Highlights of IBM InterConnect 2017 Summary theCUBE

Highlights of IBM InterConnect 2017 with John Furrier @Furrier and Dave Vellante @dvellante

IBM Interconnect Playlist @theCUBE has all the video coverage from IBM Interconnect

From Dave:

Ginni when she took over, sorry, she was running strategy before she became CEO, I mean, IBM had a choice, they could go double down on infrastructure and go knock it out with Dell and EMC and HP, or they could go up the value chain. And my ongoing joke is Dell bought EMC, IBM buys some other company, and that to me underscores the differentiation in thinking. Oracle, I think, is a little different, but Oracle and IBM are somewhat similar, I think you’d agree, in that they’ve got a big SaaS portfolio, they’re trying to vertically integrate, they’re trying to drive high-value margin businesses. The difference is IBM’s much more services oriented than, say, an Oracle, and that’s still, as I say, a big challenge for IBM. But I’m more, I’m a bull on IBM.

From John:

IBM’s model of open source is very clear. If you look at what they’ve done with just Blockchain as a great example, they have mobilized their company, and they did it with Bluemix as well with the cloud, once they said, “We want to get in the cloud game,” once, “We want to do Blockchain,” they go open source at the core, then they get their entire brain trust workin’ on it. It’s not just a hand wave, some division, they’re kind of reorganizing on the fly, they’re kind of agile organization, which some may read as chaotic, but to me, I think that’s just good management practice in this day and age. They get an open source project, and they drive that home, and they have people contributing and giving that to the community, and then adding value on top and differentiating. It’s just classic 101, create some value, and create some differentiation with your products, and by the way, if you don’t want to use our products, build your own, or hey, use the open source code. That’s pretty much an over-simplified version of open source.

Bringing back the podcast: Silicon Valley Friday Show; 11 Years Ago I signed up for this blog

11 years ago I signed up for this blog.  Saw the notification and reminded me that I miss doing my podcast when I founded Podtech.net years ago.  So I’m bringing my Silicon Valley podcast back in celebration of WordPress.

Show Notes

SILICON VALLEY FRIDAYS  With John Furrier

Broadcast Date: 10/28/16

Host:  John Furrier @furrier

Guests:  

Jeff Frick  @jefffrick

Dave Vellante @dvellante

Mentioned in show:  

AT&T, Time Warner, Twitter, LinkedIn, Amazon, AWS, VMware, Shawn Price, Adrian Cockroft, Ignition Partners, David Richards, WanDisco, Sanjay Poonen, Google, Apple, ServiceNow, Andy Jassy, Pat Gelsinger, Oracle, Watson, IBM, IBM World of Watson, NFL, Bob Picciano, Quickbooks Connect, Tony Hawk, Shawn Price, Maggie Burke

CONTENT
Opening:

Introduction / Welcome/Tease

  • AT&T Buys Time Warner
  • Earnings season

Other news:

  • Death of Shawn Price
  • Adrian Cockroft to AWS
  • Ignition Partners new office expanding in SV
  • UK tech company has boardroom brawl founder wins stays in control
  • Sanjay Poonen is COO at Vmware
  • Twitter is shutting down Vine
Segment 1:   Prime Topic

Earnings for big tech bellwethers

– Google hits with mobile ads

– Amazon misses but AWS just keeps rocking the house

– Twitter back on track and carrying a chip on their shoulder and good for them

– VMware retools with renewed cloud focus

– Linkedin  – $960m rev for quarter up 23%

– Apple down but still massive

– AWS cost structure

Host:  TEASE NEXT SEGMENT – Up Next

Tag:  AT&T and TimeWarner

Commercial break
Segment 2:

AT&T Buys Time Warner

  • Over the top content meets large network
  • Consumption for NFL is an example
  • New brands are emerging can this mega deal work?
  • Scaling Content?  Very Hard
Host:  Transition – Thinking Out Loud segment coming up next
COMMERCIALS
Thinking Out Loud (1 or 2 soid points)

AI is not just artificial it’s augmented

Insight economy

WoW and Quickbooks Connect

Wrap up:
out
  • Show music composed and developed by Tyler Furrier

AWS Ten Year Birthday – Risky Bet to Winning Formula

bezosbetWhen Amazon.com launched its first Web service 10 years ago today, offering storage in the cloud, people thought it was yet another crazy, profit-nuking idea from Chief Executive Jeff Bezos.

Why on Earth, investors and analysts griped, was a company still struggling with a marginally profitable retail business embarking on what looked like an entirely unrelated business: selling the storage and computing services it used in its own operations to other companies? In “Jeff Bezos’ Risky Bet,” an October 2006 BusinessWeek cover story that was the first major media account of Bezos’ thinking behind Amazon Web Services, one Wall Street analyst groused that new investments such as AWS were “probably more of a distraction than anything else.” Even Tim O’Reilly, the CEO of tech book publisher O’Reilly Media who recognized Bezos’ strategy early on, called Amazon a “dark horse” against the likes of Microsoft and Google.

From dark horse to Triple Crown winner

A decade later, that dark horse is nothing less than a Triple Crown winner. There’s scarcely a startup that hasn’t run on AWS, and it’s critical to the digital operations of every company from General Electric Co. to Netflix Inc., which runs all its massive streaming video on Amazon. The unlikely offspring of a retail company, AWS has managed to outmaneuver computing and Internet giants from Microsoft and Google to IBM and Oracle.

