This Isn’t a Vaccine Story, It Is A Population Management Story

I understand that that vaxx is dubious at best, but didn’t realize the evil that Bill Gates and the whole issue really is. No wonder Melinda dumped him.

Here is a link to the site and the video. As with everything, use your best judgement, but I am a patterns guy. When enough evidence comes together, it reveals itself. This is but a minor piece of the evidence that is out there, but is a major explanation of Gates’ motivation and his population control power plays.

Add this to the growing story of takeover, power and control by government and elitists.

He invested 10 billion to make $200 billion, but the video claims that he is after reducing the population to his personal playground for the elite.

Call it conspiracy or call it evidence that documents the story behind what we are being told. Or, call it scientific terrorism.

You decide.

The Actual Covid Cure – Hint, It’s not the VAX

The Big Pharma are greedy for money from new medicines. Big Government is using Covid for the Re-Set with socialism and to take power and Bill Gates and the WHO want depopulation. Big Tech is covering simple and cheap solutions like this from everyone they can.

India said eff-you and gave everyone this and Ivermectin and have killed Covid off where it is used.

Wake up and stop the madness.

Covid Players and Their Motives – Bill Gates

It’s hard to know where to begin, but I’ll start at control and power.

You see, when you have more money than you can spend, you need another outlet. Controlling others is a form of power and spending. Trying to conform a world is the ultimate power.

He recently bought his own publication like Bezos owning the Washington Post to put out his messages. When you control the medium, you control the content.

His wife divorced him due to his dealings with Jeffrey Epstein (who didn’t kill himself). His excuse of funding was weak. So weak that it cost him his family, billions and any trust that was left in his foundation.

I’ve interacted with him at work, although only I will remember it since I’m merely in the crowd of peons he’s had to deal with. I’ve had to work with Microsoft to get things done and it was always difficult and they were disingenuous. These are just clues as to who you are dealing with.

He’s been devious since the first meeting with IBM when they were creating the Personal Computer. Look up the origins of DOS and you’ll see that it wasn’t really his.

Combine that with his wife dumping him over being buddies with Jeffrey Epstein and you start to see what you are dealing with. It is a pattern of behavior.

As part of the background, here is a video of him presenting to the CIA. It is about getting rid of religious people via medicine. He wants to control what he fears.

There are endless links where he covers population control, like this one.

While he talks about helping, reading between the lines and other research shows that he’s been about reducing the population and has been. He’s a well trained speaker who talks a good tale, but listening to his outcome and objectives reveal the motives.

In 2009, Bill Gates explained in his Gates Foundation annual letter that he and his wife got involved in “reproductive health” in developing countries in the mid 1990’s specifically to reduce the population:

“When Melinda and I first started our giving, in the late 1990s, our focus was on reproductive health rather than childhood deaths. We felt that giving mothers the tools to limit their family size to what they wanted would have a catalytic effect by reducing population growth and making it easier to feed, educate, and provide jobs for the children who were born.” [emphasis added]

During a 2010 TEDTalk, Gates spoke about how introducing vaccines could help lower human’s CO2 output saying:

If we do a really great job on new vaccines, healthcare, reproductive health services through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Family Planning services (i.e., abortion, birth control, infertility) we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15%.

Speaking of the coronavirus vaccine, there are historical parallels with forced vaccination and population control, as well. From RAIR:

“During the Third Reich, Germany instituted the Nazi sterilization law, inspired by Planned Parenthood’s racist eugenicist founder Margaret Sanger. [Sanger’s]…radical left-wing perspective is reminiscent of Bill Gates who has also disturbingly mentioned several times how vaccinations can help reduce the population.”

He is now the largest funder of the WHO. Excerpt below.

Bill Gates is still the No. 1 funder, contributing more to WHO’s $4.84 billion biennial budget4 than any member-state government. As revealed in a preview copy I received of “Vax-Unvax,”5 Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s new book, which will be released in November 2021, “Gates has used his money strategically to infect the international aid agencies with his distorted self-serving priorities. The U.S. historically has been the largest direct donor to WHO.”

However, Bill Gates contributes to WHO via multiple avenues, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as GAVI, which was founded by the Gates Foundation in partnership with WHO, the World Bank and various vaccine manufacturers.

He put in his own head of the WHO to do his bidding.

A couple of noteworthy points — Gates handpicked Ghebreyesus as WHO’s director general, not because of his qualifications — Tedros has no medical degree and a background that includes accusations of human rights violations — but due to this loyalty to Gates, again according to Kennedy’s book.

Further, WHO’s allegiance to China was secured years earlier, when China secured WHO votes to ensure its candidates would become director-general. A Sunday Times investigation also revealed that WHO’s independence was severely compromised and its close ties to China allowed COVID-19 to spread in the early days of the pandemic while obfuscating the investigation into its origins. According to the Sunday Times:17

“The WHO leadership prioritized China’s economic interests over halting the spread of the virus when Covid-19 first emerged. China exerted ultimate control over the WHO investigation into the origins of Covid-19, appointing its chosen experts and negotiating a backroom deal to water down the mandate.”

The WHO has protected China and it’s so blatant that a blind mole can see it.

I could go on, but I’m just connecting dots to reveal motives. He’s shown that his philanthropy is devious as when his foundation killed Indian girls under the guise of HPV vaccination.

HE’S AMERICA’S NUMBER ONE FARMLAND OWNER, WITH THE ABILITY TO VACCINATE THROUGH THE FOOD SUPPLY

This may seem to be a stretch, but I’ve worked with his people. There were no rules except for what benefits them when we negotiated. Working with Microsoft was like dealing with the CCP. There was no qualms about saying one thing and doing another while saying they didn’t.

Here it is……

Nobody else owns as much farmland as that man does. Will Gates back such technology? Given that he holds most food-producing plots throughout America, what do you think happens next?

Governments worldwide are currently upping the ante for getting the jab. Seemingly with a strange desire to get as many needles into as many arms as possible. Putting mRNA into lettuce seems to be nothing other than an underhanded scheme to violate peoples’ bodily integrity against their knowledge/will.

Why do they want to put vaccines in lettuce? 

Q: Why is there a need to start putting medical treatments into food? 

A: To get those who would refuse the jab otherwise. The only explanation that makes sense is this technology can get mRNA into those who would otherwise not get it.

What other reason can there be? If anybody wants to get the job, they can easily do so at multiple locations throughout the country, and often for free. There’s simply no reason whatsoever to believe we need to start putting the mRNA into food. We do not need vaccines in lettuce, thanks.

Farmer Bill Gates

VERDICT?

He’s guilty of protecting China, trying to make money off of the vaccine and is nefarious at best on population control. There is always a different motive to these control freaks that isn’t what they do or say. They always plan the next step while you are watching what is going on.

He’s guilty of using the WHO to not report what is really going on with the virus.

He’s guilty of the deaths in India of young girls who thought they were getting the HPV vaccination, but were guinea pigs instead.

He’s more than likely guilty of population control. That is murder if true. Don’t forget what the Nazi’s did in the 40’s. Goebbels experimented on people also.

We’d be better off without his foundation trying to get involved with Covid.

Over The Counter Covid Treatment

This is too easy. Why are they cramming the vaxx down our throats?

Oh, you know the reason, power and control.

Don’t worry, I’ll get to Bill Gates and population control at some point.

A Roundup Of Covid “Vaccine” Problems, Lies and Dangers – Documentation Around The World

I’ve been pointing out problems with the make up of the vaccines and how they are poisonous to humans.

Graphene Oxide

Pseudouridylyl

I am a pattern person and it is becoming a lot clearer as to what is going on. There is too much information that says the jab has problems and I wonder why it’s being pushed on us. I’m just researching facts and trying to put it together and decided to share what I found.

All of these sources below are written far better than mine. They are clear, concise and point out the problems. They also point out that the obvious cure, which is being lied about and is being smothered. I ask myself why?

Here goes. Good luck with it. I’m going to speculate some other time why they are doing it when I weave it all together. There is enough evidence below for you to draw your own conclusion.

A simple cure that works universally and is proven – works without a jab and actually cures Covid

A breakdown of how the CDC is lying and manipulates the data (almost no one is really at risk of dying from Covid, only a small percentage and who they are)

A round up of all the diseases that the jab causes I was shocked to see this list and how bad they are. It goes into what each flavor of vaccine does to you. This is the one source in the media I can trust to be independent and factual, not editorializing.

Why getting vaxxed is a bad idea because US now has more than four times as many cases of COVID and twice as many in hospital as this time last year with deaths up 80% – despite 62% of population with one shot amid Delta surge: Mu is now in LA – Yes, it isn’t working

Non-Human Gene sequences are the property of the patent holder – in other words mRNA changed your DNA and how they could own you

The vaccine program is designed for pharmaceutical dependence and depopulation – A former Pfizer executive says it is about mass murder and why we have new variants

Dr. David Martin drops bombshell: The FDA has only approved a COVID-19 vaccine that does NOT exist in the U.S. marketplace – “Comirnaty does not exist,” Martin said, referring to the brand name of the Pfizer vaccine granted full approval by the federal agency. “The approval is for future production of COVID vaccine.”

Former Pfizer scientist warns that governments and pharmaceutical companies will continue to deceive and enslave people before killing them off

Covid RNA based vaccines and the risk of Prion disease

FDA Admits the vaccine is worse than Covid-19

Former Pfizer VP: ‘Your government is lying to you in a way that could lead to your death.’ – See point 6 for the reason we are where we are

Fake news hit piece on Ivermectin OD cases in hospitals completely debunked – Rolling Stone put out a huge lie after Joe Rogan was cured using Ivermectin. They had to issue a “correction” that everything they reported was horse shit they made up

Who’s being hospitalized – how they are faking the numbers

Doctor says there is a concerted effort to quiet those trying to treat Covid vs the Jab– one of the most respected cardiologist is being censored for telling the truth

How AI Is Spying On You Via CSAM – Apple Version They Say Is Hashing – I Call BS

This is pretty complex stuff. Needless to say, this is how Big Brother is watching you.

