reuters] makes the proprietary bibliography software EndNote, and claims that Zotero is causing its commercial business 'irreparable harm' and is wilfully and intentionally destroying Thomson's customer base. In particular, Thomson is demanding that GMU stop distributing the newer beta-version of Zotero that allegedly allows EndNote's proprietary data format for storing journal citation styles to be converted into an open-standard format readable by Zotero and other software. Thomson claims that Zotero 'reverse engineered or decompiled' not only the format, but also the EndNote software itself. ...
Litigation, which may go to a jury trial, is pending, so judging this case on its legal merits would be premature. But on a more general level, the virtues of interoperability and easy data-sharing among researchers are worth restating. Imagine if Microsoft Word or Excel files could be opened and saved only in these proprietary formats, for example. It would be impossible for OpenOffice and other such software to read and save these files using open standards - as they can legally do.
Competition between open-source and proprietary software is long-running, as personified by the struggle between Windows and Linux for desktop and server operating systems, but also in many branches of software used by scientists. Researchers tend to lean towards open sharing, but they will also pay for added-value features, and it's important that the playing field is level. Ultimately, the customer is king."
Nature Volume 455, p.708 (9 October 2008) | doi:10.1038/455708a; Published online 8 October 2008, Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited.