Web 2.0 Art By Sean Tiner – Pretty Cool Stuff

Sean Tiner recently created this portrait of me.

furrier20art

It’s part of Faces, an ongoing social media art series that he started at the beginning of 2008. To launch the art series, Tiner first created 50 portraits of friends from Facebook and posted the artwork on the social networking site. He theorized that by posting the portraits and tagging his Facebook friends in the portraits, it would help to create awareness and interest in his artwork. Following the first 50 portraits, Tiner started created portraits of people that he found interesting, including Seth Godin, Darren Rose, and Chris Brogan.

I’m honored that Tiner has included me in his portrait series and look forward to seeing more of the series as it unfolds. To view more of his series check out his blog or view his eBook (I’m on page #57).

Memo to Intel: Do Users Know Who You Are? Intel’s New Intel Inside Has To Be HD

I was browsing the web today and found this interview that I did with Sean Maloney at Intel. It got me thinking. Intel needs a new intel inside consumer branding theme. I found it for them. It’s HiDef – HD. Sean Maloney gets it. He’s old school Intel, but he understands what new users are looking for.

In the old days the CPU powered software. Today it’s a entire new paradigm -rich media and broadband. It’s the ‘new software equivalent for processors and subsystems”. The Intel Inside brand is getting stale. Intel Inside clicked for consumers back in the 90s, but I think that Intel is confusing to a new breed of consumers now. The new net users don’t have that historical connection that guys like me have with Intel. Intel needs to connect with those new users while keeping it’s image up with the existing users.

Answer: HiDef – HD. HD touches all consumers both online and offline. Intel needs to own image in the mind of the consumer. I would argue that HD is yet to be owned from brand association perspective by any one vendor. HD is everywhere but yet unbranded.

More importantly HD requires a boatload of processing power and storage (and cloud computing – I won’t get started how cloud computing is threating the PC which should have Intel worried as well). Great processing and system software, Intel’s technology stronghold, enables a great user experience from online to the living room. Intel needs to leverage that in a clear message to consumers.

Companies like nVidia are competing directly with Intel on CPUs. With nVidia dominating the graphics market for years they have a chance to make a run at Intel. Will nVidia and others possibly steal away the Intel franchise?

Here is the interview with Sean Maloney that I did. Sean gets it. He thinks big and Intel needs a new Intel Inside theme. It has to be HD.

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Podcast: Search 2.0 – From Search to Discover by Yezdi Lashkari

Yezdi Lashkari outlines the origins and limitations of collaborative filtering, the importance of Web 2.0, and how the commoditization of certain specific web technologies will benefit both consumers and businesses alike. He addresses the importance of blending algorithms to effectively harness collective user behavior, and the wisdom of crowds.

Yezdi Lashkari was a co-founder of Firefly Networks (acquired by Microsoft), a pioneering company in the area of collaborative filtering and personalization.  Lashkari recently left Microsoft, where he played a number of senior product leadership roles, the last being a special assignment sponsored directly by CEO Steven Ballmer, focused on researching large scale network-centric computing infrastructures for thousands of hosts.  This work is now driving one of the technical pillars of the post-Vista Windows release.  Lashkari holds numerous patents in collaborative filtering, data protection and user profiling technologies.  He received his M.S. from the MIT Media Laboratory and has three computer science degrees covering research areas ranging from artificial intelligence, databases, to collaborative filtering and personalization.

Enjoy the podcast sponsored by Aggregate Knowledge – Leader in Web 2.0 Discovery Technology

Yezdi and I talk about the big trend in Search or Search 2.0 – and it has nothing to do with search as we know it today.

The full transcript from the Interview is here.

BusinessWeek Covers the RealTime Layoff

Businessweek’s Moira Herbst and Catherine Holahan captured the story on the Yahoo layoffs.  I think that Twittering and Blogging this massive layoff will go down as one of those inflection points in our new global digital real time always on social bla bla bla ..<add buzzword here>.

Here is what BW mentions about me at the end..“But the exchanges of laid-off Yahoo workers isn’t all about commiseration; it’s also about finding leads. John Furrier writes in response to a story on TechCrunch that he’s hiring: “Bummer about Yahoo. I hope they can pull together and survive. Open call for Yahoo entrepreneurs who know social networks and social graph technology: I’m looking for product managers and engineers for my new social advertising startup. For info go to furrier.org—information on the startup is buried in the blog.”

To clarify:  “Information is buried in my blog”-  means that information about what I’m working on is weaved in and out of series of posts.  Many have figured out what I’m working on and  have contacted me.  I guess it’s a social media form of lead generation for finding like minds to collaborate with.

Tech Stocks STX: CEO Bill Watkins – He Gets No Respect

Bill Watkins has Seagate pumping but he gets no respect from Wall Street.  Cnet’s Charles Cooper has a very good interview and story with and about Bill Wakins, the CEO of Seagate.

I’ve been doing an earnings podcast with Bill for most of the last 6 qtrs and have watched how he’s managed to keep Seagate focused.  He’s navigated Seagate through price wars, product changes, big acquisitions, and now a sagging Dow.  He’s like Rodney Dangerfield of tech stocks – “he gets no respect”. 

Here are some of the earnings podcasts that I’ve done with Bill Watkins.  The best part of web 2.0 media is the historical record or archive.  Lets take a listen to Bill over the past two years.

Here is the CEO Bill Watkins – story since 2006.  On the record with me on his company and his performance.   With Seagate generating over $700 million in cash, over $500 million in free cash, no inventories, and double-digit growth, what will it take for Wall Street to wake up.  Bill keep on podcasting. 