Why do you think that you get ads for something you never searched but just talked about? Hell, sometimes I just think of stuff and it shows up it seems.

You are a dumbass for taking nudies or sexting because they are probably laughing at you as they can look at everything.

You’ve been warned.

Pfizer Ex-Employees Call Vaccine a Bio-Weapon, To Connect Humans to The Internet – Is This The Incarnation of Lawnmower Man?

Before I get to the crux of this discussion, let me ask the question of why are the powers that be (TPTB) putting so much emphasis on being inoculated? There are well documented less invasive cures for Covid readily available.

It is beyond belief that instead of curing us instead are forcing the vaccine story down our throats, all while the Hippocratic oath says do no harm. If we held to that oath, we would be using Ivermectin or HCQ to prevent or cure people with Covid. It’s proven to work, but not politically correct or to the plan, so I call bullshit.

Look below to the graphene oxide discussion. It is poisonous to humans, yet is part of the delivery method for the jab.

HERE IS THE REASON

In doing research on the Covid-19 vaccine ingredients, I came across this interesting topic, it can be used as a bio-weapon. To say that it is controversial is an understatement. I expect blow back from this and/or some censorship. Remember, this someone else’s data, I’m just interested.

I’ve already been stalked by China for posting things calling out them creating Trans-humans, creating super soldiers, calling Covid the China/Wuhan virus and a number of posts I’ve written. FWIW, Trans-humanism is about immortality, something that money can’t buy.

I encourage everyone to believe what they want, but at least be informed. This is research on an issue of the bigger picture. I’m issuing a challenge for you to not trust what you are being told and think bigger to protect yourself. I am connecting facts that are available to form a pattern of what goes on behind the scenes.

DON’T TRUST THE MEDIA

It is important to not trust anything the media is saying. If you’ve read any of my past, I worked with them for decades and got them to write or not write almost anything as needed. They are tools, or useful idiots of those in power. They are just the propaganda arm of the government and are in lockstep with TPTB. Many of them, like congress are being paid off (go do your own research, don’t trust me on this other than I have more experience with them than most).

Further, if you read in About Me above, you can see that I’ve worked with Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt and other technology so called leaders. 2 paragraphs down is why this is important. I know these people’s motives and they are not in anyone’s best interest other than their own.

If you look in About, you see that I have few talents, but can put facts together to see long term patterns. That is what this post is about.

I want to note that these people have more money than they can ever spend. What they do is about power now when you can’t outspend your wealth. They’ve admitted it to me to me. What they do and are planning to do is with complete disregard to the welfare of others, that’s you.

THE SIDE SHOW

When you want to hide something, you use a side show tactical coverup masked as their foundations that do some philanthropy, but their track record is starting to come through and they will be exposed. Some will see it earlier than others. I’m pointing it out now. There will never be enough good for the evil that they have and are doing.

It’s out there what they did in India and Africa to unsuspecting people. I’m pointing out patterns in advance. I’ll be dead before this happens so judge for yourself, but it is slight of hand. Act like you are helping while you do your will in the background as others are distracted. They pretend to do good (and do in some cases) but they are for themselves, not you or me.

It’s how Congress passes everything bad for us. They create a controversy for the media to cover as they pass bills to fuck us over in the dead of night.

CONNECTING PEOPLE TO THE INTERNET VIA AI AND HOW THE “VACCINE” IS BUT A STEP

Here is the scene from Lawnmower Man where he integrates himself into the internet. It is the set up to the discussion of the title topic.

THE COVID INOCULATION (NOT VACCINE) – AND WHY GRAHPENE OXIDE

There are a lot of things in the formula they call the vaccine. It is proprietary so we’ll never know exactly what it is comprised of, but for this discussion they deal with Graphene Oxide. It is not listed in the patent because as Gates describes it, this is a trade secret, but is the key to what is going on. It is 4000 times stronger than than titanium and withstand 1700 degrees of heat. It is part of the delivery method.

Ex-Pfizer officials (examples documented below) who worked on it have come out and described it’s use, but it is a component that can be electrically charged. Here is the scientific explanation of what I speak of, but right below it is a quicker understanding that is called out in the video.

At about minute 14, it addresses the evil and depravity of those trying to promote the jab. If you tie it into the human nature I’ve called out and start connecting the facts, you begin to build the pattern. The trend was always there.

Here is the documentation from ex-Pfizer employee Karen Kingston on the lipids.

When I read this information, I didn’t know a woman could cry as hard as I cried. … These are bio-weapons.

— Karen Kingston

According to Karen Kingston, a former Pfizer employee, graphene oxide is in the vaccines but not listed directly on the patents because its use is a trade secret. It is the main ingredient in hydrogel. Karen Kingston claims that the “Pegylated lipid” in the above illustration contains graphene oxide. It is made by SINOPEG in China. Lipids in the patent are listed on SINOPEG’s site.

The graphene oxide molecules can hold a charge. The ones used in the vaccines are supposed to be neutral. The potential exists that these graphene oxide molecules could become charge later. Graphene oxide is also capable of hosting a magnetic field. So even if the graphene oxide is not magnetic when injected, the possibility exists that it could become magnetically charged later.  Graphene oxide in the charged state is toxic and can destroy whatever it comes in contact with.  Graphene oxide has the potential to connect to the internet.

While neutral at the initial injection, the follow on booster shots put more and more into your system. It is poisonous to humans and if charged, it can be used to kill, transform or in this discussion or alter people’s DNA to become electrically charged. It is the lipid that helps create the AI interface as prescribed by Gates and Musk.

——> Back to me sniping now

The fact that SINOPEG (see screenshot below) is Chinese should be the red flag here. They have disregarded human or other nations rights and who doesn’t believe that they are responsible for Covid to begin with?

Here is a screenshot from the SINOPEG website stating its’ electrical capabilities.

HYPOTHESIS

When there is enough graphene oxide and other poisons in the vaccine accumulate (watch for boosters that just keep pumping this shit into your system), it can be electrically charged for numerous reasons. One is death, but to my point, you can control the masses to do what you want them to. Connect them to the internet and you have an Army of Lawnmower men.

Right on cue and before I wrote most of this, today in the news is the call for a 3rd jab.

(Excerpt:)

The Biden administration is expected to call for a third Covid-19 shot for Americans who were fully vaccinated with the two-shot regimen, citing the threat from the highly contagious Delta variant and heightened concerns over data showing initial immunity wanes over time.

The announcement on Wednesday is likely to cover the more than 155 million people in the U.S. who have been fully vaccinated with messenger RNA vaccines from Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE or from Moderna Inc., according to people familiar with the planning. The booster shot would be administered about eight months after the second dose of the vaccine.

The delivery method or may be a derivative of the internet that delivers the electromagnetic charge, but remember the goal above of control after you have enough money, you rule the world.

THE RESULT

Charging it will be catastrophically a failure at first, but at what cost? The death of millions to the vaccine, not Covid. Since the most vulnerable, the elderly are the first to get boosters, they die first.

For now, people are just being tested as to how much of the graphene oxide that we can tolerate. Booster after booster loads more into your body.

Later, when and if/when it is modified to work, connecting and controlling people is easy. What is happening now is just step one in the process.

—–> HERE IT IS FOLKS: The ability to control people has been the goal of those who can’t control their hunger for power beginning in their playpen, to the leaders of the world since Eve ate the apple.

Michael Yeadon, former VP of Pfizer states this:

“I am fervently against unsafe medicines or medicines used in an inappropriate context. And so some of the things I am going to say are not favorable to the current crop of gene-based vaccines, and it’s for that reason that they are being inappropriately used, and I don’t think they have sufficient safety profiles to be used as a sort of wide-spectrum public health prophylactic.”

With his extensive background in biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry, Yeadon is quick to point out that he is “pro new medical entities that treat unmet needs and do so safely,” regardless of whether it is a vaccine, a biological (like an antibody), or small molecule therapeutic, which is a pill or a tablet. Likewise, he is emphatically against unsafe medicines, regardless of the format (like the Pfizer inoculation he is familiar with). 

He points out that the inoculation hasn’t been tested and isn’t necessary as there are cures (as I stated above). At about minute 7, he states how Covid can be cured and that only those near end of life should be jabbed.

CONCLUSION

I’m not telling anyone to get jabbed or not. I don’t care as it is your choice. I may or may not already have had it, but that is irrelevant to this and is a historical event by now. I believe it does help protect those with a comorbidity and has both saved and cost lives already, so there.

Your mileage may vary on this. It is a point of view that is VERY future oriented and for as much as I have put here, there are likely terabytes of information being hidden from us. As they said in Watergate, follow the money, which in this case is power and control.

What I am doing is tying together known motives of human nature, past performances of those behind this ridiculous push to get everyone jabbed and what technology can do. This is the pattern.

I am not a conspiracy theorist regardless of how this sounds, which is why I encourage you to do your own research. I mean for this to be thought provoking as you consider your health. I don’t care if I’m hated or ignored because this is from the people who invented the jab. I’m pointing out that what we are being told is not the truth about either the China Covid virus, or the jabs that are being so over promoted that anyone with a high double digit IQ should question why.

My point is that the people behind this are evil and should be called to the mat on this. Think ahead and don’t be a sheeple.

As yourself why is the pressure to get the jab so coordinated when Covid can be cured?

SOURCES

Sources used above and accreditation to the source:

Update On The Gates Divorce – Windows Now A Victim

I’ve not had a Windows PC for a long time now. I got tired of a crappy operating system.

As you read in About Me, I’ve worked with Bill Gates. As a person he was ok to me, rather bland. His products never worked well after DOS. I couldn’t wait to get rid of both.

Microsoft was the hardest company to work with to try and get something done. It was like working with the SS or the KGB. You know you could never trust them and they kept giving me reasons why not to.

What Is Transhumanist Technology and Who In Tech Land Is Trying to Use It For Immortality?

I’d never thought of this before. I knew the tech Oligarch’s are weird and crave power, but I didn’t realize that they are trying for immortality (good luck with that one).