Now, the onetime distraction is Amazon’s key distinction in a consolidating group of technology giants. AWS grossed $7.9 billion in revenues last year, up 70 percent from 2014, a growth rate four times as fast as the retail operations. AWS could start to become even more of a revenue driver, too. Morgan Stanley estimates that revenues will grow to $12 billion this year and $16 billion in 2017.

What’s more, AWS has arguably become  Amazon’s new profit engine. Although the unit constitutes only 7 percent of Amazon’s overall revenues, its $1.9 billion in operating profit isn’t far off the $2.8 billion operating profit of the entire $99 billion retail business. No wonder that Ben Schachter, an analyst at Macquarie Securities, last year valued AWS at $75 billion, almost half as much as the rest of Amazon’s business.

Read more 

Thanks Kara Swisher for Covering The ANGLE — siliconANGLE.com

Thanks Kara for noticing the new blog yesterday and writing a post. We all at siliconANGLE look forward to diving deeper into the stories that you report.

siliconANGLE.com a new blog that is a collaboration between me and my friends.  A new model in blogging and developing stories and analysis.

SiliconANGLE.com

Teaser: Future of Blogging Economics – Blogging is Changing and For The Better

This is a teaser post. I am waiting to talk about this further, but to tease out the future of blogging economics I wanted to point out a great post worth reading. Blogging and social media is changing and is very relevant. Advertisers just don’t know how to engage with it.

Example quote from a smart blogger… “400 dedicated readers in a well-defined niche space, such as photography, beat the hell outta 40,000 drive-by users in an amorphous mob. Advertisers will want to reach those 400 people, because they know them, know what their interests are, and know that the ads served to them are going to the right people.”

This post is worth reading and really reading between the lines – in this post lies the answer to the “Future of Blogging Economics. More from me later on this topic (although I’ve been talking about this for 2 yrs).

Who Said Blogging Killed the Typewriter – My Cousin Tom Furrier – Typewriter Repair Featured in Boston Globe

My cousin Tom Furrier is featured in the Boston Globe today with his business as a typewriter repairman.  Who said blogging killed the typewriter.  Maybe he should go into blog repair 😉

Here is the link

There is still a demand for typewriter repairs, from those, young and old, who love the sound and feel of the machines to a number of businesses who keep them in regular use. Typewriter repairman Tom Furrier admits that he’s a dinosaur. He’s one of the few typewriter repairman in the Boston area who fixes typewriters only, and not those newfangled computers, faxes, and printers as well.

When Furrier first started fixing typewriters almost 30 years ago, no office was complete without the sound of clicking typewriters. The typewriter repairman was a common sight, making service calls to offices to fix gummy keys, broken springs, cracked rubber rollers, and busted return mechanisms.

Today? Furrier once went to a law office to fix a typewriter but the twentysomething receptionist didn’t know what a typewriter was. “She kept pointing to different boxes, saying, ‘Is that a typewriter?’ or ‘Is that one there?’ I told her ‘You’re standing right next to it.’ ”

But Furrier, who is also a typewriter collector and salesman, stays in business because typewriters are still used for forms, envelopes, and labels in law offices, town halls, hospitals, and funeral homes. “There are certain forms that still have to be typewritten and that are not computer-friendly, such as death and birth certificates,” says Furrier. “Every maternity ward has a typewriter, as well as funeral homes, which might seem strange in this day and age, but is good for me, of course.”

Furrier also fixes the typewriters of many writers who still tap out their drafts because they like the sound and the tactile experience.

“A lot of writers tell me that the sensory feedback from typing is different from the computer, and that typing slows down the thought process,” says Furrier, who also counts a local psychiatrist, physicians, and artists among his clientele. “Some doctors even recommend typewriters to their stroke victims, to help them build hand strength and eye coordination.”

It takes 30 minutes to an hour to fix most typewriters, and Furrier says a typewriter repairman can earn $40,000 to $50,000 a year. Furrier, who has a degree in forestry, says he wanted to work with his hands and finds great satisfaction from fixing a broken typewriter.

“I decided a long time ago that I was only going to fix typewriters – it’s typewriters or nothing,” says Furrier. “I like working with this old technology of motors, belts, pulleys, and levels.”

How does it feel to be a typewriter repairman in the age of computers? I get calls from all over the country, from people who want their typewriters fixed. Someone called me from Atlanta, which is a huge city with four million people, but not one typewriter repair shop. Another person was in Paris for the summer, and his Selectric broke, and he couldn’t find anyone in Paris to fix his typewriter, so he had to drive an hour and half outside the city to get it fixed. So we are a dying breed.

Up until the 1980s or so, there were millions of typewriters in offices all over the country. What happened to them all? Most are in landfills. Many offices just threw them in the Dumpsters. Some people did bring the machines home with them; a few workers told me that when they retired they were able to bring their typewriter home with them.

You have a lot of different typewriters in your shop, from portable electric Smith Coronas to IBM Selectrics. What’s your favorite typewriter? I like the older vintage manual typewriters, such as Royal, Olympia, Olivetti, Underwood, and Remington, and in particular, the really shiny, black lacquered machines from the 1930s. They have glass-topped keys with metal rings around them, which people love, because your fingers fit into them beautifully. They sell from $100 to $400.