Earnings Q1 2008 – Brian Dexheimer, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer sat in for Bill Watkins

Earnings FY 2007  & Q4 2007 – July 2007

Earnings Q3 2007 – April 2007

 Earnings Q2 2007 – January 2007

Earnings Q1 2007 – October 2006

Earnings FY 2006 – August 2006

June 2006 Bill Watkins

Facebook Beacon: Kara is the Pot Calling the Kettle

In the 60 minutes interveiw of Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg (which I thought was a puff piece) Kara Swisher is highlighted as the expert in Facebook.  Kara deserves to be on there because she has been following Facebook hard for a while.  I like Kara and read her blog.  Kara is a pro journalist, but I fell off my chair at the end of the interview on her comment on Facebook’s beacon product.  I have to call foul on this one Kara. 

Kara: I respectfully disagree with you.  First, I think that you’re wrong on your take on beacon.  You said Facebook was wrong for doing it and not explaining it.  Then you go on to basically question their judgement.  I disagree with you.  Beacon is a good thing for Facebook and for users.  I think that Facebook rolled it out the wrong way, but it was a good move for Facebook.  It’s a competitive advantage weapon for Facebook and a possible innovation lever for their user experience (and for future monetization).   Secondly, you have a relationship Google and know that Google practices the same techniques as Beacon (can we talk about gmail, data centers and toolbar among other similar data driven innovations).  By your logic Google is wrong and has bad judgement.   Competing on the value of data extraction is precisely what Google built their brand on and it is what drives their ad monetization business. 

Both Google and Facebook derive their products core value propositions from the aggregation and knowledge about data and data relationships. 

Here is the 60 minutes interview. Note: Bill Gates was 17 when he started Microsoft.

Two Parts: 

Part I

Part II

Storage Business: Record Everything for Seagate – Is it Breakout Time for the Stock?

The storage business is red hot.  Why?  We all need more storage.  Seagate puts out their earnings and yesterday I sat down with Seagates Chief Sales and Marketing executive, Brian Dexheimer, to preview today’s Q1 earnings result.   Sales are soaring.   Here is Seagate’s press release. 

Update: Eric Savitz reports that Bill Watkins says that he has sold out Q4 and can’t deliver on all the orders.   Bill in his own style says to Eric “I have tons of orders I can’t fill.”

The results were awesome for Seagate.  Record everything…shipments, revenue, net income, industry shipments, new products,..etc.  The stock has been hovering and seeing a resistance at and around $28 per share for two years.  Will it break through and go higher and higher?  We shall see.  The disk drive business is changing and so is Seagate. 

Highlights from my video podcast with Brian Dexheimer:

  1. 132 million units a record for the industry
  2. shipments represent 36% of the entire industry shipments
  3. margin expansion 25 points
  4. $3.3 billion in revenue
  5. 60 cents EPS (non gaap); started at 44 cents at the beginning of the qtr
  6. pricing dynamics – best conditions in all of the past 4 quarters
  7. demand was strong
  8. strongest trend in the overall growth is in the high capacity area
  9. hottest area is the digital home

Seagate is seeing the results of the Maxtor acquistion in terms of leverage and scale in the gross margin expansion  –  operational efficiency.   Solid state disk drives will be upcoming on the horizion.  Branded products up and the upcoming qtr looks strong.  New security solutions are doing well with the demand for secure data.  Average sale for the consumer side is over 350 GB. 

Seagate has a strong presence in the consumer, enterprise, and the emerging web 2.0 service provider area.  The web 2.0 service provider area includes Google, Facebook, Myspace, and many new niche applications such as surveilllance among others.

Seagate has a secret weapon.  Green Disk Drives.  Green drives are a major growth area.  On the clients side the hybrid is looking good – combing flash and rotating storage to reduce the power budget of the PC which frees up battery life and screen life..  On the enterprise side there is a tremendous shift toward small form factor devices.  These devices are consuming 35% less power and 40% of all their shipments came in the area of the new form factor. 

The industry is still cyclical, but the cycle has dampened – lower lows and higher highs.  This is due to the consolidation in competition and in the supply chain components available (motor, heads, media, etc).  This leads to efficiencies and scale that gives Seagate more margin room.  Also it gives Seagate stabilized component prices, fewer competitors, and allows them to gain more scale and more efficient business models from the stability in competition and critical component prices.  The storage business is turning into a major growth sector. 

Price wars?  There is a change in behavior in pricing from competitors. 

What’s different?  Seagate has multiple business growth areas.  Single biggest trend is in the digital home – 70-80% growth and it’s early.  Storage deployment in the home is a nice growth area to compliment their traditional enterprise area.  Add the consumer electronic market and Seagate is now twice as big.  Seagate will approach $13 billion this year.

Seagate is breaking out and breaking records.

Here is the video of my exclusive interview with Brian DexHeimer

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On the strength of 47 million disk drive shipments, the Scotts Valley, Calif., company reported revenue of $3.29 billion, vs. $2.79 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected revenue of $3.22 billion.

Seagate reported GAAP net income of $355 million, or 64 cents per diluted share. Excluding charges associated with the company’s acquisitions of Maxtor and EVault, Seagate earned $385 million, or 69 cents a share. Analysts predicted earnings of 64 cents a share.

“The first fiscal quarter has historically been a strong one for Seagate, and this year, we benefited from unit demand greater than expected,” CEO Bill Watkins said in a company statement. “We believe we are well positioned to continue driving year-over-year revenue growth, and these record quarterly results demonstrate the effectiveness of Seagate’s business model.”

In other tech stocks Intel’s Q3 profit surges 43% .  IBM profit is up. Yahoo is slightly down but beat the streets estimates.