This always makes me wonder when they try to create a better human. Didn’t anyone watch the Borg in Star Trek?

Note: this is from Andrew Torba, CEO of Gab and not mine. His view is below. I found it interesting on the theme of creating a master race via gene enhancement (what the Covid vaccine is) that someone else saw what those with unlimited money try to do. Playing God never works. He is more informed than I on this subject and I find it interesting how far we try to push the envelope.

In the end, we all die. All they are doing is prolonging the inevitable.

Last month I appeared on Steve Bannon’s War Room to discuss the topic of transhumanism. In the simplest terms transhumanists believe in using technology to transcend beyond the limitations of human biology into a post-human existence.

This is something we are all familiar with on a surface level thanks to many different movies and TV shows over the years, but it’s time to start taking it seriously as a threat to humanity itself.

The march towards transhumanism isn’t a conspiracy theory or some outlandish science fiction movie, it’s a very real and dire situation unfolding before our eyes.

The oligarchs in the American regime, in particular the ones in Silicon Valley, are obsessed with eternal life and the topic of transhumanism. Peter Thiel wants to inject himself with young people’s blood as a method of “radical life extension.” Elon Musk put a computer chip in a pig’s brain with the hopes of one day soon putting one in yours.

Facebook is working on “brain tech” that can read your mind. Google’s Ray Kurzweil is obsessed with progressing towards the “singularity,” a moment where artificial intelligence overtakes human thinking, on his quest to become “immortal.”

The goal of the Silicon Valley oligarchs, and of the globalists in general, is transhumanism. They aren’t hiding this, in fact they are flaunting it in front of our faces. While we are all too busy bickering about what AOC tweeted this week, the oligarchs are spending billions of dollars to become immortal “gods.”

Their strategy is two-fold.

First, they perfect the transhumanist technology behind closed doors and become among the first human beings to “transcend” beyond the limitations of human biology to become “gods” with eternal life and access to all of the knowledge and information available in the cloud.

Second, they will get the rest of us to adopt a form of this technology that they own and control by selling us on “progress” and convenience. If you doubt they will be successful with this approach, just look at the phone in the palm of your hand as a wildly successful beta test of this strategy.

In many ways the smartphone was the first iteration of this grand vision. We are now witnessing the consequences of giving them the power to control the flow of information and access to basic online services in the form of censorship, deplatforming, and outright unpersoning of individuals, businesses, and any threat to their system of control. What do you think will happen when they build, own, and control the chip they plant in your brain at birth?

In order to fully understand this you need to understand the mindset of the Silicon Valley elite and the American Oligarch Regime. These people believe that they are superior to the rest of us in every way. They went to the “best” schools. They built the “best” companies. They consolidated all of the wealth into their hands. They know what is “best.” This is why they project their supremacy on the rest of us with terms like “white supremacist.” We are but mere cattle to them. Digital serfs.

This may all sound outlandish now, but this technology is being developed as we speak and it is something that people under 50 will witness in their lifetime. We need to be prepared to fight for our humanity and to resist the literal dehumanization of the entire human race itself.

Ultimately, this is a spiritual war. They are targeting our very humanity. This is evidenced by everything that these people promote. Their “values” are inherently anti-human. Abortion. Moral decay. The destruction of sovereign nations and people. The persecution of everything and anything related to God Almighty our Creator.

We need to prepare ourselves for what is coming by exiting their entire system and raising up our children to value and cherish human life. We need to build our own economy. We need to return to tradition and get right with God right now, because the judgement day of singularity is upon us.

Great Sayings – Self Survival By Governments, Innovation and Those In Charge, but are not True Leaders

Hat tip to Moonbattery

For politics, we need balance.  History shows that too much dominance by any side makes for lack of clear vision as leaders.  Their goal becomes being re-elected instead of serving the office they were elected to.  There are plenty of examples.

In Companies, being the solution to a problem is one business model, until the problem goes away then so do profits.

The better model is innovation.  Not that I find it that innovative, but look no further than the iPhone as an example.  Conversely, we are still stuck with Windows however and I find no real innovation there.  I left that platform as quickly as I could

Then of course there is Facebook, Twitter, Google and host of other platforms that haven’t really offered a solution other than sucking the time out of your day and providing a place to move along anarchy.

Look at the motives of the person trying to offer a solution.  Are they selling you a bill of goods, re-election or innovation?

Common Core Education, Failing our Kids

 

THE SETUP FOR THE DISCUSSION

I suppose every generation considers the learning of the next generation as inferior to theirs.  If we didn’t, why do millennials eat tide pods?  Why do parents talk about how better their education was and how soft they are on kids today?   There are many reasons for this including prejudice, standards, government intrusion into the learning system and deviation from what made our education system the one that led to more progress, inventions and breakthroughs than any in the history of man.

We’ve now potentially gone backwards and have therefore failed the following generations.

In working with public school kids, I observe that there are many reasons.  People are not equal and some are smarter and learn better than others.  Those with two parent families or with a single parent who is highly integrated in the student’s learning consistently outperform those who don’t.  The system has gone backwards due to interference from do-gooders, government (over)regulation and unions.  Note: that is my observation only.  I see kids rise above the system to achieve, but they have to swim upstream.  Most can coast their way through.

Conversely, children who learn under Classical Education have an advantage in learning as it is taught to a standard the kids must keep up with as opposed to teaching to the lowest common denominator so no one is left behind, penalizing those who could achieve more.

Further, Classical Christian education is an approach to learning which emphasizes biblical teachings and incorporates a teaching model known as the Trivium, which consists of the three stages of grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

Classical education complements a child’s natural development stages. Young children can memorize information easily. So, in the early years, learning is enhanced by songs, body movement, recitation, and exploration. This sets them up for success in their next stage of learning, critical thinking.

The critical thinkers are what companies want to hire.  They look at problems differently and come to the table with better skills for success.

They also have a distinct advantage over the public school system and the below discussion of how we are destroying learning.

WHERE EDUCATION HAS FAILED OUR KIDS

The biggest failure I’ve observed is the Common Core learning system.  It threw away the standards of learning that has proved to produce educated kids by introducing a system that borders on the ridiculous.

It was implemented by those we thought were helping us, yet it may have set us back for years.

Behind a lot of this is none other than Bill Gates, a man I’ve met and have mixed thoughts about.  Microsoft is far more successful than his support of Common Core.

From the American Thinker, I read this snippet:

But Bill Gates should have felt some uneasiness.  Common Core was untested, unproven, and micromanaged by David Coleman, a man with limited credentials but reliably far to the left.  Nobody in the business world launches a big new product without years of research and refinement.  Instead, Common Core was wrapped in $1 billion’s worth of propaganda and dumped on the country as a fait accompli.

The late, great Siegfried Engelmann, a real educator, was asked what he thought of this approach: “A perfect example of technical nonsense.  A sensible organization would rely heavily on data about procedures used to achieve outstanding results; and they would certainly field test the results to assure that the standards resulted in fair, achievable goals.  How many of these things did they do?  None.”

Did Gates realize that Common Core, supposedly a new and higher instruction, incorporates all the dubious ideas from decades prior?  New Math and Reform Math were the basis for Common Core Math.  Similarly, Whole Language and Balanced Literacy were rolled into Common Core’s English Language Arts (jargon for reading).  Constructivism, which prevented teacher from teaching, has been undermining American schools for decades.  Nothing new and higher about these clunkers.

An earlier generation of Gates’s business partners had created so much illiteracy that Rudolf Flesch had to write a book to answer every American’s favorite question: “why can’t Johnny read?”

I don’t hold Gates responsible except for his funding and use of his status to push this, but I hold those who pushed this system on the generation suffering from this learning standard.

The Thinker sums it up like this:

We have to wonder if Bill Gates performed due diligence, that being the care that a reasonable person exercises to avoid harm to other persons or property.  In other words, before putting your business funds to work on anything, you should make yourself an expert.  That’s what we need in this country: everybody becomes an expert.  For sure, nobody should trust the official experts.  If Bill Gates had observed that simple rule, he would still have a billion or two he doesn’t have now.  And the country would have tens of millions of better educated students it doesn’t have now. 

We need to stop this disservice to our kids and have them learn properly, and to learn to think critically.

Here is a video that shows just how far we’ve deviated from the learning system that invented computers, vaccines, technology that has helped mankind and sent men to the moon.  Go to 1:24 under Decompose to see how far we’ve digressed.

CONCLUSION

It would seem the dumping common core and putting real learning would be best for the kids.  The world is getting tougher and we need to give them every advantage possible.

 

 

Doing a Joint Announcement With The Competition, How to Cooperate

Recently, I’ve done joint announcements with Oracle, SAP, HP, Tibco, Software AG and HP. As you can imagine, I’ve had varying relationships with each and I’m happy to report that the state of the A/R industry is good and that we can work together.

When I was in PR, here is the link to the cat fight supreme with territorialism and turf wars. Most of the announcements I did with these companies when in Analyst Relations didn’t have that element. For the most part, the announcements were about standards, not products. So that went a long way towards working together. Still, if you include IBM, the companies I’ve named here aren’t known for being best buddies.

As an aside, I can say that the executives (who can be the source of most problems) all worked towards the cause of the best briefing possible.  They were helpful in this instance.  Many times, they are the fly in the ointment.

Some things are given, like in a certain area (we just did SOA) the analysts know the exec’s by company and the exec’s know each other so I’m happy to report they acted like grown ups.

TURF WARS

With the typical name calling (from the CEO’s) and because of the belief in your own products, the first issue to overcome is that the announcement is usually about a jointly created product or standard, not us vs. them.  That rule has to be set down first and if you don’t overcome that, you have no chance at building trust, the basis for working together.

DIVIDE THE DUTIES

One company can’t dominate the duties or it is not a joint announcement.   This also forces the companies to work together to approve what the others have created as their part of the announcement.   There are analyst lists, invitations, charts, follow-up issues and any number of duties that need to be attended to and dived up.  Once that is done, you must rely on each other and the level of trust inherently rises.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT

It’s important that the analyst see this as equal among the companies.  One company presenting more than another is a dead give away.  You can’t help Q and A as the analysts will direct the question directly to a company.