Where do you get the typewriters that you sell at Cambridge Typewriters? The really nice, pristine stuff comes from collectors who pick up the machines at conventions. I also get typewriters from eBay and from people who are cleaning out their attic or homeowners who are downsizing.

And where do your typewriter parts come from? I have a graveyard in my basement, where I store tons and tons of old machines from every manufacturer. And there are supply houses that still make parts for newer machines, including ribbons.

What’s the oddest request you’ve ever gotten? One man used to come in every week and order a typewriter that could communicate with the dead. We’d tell him, “Yes, we ordered that, it’s on back order.”

I’ve seen earrings and necklaces that use typewriter keys for ornamentation. Do you sell typewriter parts to these jewelry artists? No. I don’t like to see nice machines cannibalized for jewelry. It bugs me.

People say they love the sound of a typewriter bell. Yes, the typewriter bell is a neat sound, and every brand has a different sound. When I do a repair, I always make sure the bell has a nice sustain to it. When the bell rings, it should fade out slowly. The Smith Corona has a loud distinctive bell, and the Royal has a nice pitch to it. But I don’t like the ring on a Remington machine.

Do you meet lots of people who don’t even know what a typewriter is? Surprisingly, typewriters are really popular now among teens and preteens who want to try typing on a typewriter. It’s a cool fad and they want to get that typewriter vibe.

Will typewriters ever make a comeback? No, I don’t think so, but I think there will always be a curiosity about typewriters. Typewriters will never go away completely – they’ll be around for a long, long time to come

Forget InterWebs Think InterClouds

I ran into this post by Cisco’s James Erquhart on Infra20.com titled – Is the Intercloud History Repeated?

James writes:  definitely some of the same elements are appearing in the Cloud Computing ecosphere that once helped build the Internet. Specifically, I see three key initiatives that have an analog in the Internet’s past:

1.  The rising importance of academia. Several initiatives are out there that show the increasing importance of the academic pursuit of cloud computing on the overall effort.

2.  Increasing interest in interoperability among cloud vendors. Surprisingly, vendors that stand to gain somewhat from cloud lock-in are admitting that customers are hesitant to move to the cloud for just that reason.

3.  Carrier interest in new service opportunities. The Internet represented huge business growth for telephone carriers in the early 90s, resulting in changing that designation to data network carriers.

Read the full post here.

Internet Traffic Explosion by 2015 – Next Phase is Rich Media for Infrastructure 2.0

The article today about Apple iPhone having video capabilities made me think about the scale of the net.  We have to see full scale global video by 2015.  However, first things first, we need an infrastructure revamp – Infrastructure 2.0.

We need to handle the traffic explosion. Here is a great deep review of the coming trend of Infrastructure 2.0 with info on the coming infrastructure revolution. The Impact of Video and Rich Media on the Internet — A ‘zettabyte’ by 2015 by the Discovery Institute.

The U.S. Internet of 2015 will be at least 50 times larger than it was in 2006. Internet growth at these levels will require a dramatic expansion of bandwidth, storage, and traffic management capabilities in core, edge, metro, and access networks. A recent Nemertes Research study estimates that these changes will entail a total new investment of some $137 billion in the worldwide Internet infrastructure by 2010. In the U.S., currently lagging Asia, the total new network investments will exceed $100 billion by 2012.

Technology remains the key engine of U.S. economic growth and its competitive edge. Policies that encourage investment and innovation in our digital and communications sectors should be among America’s highest national priorities.

New technologies are driving a deep transformation of the Internet’s capabilities and uses. We are entering a new phase. The first phase of the Internet, starting with Arpanet in 1969, was a small research project that linked together a few, and then a few thousand, scientists. They exchanged rudimentary messages and data. In the mid-1990s the second broad phase delivered the Internet to the masses with e-mail, graphical browsers, and the World Wide Web.

Today, the third phase is underway. Video over the Net portends innumerable consumer and commercial possibilities. This new medium will change every realm of communication and content. The broadcast petabyte flows of radio and television will branch out into narrowcast, multicast, mobilecast, and everycast streams. With real-time transactions and collaborations, rich images, video, and interactive virtual worlds, the Net’s current content of static text and pictures will swell to form exabyte rivers. We call this third phase of rich broadband content the Exaflood.

This Exaflood is coming. However, it will only be possible with a vast new infrastructure to match the vastness of the coming digital deluge. Building this new infrastructure will be very expensive, likely requiring some $137 billion in global new investment over the next two years alone and at least $50 billion in the U.S. Technology remains the key engine of U.S. economic growth and its competitive edge. Consummating a true broadband Internet will depend on smart communications law and an investment friendly economy.

The second phase of the Net was chiefly enabled by two broad technical advances: (1) new computer modems at the edge of the network and dramatic advances in fiber-optic communications in the core of the network, both of which supplied unprecedented physical connectivity; and (2) new logical concepts like the HTTP-based World Wide Web and software applications like the browser, which made the Net accessible to the masses.

Prefixes – Kilo — 103 Mega — 106 Giga — 109 Tera — 1012 Peta — 1015 Exa — 1018 Zetta — 1021Today, the third phase is likewise being driven by a combination of advances in physical connectivity and software innovation. Today’s residential cable modems now average more than 5 megabits per second, or 100 times faster than the 56-kilobit modems that mostly reigned at the outset of phase two. Many cable MSOs now offer 10- or even 15-megabit services. Meanwhile, the nation’s telecom companies are building a new generation of fiber-optic networks to neighborhoods and homes that will reach tens of millions of consumers in the next few years. These networks will offer an additional factor of 20 capacity increase initially and are massively scalable for the future. On the software side, user-friendly self-publishing applications have given rise to millions of blogs and myriad social networking communities. Media players and Flash applications enable the easy creation and dissemination of rich visual content.