LESSONS LEARNED

You either put your differences aside and work together, or you’ll never get anything done.  It’s tough to do when your day job is to hammer the company that you are working with other than on the joint effort.  These are the days of co-opetition though.  You learn to get along or you’ll never make it to announcement day.

The Escape Key and The Guy Who Invented Ctl-Alt-Del….and Why

I worked in the PC Group, wisely sold to Lenovo years ago.  On the 20th anniversary, they looked for interesting tidbits from those who invented the PC.

David Bradley worked down the hall from me.  He’s the guy who invented Ctl-Alt-Del.  I asked him why and he told me DOS 1.0 keep crashing, so he wrote a quick and dirty program to restart the computer quickly without having to turn it off.

Later, David was kind enough to give me a copy of his personal copy of DOS 1.0 and Visicalc, a program for which I was a giant at using.  I still have it in my original IBM-PC I picked up off the trash pile while working there.

His best line though was when they had a reunion of the PC development team and Dave said to a reporter in front of everyone that he wrote the program, but Bill Gates made it famous.

THE ESC KEY

Bob Bemer invented this key.  I never worked with Bob, but per the NY Post, it goes like this:

The key was born in 1960, when an I.B.M. programmer named Bob Bemer was trying to solve a Tower of Babel problem: computers from different manufacturers communicated in a variety of codes. Bemer invented the ESC key as way for programmers to switch from one kind of code to another. Later on, when computer codes were standardized (an effort in which Bemer played a leading role), ESC became a kind of “interrupt” button on the PC — a way to poke the computer and say, “Cut it out.”

Why “escape”? Bemer could have used another word — say, “interrupt” — but he opted for “ESC,” a tiny monument to his own angst. Bemer was a worrier. In the 1970s, he began warning about the Y2K bug, explaining to Richard Nixon’s advisers the computer disaster that could occur in the year 2000. Today, with our relatively stable computers, few of us need the panic button. But Bob Frankston, a pioneering programmer, says he still uses the ESC key. “There’s something nice about having a get-me-the-hell-out-of-here key.”

I, KEYBOARD

Joseph Kay is a senior scientist at Yahoo! Research.

Why do outmoded keys, like ESC, persist? Our devices have legacies built into them. For more than a hundred years, when you wanted to write something, you sat down in front of a typewriter. But computers look different now — they’re like smartphones. It will be interesting to see whether in 10 or 15 years the whole idea of a keyboard will seem strange. We might be saying, “Remember when we used to type things?”

How would we control computers in this future-without-typing? Think of the Wii and Kinect, or even specialized input devices for games like Guitar Hero or Dance Dance Revolution. All might be bellwethers for the rest of computing. We might see a rise in all sorts of input, like voice recognition and audio control — think about Siri.

The Best News For PowerPoint Users Since Its Creation

From this link, Jeff Bezos says it is the end of PowerPoint.

To be honest, I don’t really give a flying fig or a rats rump about either Bezos or his product, but PowerPoint has always been a crutch that rarely connects emotionally with the audience.  Of all the tools we’ve used, it must rank lowest on the rung of real importance when compared with the time wasted compared to other tools.

The author explains it:

In no way am I advocating that you ditch PowerPoint. I am recommending that you ditch PowerPoint as we know it—dull, wordy, and overloaded with bullet points. Image-rich presentations work effectively because pictures appeal to the right hemisphere of the brain—the emotional side. You can have great ideas backed up by data and logic, but if you don’t connect with people emotionally, it doesn’t matter.

START FROM THE BEGINNING

Back in the dark ages, companies used overhead projectors and presented “foils”.  This was the forerunner to PowerPoint only you had to manually change them.  Given the projector fails I’ve seen, it at least was more reliable, albeit archaic.

It was a hoot to watch people try to figure out how to configure a projector or a multi-media room to get their PC to connect.  Entire sessions have had to be conducted without PowerPoint due to operator or machine error.  For the most part, they were likely more productive meetings.

THE DEARTH OF OUR EXISTENCE BEGINS AND CREATES MANY JOBS

The jobs being created were PowerPoint slide creators.  A pretty easy job if you were ahead of the curve.  The only caveat was unrealistic executives who thought they were presenting to the UN. One VP of Social Business Evangelism at my last company used to put us through 20 changes minimum, often commenting that it was not what she wanted.  When asked what it was, the comment was usually, “I don’t know what I want, just go fix it and bring me back what I want”.  On a humorous note, one time we brought back version one as a ruse and she commented now that is what I really wanted to begin with, why didn’t you bring me this to start with?  Go figure.

THE HUMAN PROBLEM

A big problem with PowerPoint is that it rarely could tell the story on its own, and that it depends on the human presenting it.  My favorite observation during analyst briefings was the game that they played to try to get the executives off their slides and onto a tangent.  It was my job to get them to stay on topic, but for fun I let it stray…even nodding to the analyst to let them know I knew what the game was.

Also, everyone goes to the page count to see the torture they will be put through.  That in itself is an indicator of its usefulness.  At one meeting, there were 137 charts by the GM of our group.  There was a collective groan by all, and a cheer when it got interrupted by a fire drill.  Hardly anyone returned for the finish.

So basically as a tool it is deficient and a serious time suck.  It also is held up as the idol of meeting communications similar to how executives fret over a press release as if it was what anybody actually read or re-quoted.  I’ve got news for you guys, we could actually do without both.

A GENERATION OF SLACKERS

What also chaffed my behind was that those held up as PowerPoint experts created a job niche that in reality was a re-cycle exercise.  Once you knew the executive, you could re-use their charts with minor changes and act like it was some big production….then kick back and act like it was a Renoir.

IF YOU HADN’T NOTICED…..

I loathe PowerPoint.  I have been working with office suites since the introduction of Visicalc.  I’ve always been able to master them down to a coding level, but I rank PowerPoint at the bottom of my list of usefulness.  Worse than this were knock-offs like Symphony that even the company that created it wouldn’t use it except for the division responsible for it.

I’ve always been far more engaged by a speaker who could tell a story in words and be effective.  Ahead of that is a genuine discussion without the high school drama of charts. You always have to send documentation after a meeting anyway, so dispensing with this for an engagement tool always mirrored the way people have interacted over the years.  In reality, it wasn’t the next best thing.

Does Telecommunting or Working At Home Hurt Your Career?

According to a new study by Professors, Kimberly Elsbach of the University of California, Davis, and Daniel Cable of London Business School, it does.

A new study suggests workers are judged harshly for not showing up at the office. Despite advances in teleworking, smartphones, and Skype, face time, it seems, really does matter.

Getty Images
Working from home might not work for you.

Professors, Kimberly Elsbach of the University of California, Davis, and Daniel Cable of London Business School, looked at perceptions of employees’ performance based on whether they were in the office or not. The research measured “passive face time,” which is simply time spent in the office, regardless of whether the staffer is working hard or not.

The results aren’t pretty for employees who would rather work remotely, according to an article Elsbach and Cable wrote in MIT Sloan Management Review.

Workers who are seen at their desks during regular work hours are considered “responsible” and “dependable,” they wrote: “Just being seen at work, without any information about what you’re actually doing, leads people to think more highly of you.”

Work longer hours — early, late, or on weekends — and “rather than just being considered dependable, you can get upgraded to ‘committed’ and ‘dedicated,’” according to the article, which referenced a paper Elsbach and Cable published in the academic journal Human Relations.

Bosses, and peers, often don’t realize they’re forming views of workers’ competence based on whether they’re at their desk, Cable said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

“Without us knowing it, we are creating these assumptions about people based on physical presence,” he said. This isn’t just a perception. Bosses’ vague feelings that a worker does a better job can be seen on employee evaluations, especially when they’re encouraged to make subjective calls in performance reviews.

That leads to pay, promotion, and career-trajectory decisions. Cable estimates that more than 60% of companies are still using “1950s-style” evaluations that prioritize such subjective write-ups over hard data on sales wins, customer satisfaction, or other measures of the employee’s business performance.

So what can employees do to counter this pigeonholing, especially those who want to work from home?

If working long hours from the office isn’t an option, employees might consider sending emails early in the morning or late at night, to prove they are on the job at all times. They might also try using their time in the office to build strong connections to co-workers and superiors, like going to lunch with people or organizing in-person meetings?

Meanwhile, managers should be aware that they may be discounting remote workers’ contributions, albeit subconsciously. (Or, they may be monitoring their home-based workers, as The Journal’s Sue Shellenbarger writes.)

“The bottom line is that employees should be wary of work arrangements that reduce their office face time, and supervisors should be wary of using trait-based performance measures, especially when evaluating remote workers,” the article said. “Finally, employees working remotely need to make sure they are evaluated on objective outputs. Barring that, you might consider sending an e-mail to your boss tonight . . . say, around midnight.”

YOU ARE LESS LIKELY TO BE PROMOTED ALSO

According to an MIT study by the Sloan Management Review, you are less likely to get ahead:

The millions of Americans who are skipping out on the daily commute may also be losing out on a promotion.

These so-called ‘telecommuters’ are less likely to receive positive performance reviews from superiors than their colleagues who show up in the office, a new study by MIT Sloan Management Review shows.

The report chalks up much of the discrepancy to managerial subjectivity. Managers are less likely to be comfortable with a worker they don’t actually see on a regular basis. In fact, they may become more irritated with someone who they perceive isn’t available at all times. Telecommuting employees are also less likely to reap the benefits of showing up early and leaving work late than their commuting coworkers.

Advances in Internet technology have allowed for telecommuting to become more widespread. About 20 percent of workers worldwide report that they telecommute, while 10 percent report that they work from home on a regular basis, according to a recent Ipsos/Reuters poll. That same poll found that 34 percent of workers, when asked, stated that they would telecommute on a regular basis if they could.