PEAK IT – Big Trend in Enterprise Information Technology – IT Trend

Some are saying that the polarization of IT is changing back to one side.  You decide.  Right now I’m digging into this further.

Here is the paragraph to read.

Peak IT occurs in an organization when investments in automation and productivity tools are crowded out by rising operations and management expenses. The result is a downward spiral of increasing complexity and expense and shrinking productivity as expenses continue to increase and take a growing share of budgets.

If you can understand the following paragraph then go directly to the site (via the link) and read the detailed post on “Peak IT”.

Social Media Fallacies – What To Know If You’re Thinking of Social Media

Here is a great post by Jason Baer on the fallacies of social media. Social media is the email marketing of our web 2.0 everyone will do it but how is the question.  I’ve been doing it for years and I agree with this post.  I’ve added some of my comments in { } below.  Thanks Jason for a great post.

1. Social Media is Inexpensive

False. Done correctly, social media – even a simple reputation monitoring program – is a time intensive proposition that requires daily vigilance.

2. Social Media is Fast

False. Social media is by definition slow. Done correctly, social media is about developing meaningful relationships with customers and prospective customers in their natural habitat. You have to create content, be part of many communities, and proceed incrementally. Many successful social media programs take months (or even more than a year) to really germinate.

3. Social Media is “Viral Marketing”

False, in the same way that a square is also a rectangle, but a rectangle isn’t a square. Can a social media program go viral? Absolutely. But if you’re engaged in a social media program in an effort to go “viral” you’re not really engaged in social media at all. You’re engaged in an advertising and marketing campaign that uses the Web as its distribution platform.

{I will agree but add something here to Jason’s post:  the conversation is the advertising campaign and the social result of the conversation if done correctly is the definitive word on the topic – hence an ad-like message or effect}

4. Social Media results can’t be measured

False. Especially in comparison to many other communication programs like traditional PR, TV advertising, outdoor advertising and others, social media actually offers pretty solid metrics.  Can those results be tied back directly to sales, and therefore ROI? Probably not yet, but other than search and email (and maybe banners) where CAN you do that?

{I will add that the metrics are not online and this is the opportunity to bridge both offline and online experiences and benefits to users}

5. Social Media is optional

It doesn’t matter what the demographics of your customers are. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. Your customers and prospects are talking about you online. Your company needs to be part of that conversation. Today. Online is where many people do their talking, so that’s where you need to be.

6. Social media is hard

False. It’s not hard, it’s complicated.  It’s about having a strategy for making your company or organization more like a person and less like a machine. It’s about humanization.

If your customers and prospects feel like your company is more human and actually cares about them, they’ll want to be part of it….use technology to be yourself, and don’t overthink it.

Update: Thanks to Ben Smithson for point out the mistake in the title..

Silicon Valley in Trouble? I Don’t Think So – A New Model Will Arrive

Comparing Silicon Valley to Detroit is ridiculous, but Dan Lyons does bring up a big issue worth discussing – innovation problem. Silicon Valley is not setup for long term research in a way that made it what it is today. We are seeing institutional research vaporize in front of our eyes. Checking around it’s apparent that there is very little core and applied research going on. If there is research it is controlled by short term horizons like business profits and venture capital horizons. I’ve said before that we need a new approach.

I posted about this before about a new venture development paradigm that will emerge soon – one based upon open principles and collaboration.

Here is a snip of my post from last year – Silicon Valley – The Rebooting Meritocracy

Silicon Valley is a special place for entrepreneurship, and it continues to be. The issue is not that there is a wrench in the machine, but that the machine is broken. It’s rebooting.

One thing I love about Silicon Valley is that there are no handouts. It’s the ultimate entrepreneurial meritocracy. Change happens and it happens both from the bottom up (entrepreneurs) and the top down (capital market). The question is which force is driving the change.

Redistribution of wealth is upon us. The entrepreneurs and investors that move on this current market opportunity will capture the proverbial “chips on the table”. As an entrepreneur, I love this market. Opportunities are everywhere. Unlike the dot com bust, this tech (entrepreneurial) market never really crashed. Everywhere I look I see discounts and new opportunities. Smart money will move around, but in select places. Is the market scary? If you’re an incumbent it sure is scary.

Silicon Valley Web 2.0 is hurting, but not for the obvious reasons. A bigger force is at play here – massive redistribution of wealth is taking place. Some are scared, and some are welcoming the opportunity of possibly acquiring the wealth “on the table”. I think that Facebook and Twitter are great examples of what might be possible. Facebook will become the next Google. The only thing holding them up is that the ‘new revenue’ model that is soon to arrive at the “station”. When that “train” arrives (and it will) Facebook will say Goodbye to all the naysayers.

Research & Development Void?

The bigger picture is more long term and that’s all about research and development. Judy Estrin recently came out to talk about something really important – the innovation gap. Let me translate her thesis – we are screwed if we don’t have steady research unencumbered by short term agendas. Think how important institutions like Stanford, MIT, and SRI have been to Silicon Valley and entrepreneurship. Without these deep research institutions we would not have many innovations that created wealth – hello Ethernet; hello Apple; hello Cisco; hello Google, ..etc.

The lack of institutional research leaves a void in the Silicon Valley ecosystem. John Markoff postulates in his book “What the Dormouse Said” that the culture and research of the 60s drove the PC revolution. The question now is what revolution are we developing and where is the research? Will we miss the next important energy, medical, or tech breakthrough? Where is our modern day moonshot mandate?

Even top HP executives agree with me.  At HP, the concern reaches the very highest levels of the company. Shane Robison, HP’s chief strategy and technology officer, says he’d like to see the following: a permanent research-and-development tax credit, which would encourage tech companies to do more basic science research, which in turn would benefit everyone, not just the company that conducts the research; more government funding for basic science research; more spending on education; and changes in immigration laws to help foreign-born students who study in the United States to stay in this country afterward. “The technology industry is one of the crown jewels of our country,” Robison says. “It’s the one industry where we stand head and shoulders above the rest of the world. We need to protect that.”

My Version of Yahoo’s Turnaround Plan – Focus on Management Team and New Players

Boomtown has a post speculating that Carol is taking the :bull by the horns” and charging hard to make changes. First up an earnings call that will surely be a bad report.

In the NFL they talk about franchise players. In business and startups they talk about the management team. Here Yahoo has one clear short term goal – GET A TEAM. More importantly get some ‘franchise players’.

There are more than a few great and wacky ideas that Yahoo could do, but if were advising Carol I’d say focus on the management team first. Overhaul that team. Waive all the people not performing, get a great staff, trade for players who want to play for you, and sign some fresh new talent.

Remember Yahoo still has a great revenue stream and a massive user base. Get the management and players then make the big moves.

Kids On Facebook – Facebook Briefs Parents in Palo Alto: Where does Facebook’s Business Model Fit into Protecting our Kids?

NOTE:  Visit the siliconANGLE blog for a community of bloggers on Social Web and Technology Opinion and Analysis.  THANKS

My kids have Facebook accounts and we have a Facebook policy in our house. I guess that you’d put me in the camp of “parents for Facebook”. As a new and avid user of Facebook and someone keenly interested in social science and child development, I attended a Facebook meeting last night with parents in Palo Alto with great interest.

Every social media network is searching for the best method to create large audience leading to large amounts of advertising revenue. With over 200 million users and increased R&D budget to develop 35 new foreign language interfaces….I would say that Facebook’s goals are clear … to increase the social graph as quickly and dramatically as possible. It is working. 70% of Facebook’s users are outside of the US. Every day new members are added. Friends of friends become friends of friends…and so on and so on. Facebook is our children’s present social communication culture. Bravo to Facebook.

How many of those “friends of friends” do you want your child interfacing with…regularly, publicly & not in the real world? Being the inquisitive parent I am, I attended a local high school Parent Ed meeting last night.

The event l was billed as an event to increase your knowledge of your kids’ cyber culture on Facebook. The Facebook employee panelist was informative enough, but I couldn’t help feel that he really didn’t “get it”. His youth was indicative of the Facebook employee culture, but I am guessing he has never worried about a child getting home safely or being stalked on the Internet.

Questions were answered relating to privacy settings & Facebook procedures for blocking inappropriate posts and or members. The slide show was informative, but didn’t really reach the heart of the matter. The high school principal spoke with us about how the administration disciplines kids who post inappropriately in the high school network. The two high school age panelists spoke to their methods of protecting and sharing their information on Facebook. Yes, interesting, but I still left the event feeling hungry for more parenting tools.

I was left wondering, who is monitoring cyberspace outside of school hours? Whose responsibility is it? Should Facebook default to the most restrictive privacy settings for minors? Wouldn’t restrictions to spreading networks be highly counter to their business goals. Is Facebook’s sharing and connecting utility and business growth plan in conflict with the best interest of the kids?

Some parents felt that the school needed to become more proactive in teaching our kids to be safe, and even went so far as to suggest a mandated course. Others indicated that the cyber businesses which interact with youth need to take more responsibility.

My take: This is a new parenting frontier – an opportunity. We are two steps behind our kids, even if we think we know what they are doing online. It is a parent’s responsibility to discipline (Latin root = teach) our children how to protect themselves. Many kids balk at the idea of sharing their online communications with parents. Until my children are 18, I am the authority. We need to set expectations for our kids & walk them through this uncharted territory with guidelines. Parents: require your children to share passwords with you. Set time aside to see what your children are doing online. Invite them to browse through their accounts with you. Ask questions and really listen.

It is only with the cooperation of the businesses, schools and parent communities that we can hope to enjoy the benefits of social networks AND keep our kids smart & safe online.

“Build It Because They Are There” – The Real Meaning of Cloud Connect – It’s About Getting Apps Up and Running

As I sit in the CloudConnect Event at the computer history museum (twitter stream here), I was wondering about how to talk about cloud computing and the meaning of all this.  It became clear to me when I saw the Paul Buchheit post today on “Communicating with Code”.