But according to some critics, telecommuting creates cause for concern. For instance, telecommuting could prevent workers from being able to fully understand what their managers ask of them, according to PCWorld. That’s because non-verbal facial expressions are an important component of the workplace that telecommuting, which often takes place over instant messaging or phone, doesn’t allow.

But this doesn’t excuse managers from giving otherwise stellar employees poor reviews just because they telecommute, Daniel Cable of London Business School and co-author of the MIT Sloan report told The Wall Street Journal. Approximately 60 percent of firms still use highly subjective employee review standards that prioritize manager write-ups over hard data, Cable told WSJ. This often results in managers promoting sub par employees over superior candidates that telecommute.

STACKED REVIEWS

Most corporations are using stacked reviews.  This obviously pits employees against each other rather than trying to beat the competition.  Stay at home employees are working at a disadvantage here as the in office workers can brown nose their way to places that home workers can’t.  Here’s how it works.

Eichenwald’s conversations reveal that a management system known as “stack ranking”—a program that forces every unit to declare a certain percentage of employees as top performers, good performers, average, and poor—effectively crippled Microsoft’s ability to innovate. “Every current and former Microsoft employee I interviewed—every one—cited stack ranking as the most destructive process inside of Microsoft, something that drove out untold numbers of employees,” Eichenwald writes. “If you were on a team of 10 people, you walked in the first day knowing that, no matter how good everyone was, 2 people were going to get a great review, 7 were going to get mediocre reviews, and 1 was going to get a terrible review,” says a former software developer. “It leads to employees focusing on competing with each other rather than competing with other companies.”

FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE, BAD OFFICE MEMO OF THE YEAR

At IBM, if you don’t go to New York, you don’t get ahead.  That is where the club is. The current Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications said that Raleigh was “Smallville with no chance of going anyone going anywhere if you stay here” at a town-hall meeting with all the communications folks in attendance.  Jaws were dropping all over the floor and it was the topic of conversation for days. This was after he gave a speech that was supposed to be about communications careers, but was just an obviously recycled presentation that had been given to a different audience about EPS.  Everyone saw through it and no one got why he came to un”motivate” the troops.  IBM’s current vice president of external relations publicly made fun of the south as if NY was the mecca of IQ on a global call of all Comms folks.  Everyone mentioned how short sighted this was and what a limited view of what different populations worldwide had to offer (there were multiple IM sessions going on around the world on this clear example of prejudice and ego centrism).  Despite their high salaries, we are the smart ones spending more time with our kids and paying over 30% less in cost of living.  Plus we don’t have to live in New York and work with them especially since this guy yells and cusses you out way more than HR should allow.

I personally turned down 2 offers to move to NY to get ahead.  I’d been there many times and knew the unofficial rules that you had to be there to get anywhere.  I didn’t want to raise my kids there and my family was more important to me  than a job.  Because of that, I was labeled someone who didn’t want to climb the ladder which was fine by me, so I worked in the pack and was passed over for promotions after that.  My family is much better off having grown up where we wanted to live and I don’t regret it a minute.  My kids are killing the NY public school kids at college.  Plus, I would never send them to a den of socialism like Columbia or any other schools up there.  I need them to get a real education.

But the fact remains, you run a severe risk of not getting ahead if you don’t show up at the office.  Many will be able come up with some successful work at home employee story, but only to a certain level…. then you have to be in their face at the office.  Either way, it is expected that you’ll check into work at all hours of the night and weekends anyway.

There was one manager in a group I worked for that sent out a “rules of the road” memo (bad office memo of the year) that said if you weren’t working in the office, you weren’t considered really working.  Talk about generating trust on your team! He was viewed by his peers as the worst manager of the entire group, I was just lucky to have had the experience of working with him.

OFFICE COOLER TALK

You do miss out on hall meetings that allow you to find out things home workers miss.  It allows you to get ahead of the telecommuters on the first news or get into the executives office at a moments notice.  That is a drawback, but not enough to call me in.  When they sold the building I was working in and asked who wanted to be a home worker, my hand was up faster than Arnold Horshack to get out of there.

The flip side is you have to hear all the office gossip which I was glad to miss.  It is too distracting and usually it is never good about anyone, only what they are doing wrong, who is sleeping with whom or what some are getting away with.

Some people need the social interaction and have to be in the office for people contact.  I’m perfectly happy to miss that as most of it is idle banter that takes away from productivity.  I also don’t miss the hour commute.

Overall, I wouldn’t trade the home office for a cubicle anywhere, anytime. Being at home has more perks.

WORKING WITH THE COMPETITION ON A JOINT ANNOUNCEMENT – What went on behind the scenes with Microsoft, IBM and Intel

I wrote a while back about doing a joint announcement with a competitor.  Communications wise, it was from the standpoint of Analyst Relations.  Since I also did Public Relations for many years, I had the opportunity to lead an announcement with Microsoft and Intel.

CODE NAME FIRESTORM

Recently I came across a press release that I had coordinated on behalf of the Netfinity Server (System X now, update: It has been sold to Lenovo) with Microsoft and Intel in the early 2000’s.  In reality, all the work was done between Waggener Edstrom for Microsoft and me for IBM.  All other parties weren’t interested enough to contribute as long as their name and content was in the release. It was done to best Oracle in the TPC-C benchmark category (there are multiple TPC benchmarks but this one worked for effect).  While the machines pale in comparison to recent server announcements, it was quite an achievement in 2001 terms.  The code name internally at IBM was Firestorm and had the high priority and secrecy of a CIA mission with me having to sign a non disclosure agreement that expired on announcement day just to know about it.

HOW IT WAS RUN

We had weekly internal meetings to cover the progress as what was at stake was having DB2 exceed Oracle in database transactions, basically one-upmanship in a bake-off.  I coordinated it for IBM even though there was a Software Division product at stake.  Since it was run on an IBM server, that established what the importance to the company was and to this day servers are still a critical product to the company (you can’t run software or have services without one).  I told the then PR manager for DB2 that I would run it for them as they didn’t have much involvement in the benchmark testing (their PR group didn’t even know about it during the testing) so it was cleaner this way.  She was bossy and turned out to be a back stabber so my instincts were right. It was already going to be hard enough to work with multiple companies which turned out to be true, so this kept the cooks out of the kitchen. Moving her out of the announcement was vital to being able to get anything done at IBM.

If you recall, there was bad blood between Microsoft and the IBM PC group since the beginning of the PC era (which Netfinity was a part of, until PC’s were sold to Lenovo).  It was apparent from the start to the end of this process.  I had to also keep the GM of Netfinity, John Callies out of the process as he was a useless suit whose ego commanded his actions which weren’t always good for the division.  The GM of the overall PC Group was also hopeless (see the letter below) so I ran the process and kept the ego maniac suit and the helpless suit from ruining things.  They were part of the old IBM who got their jobs through working the system rather than competence.  It is part of executive ego managing, a tool that everyone needs to know when dealing with executives.

The other PR teams jointly listed in the release didn’t have the spirit of the announcement as their focus, rather it felt like we were in the cold war.  This happened even though IBM did all the work (it was built and conducted by IBM technicians, then independently verified by the TPC committee) and handed to the other companies as a freebie.  Back then, Microsoft then had the clout of IBM PR during the System 360 and initial PC days when they were king of the hill and could (and did) throw their weight around.

THE PRESS RELEASE BATTLE

As I recall, there were over 30 revisions of the press release before we got to the final (below).  It seemed as though every word was contested.  This is how it went; I’d send a press release draft around which had the details giving all parties credit and explaining the products and process.   A few days later I’d get back a draft which talked about Microsoft with relatively little mention of the process or an understanding of why the benchmark mattered to database users.  It was a combination of elbowing IBM out-of-the-way to get headlines and a general lack of understanding of what we were announcing.  Intel went along with us as they were confident in our ability to make a successful announcement.

The negotiations went on for about 3-4 weeks prior to the announcement until 2 days before the big day.  We couldn’t agree to the verbiage and finally Wagg-Ed suggested that we just each write our own press release.  While I disagreed with this strategy, we actually agreed to it just to make the deadline and got it approved by the IBM executives. I didn’t want to do it as this inherently would present problems like why are there 2 separate releases if the companies are working together?  However, since I knew the reporters I knew I was going to tell them the background off the record.  I fully understood that a press release is merely a place holder and a conversation starter.  No self respecting reporter would use someone else’s words if they were worth their salt.  Only the companies really care what it says.

THE RESOLUTION

The announcement was to be made on a Monday which we could agree on for effect (good PR tactics in those days, especially with IBM/Microsoft/Intel vs. Oracle in the headlines).  Our final joint call occurred the Friday before the announcement and was attended by PR teams, spokesmen and company executives (note this was the first time I recall an actual Microsoft executive on these calls).  It was on this call that a Senior VP from Microsoft (who reported to Ballmer and Gates) stated through his heavy French accent that having two press releases was a stew-peed idea and which idiot suggested it (I agreed with him).   I pointed out that it was Microsoft’s idea which we accommodated.  I’ve rarely heard such a gasp of silence as all parties realized what was going on.  They quickly agreed to do a joint release and we cobbled together what to me was a very neutral (and useless) document.  I silently was grateful that he asked this question that I’d pondered the whole time I dealt with this crew.

I had known the whole time that this was a press release wording struggle and the real work was going to be done in the one on one’s with reporters after the press release hit the wires.  I also was informed that Microsoft was only going to speak with a couple of magazines they viewed as their buddies.   I agreed and kept quiet as I knew that this left the door open for us to lead the announcement.  One has to have one’s priorities in focus and getting proper coverage was mine.  I knew the reporters they wanted to talk to and they wrote my story and told me they didn’t like how pushy the W-E PR team was.  See the part about relationships.

It is important to note that a press release is merely a document to get an interview except when a wire service will run it early hours to beat a deadline.  It is the relationship that the PR person has with the reporters that is the key to getting results.  It didn’t hurt that so many big names were seemingly working together on this and that it had the element of controversy (IBM teams with Microsoft and Intel to beat Oracle) which is a headline grabber.  It was then that I knew that things would work out despite our differences.