He writes (talking about his experience with the development of Gmail..)…“From that day until launch, every new feature went live immediately, and most new ideas were implemented as soon as possible. This resulted in a lot of churn — we re-wrote the frontend about six times and the backend three times by launch — but it meant that we had direct experience with all of the features. A lot of features seemed like great ideas, until we tried them. Other things seemed like they would be big problems or very confusing, but once they were in we forgot all about the theoretical problems.”….”The great thing about this process was that I didn’t need to sell anyone on my ideas. I would just write the code, release the feature, and watch the response. Usually, everyone (including me) would end up hating whatever it was (especially my ideas), but we always learned something from the experience, and we were able to quickly move on to other ideas.”

What we have here is a real time web waiting for real time code.  All of the discussion about cloud computing is really about rapid development,provisioning of resources..etc. – in the end a better product for users (hopefully).  Paul talks about this in his post -Gmail turned out pretty good.

Cloud computing allows developers the ability to get “stuff” up fast.  Speed and feedback is critical to success and more important than having some “hardened app” that no one wants.  This is only way to develop in the web today.  Success is about speed and product acceptance is dependent on that speed which drives relevance.  Build a great product and it will work.

The motto “build it they will come” is irrelevant.  Instead the motto today is “Build it because they are there already”.  Having a robust, easy to use, easy to provision, and reliable cloud and services will flow to users for critical feedback  The rest will take of itself.  The good apps and services will “come to us” – Welcome to Infrastructure 2.0.

discussion on twitter via tag #cloudconnect

Market Economics Work – How We Solved Our Gas Crisis – Hey Mom Look No Government

By Anton Wahlman

American memories are apparently becoming shorter and shorter. Various
misguided references to the alleged causes and cures of The Great
Depression aside, people don’t remember that we once upon a time, less
than 100 years ago, didn’t have a Federal Income Tax, that drugs were
legal (and then alcohol prohibited), and that inflation and interest
rates were double-digits less than 30 full years ago.

Among the most recent things to be completely forgotten are the high
gas prices, peaking in July 2008 with nationwide averages over $4 per
gallon and people in California paying $5 on occasion. Politicians and
pundits blamed this on “speculators” and called for the government to
“do something.” Toyota (TM) Priuses were selling at MSRP or higher.

Less than six months thereafter, gas prices had fallen by over 50%,
and Toyota Priuses now come with $750 rebates to make them move. Never
before did gasoline prices fall so far, so fast. Not even close.

What was the government program that fixed this economic problem? The
answer is none at all. The government didn’t lift a finger to solve
this problem. It let the market do its magic, curing the issue with
its own natural self-healing mechanism first described in Adam Smith’s
The Wealth of Nations [1776]. Sure, there was a lot of huffing and
puffing about what people suggested the government should do, but in
the end the government did nothing. The problem just went away. No
government intervention solved the problem.

Think about it: The one recent problem which the government left to
the free market to solve, got solved in record-short time. Contrast
this to the ever-ballooning demands for the government to “do
something” about the financial and economic crisis. The demands from
almost all ends of the political spectra suggest that we drop all
economic common sense and instead spend money we don’t have.

Think about it again: We got into this mess by borrowing too much,
spending too much, and making too many loans. What’s being proposed?
Let’s spend even more, borrow much more, and make even more loans.
It’s like an alcoholic trying to cure a whiskey bottle’s hangover by
drinking a whole case worth of whiskey the next morning. If there ever
were a more self-evident disaster outcome guaranteed, I can’t think of
one.

The free market cured the high gas problem in less than six months
without the government lifting a finger or spending a dollar.
Likewise, the free market would cure the imprudent debt bubble by
allowing it to be pierced, seeing prices falling, wages falling and
allowing bankruptcies and foreclosures to clean up the imprudent
investments into orderly liquidation. Adjusting wages to demand, would
guarantee full employment as with any other market price.

In a free market, the current recession would probably be cured within
a year or two, and it would allow the government to cut expenses
instead of increasing them. Only by dramatically cutting the size of
our government, so that we can eliminate the deficit and start paying
back the debt, can we restore sanity to our financial and monetary
equation, which includes saving the value of the dollar.

As it stands, we are on a path that will put us in Germany’s World War
I surrender rail car and its 1918-20 aftermath. We will be left with a
debt burden so great that the only way out will be massive inflation,
as we essentially default on government bonds. Germany was left with a
huge war debt after World War I, but because the debt was not
denominated in British Pounds or French Francs, Germany simply
inflated itself out of its obligations, causing dramatic
mis-allocation of resources, societal chaos, the rise of Hitler and
the bloodiest war (World War II) in its wake.

In our case today, the debt-explosion path that we will apparently be
pursuing, will most likely also mean a massive inflation when we
eventually print the money to pay off the bond buyers (read: The
Chinese). China has one of the soundest economies in the world today,
with low or nonexistent public and private debt, and high growth, but
it has invested its surpluses largely in U.S. government bonds.
Whoops! All that the Chinese worked for during the last decade, will
go up in smoke. And in the wake of the Chinese losing their savings
invested in U.S. government debt – another war? We are clearly playing
with fire, taking on all this debt to finance unprecedented levels of
government spending.

Recession Startups: Great Post On Innovation and Entrepreneurship – No Vacation for Entrepreneurs

I love this post from David Hornik.  I guess that I have an addiction because I love starting companies – I can’t help myself.  His real message is simple – many entrepreneur friends are starting companies in this market. Personally, I think that doing startups is like taking a vacation each startup is like a good journey.

The post is worth of a full posting here on Furrier.org.  Thanks David for a great post.