For strategic purposes, I saved the IBM draft version of the release and used it for my press work as it described more accurately what we were doing, including a better presentation of how Microsoft and Intel contributed.  Since Microsoft was only interested in the press release and thought they would get minimal coverage, I didn’t bother telling them and they didn’t care past the document.

THE RESULTS

It turned out that the IBM team did the bulk of the publicity work (we had the most invested so no surprise).  There was only a few joint calls with Microsoft and Intel where the executives touted the significance of this benchmark and during which everyone worked together like professionals.

After hammering the phones and working with reporters for days, we received thousands of articles which was a shock to the other PR teams, especially Wag-Ed.  While they tried to claim coverage, it was heavily nuanced to the IBM side of the story as we did the actual work both in the test and in the PR effort so no one believed Microsoft’s Wagg-Ed team.

I worked with most of the reporters who covered it to give them the real story of the benchmark, and just left the press release controversy alone.  I even fed them the line that we “Blew the doors of the TPC benchmark” which got printed and made it to the halls of Armonk.

THE AFTERMATH

While I was glad it was over, I learned a great deal about working with others such as keeping the big picture in focus.  It was one of the years largest announcements for our group and garnered massive coverage.  I received my one and only personal email from Lou Gerstner praising the results.  He stated that he had no interest in bake-off’s, but that this one was significant given what we had accomplished.  This meant a lot as I thought Lou was one of the two best executives I had worked with at IBM, and I had a great deal of respect for his saving and running IBM as a company.

I also received a personal note from the head of our division.  The reality was that the IBM PC group had managed to fall to about sixth in the industry by then behind the likes of Dell, Compaq, HP, Acer and E-Machines, and this was one of the more competent things the group did while I was there.

EPILOGUE

If you go to the link at the top of the page, you find that the Analyst joint announcement I did with Oracle was a far better experience, go figure.  I received a personal note from the GM however.  Note that he got my name wrong which caused me to chuckle and save it for the memories.  Execs like Callies and Thomas cost IBM market share and progress.  It was surprising that the doors opened some days in the PC division with people like that running the place.  It is an indication of why they were 6th behind companies that didn’t exist only a couple of years later.  The division fell off the map at IBM and was sold to Lenovo who took it back to the top of the industry.

Overall, it was tenacity over talent, execution over ego but it is how the game is won.

 

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IBM, INTEL, MS CLAIM WORLD’S FASTEST SERVER CLUSTER

IBM, Intel and Microsoft announced the world’s fastest server cluster for commercial use, recording performance levels that triple the performance of Oracle running on a Sun Microsystems cluster, at one-third the price.

Using the performance measurement technique agreed to by all computer makers (TPC-C), this alliance of leaders in industry standard computing achieved record-breaking results in server and price performance.

“This benchmark constitutes a solution that will entirely bypass the normal glitches and costs of second implementations that accompany exponential transaction growth rates,” said Marshall Freiman, CTO, Web Emporium LLC, an IBM customer. “It also offers scalability for e-businesses affected heavily by the transaction spikes associated with the holiday seasons. This is the type of cooperation between industry leaders that we should expect. With IBM, Intel and Microsoft making a move like this, others are bound to follow.”

“Scalability concerns for e-businesses are a worry of the past,” said Perry Cain, vice president, Neoteric Solutions, also an IBM customer. “With this benchmark, we receive the cooperative efforts of IBM, Intel and Microsoft yielding a standardized and tested solution with double the transaction capabilities of anything else before. These technologies are no longer dreams of engineers.”

IBM, Intel and Microsoft joined forces on this groundbreaking effort to prove that a combination of Netfinity Servers with Pentium III Xeon processors running at 700 MHz (megahertz) with 2 MB (megabyte) L2 cache, IBM DB2 Universal Database and Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server operating system provides a highly scalable environment. This technology combination is ideally suited for data-intensive applications like business-to-business (B2B), e-commerce and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

“With this record-breaking event, IBM has once again demonstrated the power of DB2, and has raised the bar for industry-standard servers with Netfinity,” said Ralph Martino, vice president, strategy and marketing, IBM Personal Systems Group. “IBM’s strong, productive relationship with Microsoft and Intel, and our collective ability to achieve extraordinary results as we did with this benchmark, is changing the way the world views industry-standard computing.”

“Achieving strong industry-standard benchmark results is one of the leading ways to show the industry and our customers that Windows 2000 is a highly scalable operating system for mission critical enterprise deployments,” said Jim Ewel, marketing vice president for IT infrastructure and hosting at Microsoft. “Beyond the numbers, this benchmark effort illustrates our commitment to working with IBM and Intel to deliver to customers the largest and most reliable enterprise-class solutions.”

“This breakthrough performance on Intel-based servers and achieved by IBM’s Netfinity 8500R server showcases the incredible scalability of our large cache Pentium III Xeon processors,” said Raghu Murthi, director of marketing for Intel’s Enterprise Platform Group. “Intel-based servers are designed for large enterprise class implementations and we worked closely with IBM and Microsoft to deliver outstanding performance and solutions tailored to meet the rapidly growing e-Business economy.”

Benchmark Configuration Details

The configuration included an unprecedented 116 terabytes of physical disk space configured for high availability using RAID 1 and RAID 5 arrays.

The Netfinity 8500R servers, containing Netfinity X-Architecture features adopted from IBM S/390 and RS/6000 servers, contributed to this benchmark’s success. Specific features that convinced the benchmark team the servers were up to the test include the 8500R’s expansive memory, the number of processors supported, the number of PCI slots available for add-on components and the amount of LAN I/O for the transfer of data in and out of the system. In addition, the setup utilizes Giganet cLAN interconnects for fast server-to-server communications.

Key components of the cluster included:

  • 32 IBM Netfinity 8500R servers running Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server and IBM DB2 Universal Database Enterprise-Extended Edition V7.1
  • Four 700MHz/2MB L2 cache Intel Pentium III Xeon processors per server
  • 4GB ECC SDRAM memory per server
  • Eight IBM Netfinity ServeRAID-3HB Ultra2 SCSI Adapters per server
  • 96 IBM Netfinity 5000 servers were used as TPC-C clients for the Webserving, Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server on each client.
  • Two 9.1 GB (gigabyte) 10K Ultra 160 SCSI drives and 218 18.2GB 10K Wide Ultra SCSI drives per server
  • One EtherJet 10/100 PCI Management Adapter per server
  • 2 Giganet cLAN 5300 switches

DB2 Universal Database

This announcement highlights IBM’s leadership in the database market. DB2 demonstrated record-breaking results in transactions and in the ability to manage the world’s largest database of more than 116 TB of online storage – this is equivalent to a stack of paper 3,480 miles high.

A proven foundation for B2B applications, DB2 Universal Database Version 7 integrates breakthrough technologies that enable customers to slash development in many cases nearly in half and perform high-speed text searches as much as ten times faster than traditional relational database search engines.

DB2’s ability to scale to 1000 nodes, using a single database spread across the cluster offered significant advantages in scaling and management over other data management solutions that follow a federated architecture (i.e., one database instance per machine, each requiring individual management.)

Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server

Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server was configured using a scale out approach to run on each member of the cluster of the Netfinity servers. Scale out architecture ensures that customers creating enterprise solutions will be able to achieve the highest possible levels of scalability and reliability with unmatched price and performance; this benchmark is further evidence of the performance, scalability and economic advantages of the results that can be achieved using Windows 2000 Advanced Server.

COM+ is a complete, mature set of component services for quickly building scalable, reliable applications that is delivered in the Windows 2000 Server family of operating systems. COM+, the most popular component model in the world, includes critical scalability and reliability features necessary for building large-scale applications by integrating the features of the Microsoft Transaction Service (MTS) deep into the COM component model. This integration makes it easier for developers to create and use scalable software components in any language, using any tool.

Windows 2000 Advanced Server is a solution that includes additional functionality to enhance the availability and scalability of e-commerce and line-of-business applications. The Windows 2000 operating system is the ideal platform for the next generation of business computing; helping organizations Internet-enable their businesses with a reliable, manageable infrastructure that is optimized for existing and emerging hardware.

Intel Pentium III Xeonprocessor at 700 MHz with 1MB/2MB of L2 Cache

The new large cache 700MHz version of the Pentium III Xeon processor has a record 140 million transistors. The processor is based on Intel’s advanced 0.18-micron process technology, and offers 1MB and 2MB of Advanced Transfer Cache memory with Advanced System Buffering, which boosts performance by placing a full-speed, level-two cache memory directly on the processor die and increasing the width of the data pathway to the processor.

The processor also offers a 100 MHz system bus and on-cartridge voltage management for increased system reliability. The new processors also are built on the same form factor, enabling server manufacturers to use them with existing server platform components, accelerating time to market.

For more information about: — IBM Netfinity servers and DB2 Universal Database, visit www.ibm.com — Intel, visit www.intel.com — Microsoft, visit www.microsoft.com.

The Transaction Processing Performance Council is a non-profit corporation founded to define transaction processing and database benchmarks and to disseminate objective, verifiable TPC performance data to the industry.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is a worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Sun’s Enterprise 6500 cluster achieved 135,461 transactions at a price performance of $97.10 tpmC. IBM, Intel, Microsoft cluster achieved an audited record attested to by TPC-C (Transaction Processing Performance Council, type C benchmark) of 440,879.95 transactions per minute at a price performance of $32.28 per tpmC.

Data is current as of July 3, 2000 and is subject to change without notice. For the latest benchmark information, visit www.tpc.org.

Solution specification, pricing and availability information is subject to change without notice.

Contact John Simonds, IBM, 919-254-9732, jsimonds@us.ibm.com or Deborah Young, Waggener Edstrom for Microsoft, 425-637-9097 deborahy@wagged.com.

Why I Bought an iPhone Vs. Any Google Device

It took me this long to finally buy an iPhone.  I waited until the right carrier had it (AT&T is a diversity nightmare), then my current provider didn’t have international covered because of CDMA.  So when that all came online, I then had to wait for an upgrade time so that I wouldn’t pay an arm/leg/firstborn.  It wasn’t a feature to feature comparison, 3G or 4G or any other techie issue that caused it.  It was because I know Google, have worked with Eric Schmidt  and believe they are evil about their intentions with our data, public or private.

Before any hate mail comes in that Apple does it too, I turn off location services when I leave the house and can confuse them enough that tracking me doesn’t me do them any good….not that anyone would/should care.  I’m a statistic to them and so be it.

Disclaimer:  I’ve had an iPod since 1994 (rotary wheel version) and have an iPad and iPod before I bought the phone, but I worked with/against Google and have met Eric Schmidt at a partner conference.  I don’t trust Google nor do I trust Schmidt as I heard what they are up to.  Basically the same thing as Pinky and the Brain are after, take over the world.

I and I believe they are sincere.  Apple developers are trying to build an ad base to compete against the world/Google, but I can turn them off…..Google follows me, my house, what I buy and everything else…..then are all too happy to share it with those I don’t want them knowing I exist.

In the quest for data analytics, companies have sold their soul.  Google and IBM are at the top of this data list, closely followed by Oracle, only closely in this case as they are hampered by a leader who holds them back from becoming a great (or modern) company.

OPEN SOURCE VS. PROPRIETARY.

Most analyst’s I talk to have Android so that they can practice what they preach, it’s an open world.  Well open source doesn’t work as well and smooth as IOS, so I don’t give a rat’s rump about this.  I just want it to work and for me not to have to fix or code one more device.  Most open systems require tinkering far too often.  So I’m calling BS on that argument.  I’m a consumer with too much going on to have a device that doesn’t work every time and easily.

SECURITY

It appears that Smartphones are now being attacked by malware and theft.  I know of 2 so far on IOS, but Android seems to be up 90%, so it looks like Apps on this OS are easier to break into.  This was not my initial decision point, but has skyrocketed to my list of concerns within a short period of time.

MY PREVIOUS SMARTPHONE

I had one of the newest Blackberry’s and in one word of advice for those who are considering buying it….don’t.  The interface is archaic compared to IOS and I got it because of a corporate policy that stuck me with a device that was hard to use.  I had to take it the phone store to set up the special things I wanted (I have about 7 email addresses and many special things related to what I do, and BTW I set them up myself on the iPhone) and have set up phones and computers for 31 years….before things were easy so I know how to reverse engineer without instructions

One thing I liked about Google was that 3 executives owned 8 corporate jets.  God Bless Capitalism.  I think IBM has a whole fleet of jets for the executives also so they “don’t” have to fly commercial.  Too inconvenient I guess.  It’s the same for most corporations.

Anyway I bought the iPhone.

BTW, I’ll never buy another Windows/Microsoft product again now that I work for myself.  They can only treat me this poorly (since Windows was released) for so long before I vote with my own money like I did here….

It looks like I’m not the only one.  ZDNet wrote this a few days after I wrote about my travails.

Is the PC Dead Or Is It Marketing Hype and Spin?

Update: Apple is more nails in the PC coffin with the new announcement of Post PC devices.

  • 362 Apple stores
  • 315 million iOS devices sold through last year, including 62 million in the last quarter
  • 585,000 apps created
  • 25 billion app downloads
  • 1080p movies and TV shows for iCloud and the new Apple TV
  • 15.4 million iPads sold in the fourth quarter of 2011
  • 200,000+ iPad apps
  • 2048 by 1536 pixels displayed on the new iPad, with 264 pixels per inch
  • 44 percent greater color saturation than the old iPad
  • 5 megapixel sensor on the new iPad camera
  • A maximum of 73 mbps downlink with 4G LTE on new iPad
  • New iPad specs: 10 hours of battery life, nine hours with 4G; 9.4 millimeters thick, 1.4 pounds
  • Same pricing as last iPad: Wi-Fi models are $499 for 16 gigabytes, $599 for 32GB, $699 for 64GB; $629, $729 and $829, if you want 4G
  • Old iPad now starts at $399 and $529

The Real Meaning in Marketing Speak

In the mid 2000’s, Sam Palmisano of IBM declared the era of the PC is over.  This was somewhat of a marketing move since IBM had just sold the PC Division to Lenovo.  What he really meant was that IBM is getting out of consumer products.  IBM also sold other consumer divisions that were not the margin kings that Software and Services were.  Disclaimer, after working either for/with/against/partnering with IBM for 31 years, I can say that a lot of what they do is incredible spin on pretty good technology.  I had better knowledge of what was going on than what was told to the outside.

PC’s are Toasters Now

This is a bit of a history lesson.  There was a time that PC’s were special and had value.  They still can be found on almost every desk or backpack at an airport, but in reality they are now (and have been for a while) a consumer product.  There gets to a point in time in every product’s life cycle that economies of scale and parts availability drive this value (and therefore the price) down when you can’t differntiate.  It is compounded by newer technologies (tablet computers and mobile devices) to where you can get them at any consumer store that sells toasters, video games and TV’s.  Any improvement is just a little bit better (except Windows which usually is worse), not an era better which was the case when they were new.

PC’s have done this to themselves over the years.  Remember when all you could get was a bulky desktop?  Technology moved on to the luggable computer to the laptop. Now you can get a wafer thin Macbook Air (for a premium price), but the technology curve will drive cost down here when every manufacturer offers it.  Margins are razor thin and there is minimal hardware differentiation on the Wintel platform.

The Effect of iPad and Mobile Phones

Ultimately, the world is driving your communications and computing device to be in your hand.  The end game of input is not a keyboard, but voice.  This addresses the need for instantaneous that we have required as we’ve shifted from email to IM and texting, and from blogging to tweeting. I envision a vision screen that is projected by your small handheld that lets you see what a huge monitor is required for now in the near future.  For more on this, see Project Blade Runner as an example of what the future could look like.

PC’s are already under fire from Tablet computing and smartphones.  While at some point you still need a PC for complicated input/output such as the dreaded Powerpoint and the more mundane payroll/HR applications, they soon will be adapted to tablets as we easily morphed from immobile desktops to laptops.

Many analysts have shown that more phones and tablets are sold than PC’s.  More texts are sent than emails and we certainly have more tweets than blogs.

The Cloud

Powering a lot of this of course is the overhyped Cloud model.  While conceptually it has been around for a long time (we have called it client/server and other names), it is a software delivery model that will make the end device irrelevant.  Perhaps you could get your email on your toaster or refrigerator.  You could make phone calls by dialing in the air at some point.  The issue is that we are driving the connecting device smaller, cheaper and more powerful (and less relevant) so that we can get what we want, when we want it and wherever we want it.

Lenovo and HP

Companies are jumping out of this market as evidenced by IBM and HP willing to sell their PC businesses worth billions in revenue, mostly because of low single digit profit margin.  They realize that there isn’t much money to be made anymore, again putting them in the toaster category. Similar components by most, similar operating systems, market driving memory and storage costs and overhead to sell.  HP is now particularly vulnerable as companies negotiating long term contracts will throw HP out  as a viable vendor not knowing what their future will be either in terms of ownership or viability.  HP has completely lost their way starting with the purchase of Compaq years ago, then dumping their tablet, announcing the sale of their PC division and switching CEO’s like underwear.

The Apple Factor

Everyone eventually builds a better mousetrap.  The Mac has been around for a long time, but the entry way to the door to Apple changed with the iPad/iPhone.  A new processor, operating system visibility, technology paradigm, profit potential and the coolness factor make Apple a different model than the PC.  Prior to that, Mac’s were a niche player in the creative, advertising and education world.  This has changed partly because the OS is better, Windows is not a great platform and Mac’s are headed in the direction of iPads.

So Is the PC Dead?

Ultimately yes, but not this year or in the near future.  I’ve seen models of computers called bricks the size of your phone that you can drop in a kiosk and work anywhere.  You can even use them like an iPhone if needed, but until the voice input issue is resolved, keyboard input is an inhibitor.

No one thought we’d ever see the end of typewriters, faxing or even the 360, but technology advances at an increasing rate economically speaking.  What will be interesting is which social mores we’ll break like talking to ourselves (on a cellphone) in public (or worse in a bathroom or driving).

Is the iPad the next endgame?  Likely also not.  Companies are trying to out do themselves and we’ll wind up like the Jetson’s one day.

Will Apple Survive the Loss of Steve Jobs?

I’m not wishing any bad luck or premonitions to Steve, but conditions don’t look that good given he already had a liver replacement and he hasn’t been the picture of health at conferences.  I hope that he has a good recovery and stays at Apple keeping the industry hopping and keeps Apple bringing out newer and better products that make our lives free from Microsoft.

THOSE WHO SAY YES

There is enough in the pipeline with iPhone extending to new carriers like Verizon and any CDMA based companies.  The iPad is just beginning to take off and as soon as they resolve flash or HTML 5.0 or whatever video standard, it will be the de-facto standard.  The only drawback I can see is the keyboard is less than stellar, but I’m sure the form factor will change.  We can already see what the iPad has done to NetBooks, the next big notebook innovation that never happened.  It will likely kill most of the low to mid range PC sales.  I think the iPod has a lifespan that may be ending after a few more revisions, but there is just too many other options that make this redundant.

This doesn’t even count Macbook which shouldn’t be selling as well as it does at 3 times the price of a Windoze PC, but they have a following and a growing market share.  If they pattern it after the iPad, look out HP and Dell.

The Apple designers have enough Steve Jobs inspiration for 3-5 years of innovation and they have set the bar again and again.  As long as Tim Cook keeps the Jobs mantra viable, they will dominate.

Let’s not forget that Jobs created Next and sold it to Apple, and Pixar which made him one, if not the largest Disney stakeholder.  He is the creative mind who invented Apple and rejuvenated it.