By the end of 2008, Venture Capital had been officially declared dead. Startups were laying people off so fast that even TechCrunch couldn’t manage to keep up. University Endowments and Foundations, the source of the “capital” in Venture Capital, were hemorrhaging so badly from their public company investments that many long-time believers in “alternative assets” declared a moratorium on Venture Capital. And the IPO market was a distant memory. Good times!

Welcome 2009. The public markets remain closed. Venture investors and the investors in venture investors remain “challenged.” Follow on financings have become increasingly difficult, in some instances impossible. And, while there may well be light at the end of the tunnel, it would appear that we haven’t gotten far enough down the tunnel yet to see that light.

So why am I optimistic about investing in 2009? Because entrepreneurship is an addiction, it isn’t a choice. Great entrepreneurs aren’t driven to create companies because it is easy, or because capital is plentiful, or because the public markets are swallowing anything the venture community will throw at them. Great entrepreneurs start companies because they can’t help themselves. They see a problem or a solution or white space or an opportunity and they have to do something about it.

Innovation doesn’t take a vacation during an economic downturn. Innovation is a constant. While the resources an entrepreneur may be able to bring to bear on a problem may vary with the economic climate, the desire — the need — to innovate never goes away. And Venture Capital is the fuel of that innovation. [1]

So I remain excited about the companies that will be started in 2009. There will be great companies started during this economic crisis. Some of them will be born out of the crisis itself. Others will simply be born during the crisis. But, rest assured, there will be important tech companies hatched in the next year or two. And I am certainly hoping to fund them.

Some of you reading this will say to yourselves “starting companies today is so inexpensive that we don’t need no stinkin’ VCs.” More power to you. I don’t mean to suggest that innovation will die without Venture Capital. There are many great ideas that can come to fruition without a meaningfully-large capital infusion. My hat is off to the 37 Signals and Smugmugs of this world. But for those ideas that require investment ahead of revenue to reach their full potential, Venture Capital remains an important resource for company building.

Cisco Buying Sun? – Cisco Announces It’s Move Into Server Business

NOTE:  Visit the siliconANGLE blog for a community of bloggers on Social Web and Technology Opinion and Analysis.  THANKS

This past October I posted about Cisco getting into servers and compute.  I broke the news quietly but only a few handful of insiders got the message (GigaOm reported early in March 2008).   Word has been circulating on the street for many months on this announcement and it will sure have an impact on Cisco’s partners. Now it’s been finally announced.

What is now being kicked around is Cisco’s move to buyout Sun Microsystems.

What do you think?  Should Cisco buy Sun and really get into the server business?

Obama’s Inauguration Speech – Alternative Version

By Anton Wahlman

My fellow Americans, change has arrived in Washington.  Not as much in
the area of foreign policy and homeland defense, because I realize
that my predecessor and distant cousin Dick Cheney had it right in the
hours and days following 9/11 when he set this great Republic on a war
footing to defeat the enemy and protect the homeland.  Seeing as I
would rather not have another 9/11 – or worse – on my watch, the
change will come primarily in the area of economic policy, where my
predecessor presided over many failures and set a dangerous course for
this country, particularly in the last year.

My new administration promises a clean break with the failed policies
of the past.  In the last eight years, government spending grew to new
heights, from $2 trillion per year to over $4 trillion this year.
This stratospheric rise in the growth of the US government’s burden on
the people is nothing less than a crime against our beloved
constitution and the intent of the Fathers of the 1776 Declaration of
Independence.  In recent times, the US government has failed to impose
on itself any of the restraints that have made this country so special
for so long.

To the contrary, the US government is now engaged in a long list of
activities and spending not authorized by our most fundamental
governing document.  Working with Congress, I will seek to restore the
US government to its constitutional limits in my first year in office.
What this means in practice is a rapid shut-down of all government
departments except the Departments of Justice, Defense and Homeland
Security.  This means that all these other unconstitutional creations
of the 20th century, such as the Departments of Education, Energy,
Commerce, Health and Human Affairs, Interior will all cease operations
in this glorious year of 2009.

The Federal government’s budget deficit, which the first time exceeds
$1 trillion, will also be eliminated this year.  Yet, I will also
abolish all of the destructive and unjust taxes that have mushroomed
over the last 95 years in particular: the income tax, the death tax,
the capital gains tax, the corporate tax and the dividend tax.  These
tax cuts will once again make the US economy competitive with the
countries around the world where economic growth and liberty has
recently exceeded our own.

My first budget, which I intend to deliver to Congress already this
afternoon in the hope of a speedy approval, will authorize total
Federal expenses of less than $1 trillion over the next year, which is
an amount ten times greater than President John F. Kennedy’s 1961
budget.  This will fund an efficient Federal judiciary, our military
defense, and the ongoing war against terrorism.

What the new budget will not do, because it is being returned to its
constitutional limitations, is to send checks – to anybody or
anything.  If you or your company has an addiction to receiving money
from the government, this will be the year when you sober up.  It will
not matter whether you are rich, poor or in-between – the time of
government spending money on you are now over.  Every single
government program providing services or sending out checks, will come
to an end.  You and your company will live in the freedom of keeping
what you earn and receive in voluntary help from your friends, family
and any charitable institutions, but the mirror image of this blessing
of freedom is that government will not support anybody or anything.  I
am breaking the back on welfare state dependency and entitlement by
going cold turkey on all recipients, large and small.

This restoration of the constitutional legitimacy of the US government
will be funded by a simple flat tax on US adults: At $1 trillion in
total annual Federal expenses, a number which may end up even lower,
it represents a flat $5,000 tax on each of our 200 million US adults.
There will no longer be any need to file an income tax return, keeping
any receipts, paying a tax preparer, or equivalent.  This flat $5,000
tax will be due in monthly installments of $417, equivalent of $13.70
per day.

I expect the impact on the economy from this simple flax tax to be
profound.  People will be able to work as much as they want, and
invest in any way they want, knowing that every incremental dollar
they earn will be theirs to keep.  All of the lost productivity
resulting from tax-avoidance and the administration associated with
corporate payrolls, will remain with us only in the form of an
unpleasant memory, similar to the memories of living behind the Iron
Curtain and Berlin Wall before 1989.  Small business will be able to
form without any bureaucratic hassle.  The entrepreneurial spirit will
be unshackled from all red tape, bureaucracy and tax disincentives.

My plan to cut over 75% of all Federal government expenses, and fund
the remainder with a flat $5,000 tax, will also help cure political
corruption in Washington DC.  Lobbyists come to us because we have
money to spend, and they seek to maximize their share of the pie.  My
cold turkey approach to restoring the US government to its
constitutionally legitimate size will make almost all lobbyists
obsolete: If the size of the pie is zero, there is nothing for which
you can lobby.

So in closing, I can say with confidence that the 75% or greater
reduction in size of the US government will bring about a rebirth of
the era of freedom, rugged individualism and self-reliance.  It will
allow the US government to focus on its constitutionally narrow
purpose of securing the property rights of our individual citizens,
and to protect our country from those who seek to do us harm.  This
focus will enable us to perform these duties better.  With this, I
salute our constitution, our Founders and our Declaration of
Independence.  Now let’s get on with it.  Thank you, and God Bless
America.

Sad Day For Seagate and Plantronics- Seagate CEO Ousted & 3,000 Jobs Cut – Plantronics Slashing Close to 1,000 People

What a sad week for Seagate.  CEO Bill Watkins (whom I like and have interviewed many times) was ousted and now they are cutting almost 3,000 jobs.  Folks we are seeing the beginning of the massive recession or depression.  Ok we are knee deep in the financial depression.  This is only going to get worse.

Seagate said in an 8-K filing with the SEC that the restructuring moves will result in pre-tax charges of about $90 million, with most of that to be taken in the December 2008 quarter. The company expects the stafff reductions to save $130 million a year.

The company also said it will cut the salaries of its senior staff, with a 25% cut for new CEO Stephen Luczo, “named executive officers” and executive vice presidents, a 20% cut for senior VPs, a 15% reduction for VPs and a 10% reduction for other management, sales, supervisors and professional employees. The savings cuts should save about $80 million annually.

In related cuts in Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz Plantronics is cutting almost 1,000 jobs.  Ken Kannapan (a neighbor of mine) is trying to keep the company cash flow positive.  Plantronics needs to move the “ball down the field” big time if they want to compete in Unified Communications.

Company officials said revenue and earnings per share for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 will be lower than originally expected. They had projected net revenues of $205 million to $220 million but now are expecting revenues to be $184 million for the third quarter. Final third-quarter earnings will be announced Jan. 27.

The revised revenue estimate is mostly the result of lower-than-expected sales of Bluetooth headsets, but also reflects the impact of broad economic weakness across different product categories, officials said.

As a result of the workforce reduction and other restructuring, officials expect savings of approximately $7.7 million to $8.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. Yearly savings are expected to be more than $50 million. The company also plans a 50 percent reduction in capital expenditures in fiscal 2010.

“As global economic weakness persists, our key objectives are to remain profitable and cash-flow positive, continue to invest in strategic initiatives such as unified communications, and to improve our profitability in our consumer businesses,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Kannappan. “We believe that our strong financial position combined with ongoing strategic investments will allow us to emerge from this downturn in a significantly stronger competitive position.”

Google Aims At Microsoft – Google Apps In the Enterprise – Google Sets Up Channel Partners

In an big move Google is taking the classic enterprise sales move – set up a channel.  Indirect channel marketing is great leverage and if pulled off is very disruptive. I’ve spend many years in the channel business with Hewlett-Packard and the channel model is based upon a simple formula – get thousands of people selling your product everywhere.  However, the key to success is money which Google has plenty of.  If Google can incent channel partners with good products and great margin, they will put a dent in the Microsoft dominance.

Here is more detail. Web search leader Google Inc took another step on Wednesday toward direct competition with Microsoft Corp by recruiting IT resellers to market its Web-based applications to business clients.

From the end of March, authorized resellers will be able to sell, customize and support premium versions of Google Apps, which includes word processing, spreadsheets, calendars and email.

Google Apps is broadly similar to Microsoft‘s top-selling Office package except that Apps is completely Web-based and is part of Google‘s push into so called ‘cloud computing‘ or software-as-a-service. Microsoft said in October it is also looking at adding Web-based features for its Office applications.

Since it launched Google Apps in February 2007, Google has only sold directly to business users over the Web. Analysts said the move to work with third parties is necessary if Google hopes to compete seriously with Microsoft or IBM.

Microsoft, which is the world’s largest software company, sells more than 95 percent of its software through more than 440,000 third party resellers, according to Gartner Research, and intends to spend around $3 billion on managing those sales channels in 2009.