THOSE WHO SAY NO

John Sculley came to mind as a corporate wizard who doesn’t get what Apple is.  It is a culture and a mindset that just isn’t GE or Pepsi or your standard fortune 100 company.  They need to keep Cook in place to keep things together, but will need an actual creative genius who will keep the juices flowing and create the next iSomething.  Otherwise, short the stock and move along.  Tim Cook is boring and will try to tread water, but will likely lead the company down the Political Correctness and climate drain of boredom and safety rather than innovation.  He seems more worried about diversity and the culture of appeasing political groups or his interests rather than how Jobs ran the company.

OTHER COMMENTS

Others like ZDNet weigh in:

There’s no doubt that Jobs played a big part in shaping Apple and helping it grow beyond that early base of cult followers and taking the company mainstream and beyond. Like Apple or not, you can’t dismiss the impact that the company has had on consumer electronics, music and movies. Jobs has done a marvelous job as CEO, and whether you own any Apple products or not, I’m certain that in some way Apple’s vision will have shaped and influenced some of the tech you have in your life. Apple shareholders should especially be grateful for the work he’s done and the effort he’s put into Apple.

So, given that Jobs has done so much for Apple, are the pundits right? Is Apple doomed without Jobs?

In a word, not yet.  It will slowly deteriorate with the next product cycles or iphone refresh rate.

Microsoft Facing A Critical Time In Their Business Direction, (or I wouldn’t want to be in Microsoft Communicaitons right now)

There are times in any business that you need to re-invent yourself.  Even if you are selling nuts and bolts, a bigger fish like Lowes or Home Depot can wreck your sales and pricing.  Nothing changes faster these days than the IT industry.

Microsoft is facing the situation that IBM has faced at least 3 times now.  The last one was a do or die decision to not break up the company and I credit one Lou Gerstner for such a great move.  Nevertheless, he reformed and reshaped the company from a hardware (mainframe) company to more of a services and software organization. Microsoft unfortunately didn’t invent everything it sells and is faced with a fork in the road on success or pack mediocrity.  I for one would not want to have to face the upcoming issues as a communications professional that Microsoft will face.

ORIGINS OF THE CASH COW’S

Microsoft got it’s start by buying an operating system and taking the Software PC business away from IBM.  Next, they “stole” the Windows idea from Apple, here is a bit of history from MG Siegler….

For nearly 25 years now, the story has lingered that Microsoft stole the idea of Windows from Apple (AAPL) while working to develop software for the Lisa and Macintosh operating systems. The stories you hear generally seem to be a mixture of truth, urban legend, and fanboy fabrications at this point — but the fact is that Apple did sue Microsoft in 1988 for copyright infringement on the matter. After four years worth of arguments, Apple lost. They also lost the subsequent appeal (and they even tried to take it to the U.S. Supreme Court, but that was denied). But they didn’t lose because Windows wasn’t thought to be similar to Apple’s operating systems. They lost because the judge ruled that you couldn’t protect the concept of a graphical user interface or the desktop metaphor idea. And more specifically, Apple ran into problems because of a decision that then-CEO John Sculley made in 1985 to sign an agreement licensing certain parts of Apple’s GUI to Bill Gates for use in what would become Windows 1.0 (presumably without realizing exactly what he was doing).

Siegler proves my point of re-inventing themselves here:

But now that idea is waning. Or rather, everyone is starting to recognize that the idea will be waning in the years to come. Make no mistake, Microsoft still makes a lot of money from Windows — and I do mean a lot. But Windows is not the future. By that I mean that the desktop metaphor GUI is slowly but surely being replaced by a rise of mobile and touchable devices. In other words, Microsoft needs a new idea.

The problem is that Microsoft hasn’t proven themselves to be capable of coming up with or executing such an idea on their own. Dozens of failed projects ranging from the original tablet PCs to SPOT watches to the Kin have been left in their wake. The fact that tablet computers are now exploding in popularity thanks to Apple’s iPad suggests that Microsoft, for whatever reason, has a hard time launching new, successful ideas on their own. Windows Mobile is another example of this. They were there early, much earlier than their main rivals. And now they’re getting trounced.

Instead, it may be time to piggyback off an idea again. To create a new inception, as it were. Lure someone in, take their idea — and take it to the next level. Microsoft has nothing if not a huge amount of resources. If they pick the right idea to take, they can once again transform the world — but they need that right idea.

BALLMER IS NO GERSTNER

I’ll go on record to say that Ballmer is no Lou Gerstner.  A company needs a visionary like a Gerstner or maybe in this case, a Steve Jobs.  Sam Diaz speculates his demise and that he might not even make it to CES to make the keynote.

Here is Diaz’s Ballmer scorecard:

  • Mobile: Clearly, the KIN was a flop. And, isn’t it kind of funny that references to the mobile landscape are always centered around iPhone, Android and BlackBerry. When was the last time you heard someone get excited about the forthcoming arrival of Windows Phone 7 and talk about how it will rock the mobile landscape? OK, putting Microsoft shareholders and employees aside, when was the last time you heard anyone else talk highly of Windows Phone 7?
  • Tablet: Well, Ballmer killed the Courier. Or someone at Microsoft did – but surely not without Ballmer’s permission. OK, so they killed a tablet PC project. Big deal. Isn’t that better than launching a loser (like they did with KIN)? But it wasn’t so much that they killed it as much as it was the extra line in the company’s official statement that declared “no plans to build such a device right now.” It seems that tablets are all the buzz right now, sparked largely by Apple’s iPad. And Microsoft has no plans for one?
  • Software/OS: Regardless of what you think about Google, the cloud and even the Mac, you cannot ignore the fact that Geese that lay Golden Eggs at Microsoft – Windows OS and Office – are getting old. There’s fresh competition from all over – and this isn’t just the Mac vs. PC sort of competition. There’s excitement around the launch of tablets running Google’s Chrome or Android OS. Clearly, Apple is gaining some ground from its switch campaign. And companies are being given real options for productivity software from online providers.

The point of all of this is that Ballmer, as the CEO of Microsoft, seems to have spent quite a bit of time riding on the successful coat tails of Bill Gates – but really hasn’t done much to elevate the company further, XBox being the exception.

My .02, he needs to go and they need new leadership to fend off Google, Oracle, Amazon and most of all Apple.  He is not the savior and they need a Gerstner.

Rob Enderle, one of the analysts I used to work with when I covered Analyst Relations for ThinkPad adds this nugget of perception:

Perception works both inside and outside the company. Recall that in the Apple turnaround, Steve Jobs started out with a company in deep trouble with products he had publicly called crap.  He started changing the perceptions surrounding the company because he knew this would give him the time he needed to rebuild it. At IBM, Louis Gerstner changed out the entire marketing department as one of his first accomplishments. He knew that if he couldn’t deal with the perception that IBM was failing, that perception would drive an unavoidable result.  In  both cases, by aggressively dealing with perceptions of unavoidable failure, both internally and externally, they bought time they needed to get  the real work done.

MINI-MICROSOFT WEIGH’S IN

One of the blogs I follow is Mini Microsoft as do many.  He’s got the biggest set of attachments that I know to write things like this:

And now Kin is killed *after* it has shipped in June 2010. You can bet Andy was involved in the development of Kin, the partnership agreements with the OEM, Verizon and most importantly the “ship it” approvals all along the way. And Microsoft discovers its a bad idea after it blows up in the broad market. Absolutely no thanks to any pro-active decision making on Andy’s part.

Now there is spin that Andy killed kin to put all the wood behind Windows Phone 7. Er, the guy was in charge for two years of Kin development. He could have made this decision far earlier.

Similarly Windows Phone 7 has two years of development under his watch. Based on his past performance, 99% chance this is also going to be a total catastrophe. It further doesn’t help that much of the Windows Phone 7 leadership team was kicked out of Windows when they screwed up Vista.

And finally, one Danger-employee’s point of view of why they became demotivated:

To the person who talked about the unprofessional behavior of the Palo Alto Kin (former Danger team), I need to respond because I was one of them.

You are correct, the remaining Danger team was not professional nor did we show off the amazing stuff we had that made Danger such a great place. But the reason for that was our collective disbelief that we were working in such a screwed up place. Yes, we took long lunches and we sat in conference rooms and went on coffee breaks and the conversations always went something like this…”Can you believe that want us to do this?” Or “Did you hear that IM was cut, YouTube was cut? The App store was cut?” “Can you believe how mismanaged this place is?” “Why is this place to dysfunctional??”

Please understand that we went from being a high functioning, extremely passionate and driven organization to a dysfunctional organization where decisions were made by politics rather than logic.

Consider this, in less than 10 years with 1/10 of the budget Microsoft had for PMX, we created a fully multitasking operating system, a powerful service to support it, 12 different device models, and obsessed and supportive fans of our product. While I will grant that we did not shake up the entire wireless world (ala iPhone) we made a really good product and were rewarded by the incredible support of our userbase and our own feelings of accomplishment. If we had had more time and resources, we would of come out with newer versions, supporting touch screens and revamping our UI. But we ran out of time and were acquired and look at the results. A phone that was a complete and total failure. We all knew (Microsoft employees included) that is was a lackluster device, lacked the features the market wanted and was buggy with performance problems on top of it all.

When we were first acquired, we were not taking long lunches and coffee breaks. We were committed to help this Pink project out and show our stuff. But when our best ideas were knocked down over and over and it began to dawn on us that we were not going to have any real affect on the product, we gave up. We began counting down to the 2 year point so we could get our retention bonuses and get out.

I am sorry you had to witness that amazing group behave so poorly. Trust me, they were (and still are) the best group of people ever assembled to fight the cellular battle. But when the leaders are all incompetent, we just wanted out.

So it is even internal that they know they need a change…..BUT HOW

Most of their products that were successful were others, what they invented except the xbox were largely irrelevant or unsuccessful.  They should have been a dominant phone player and got owned by Apple and Android.

And their big solution is this right now –

Microsoft: ‘If we don’t cannibalize our existing business, others will’

That’s not what companies do to reinvent themselves.  Take Apple, or IBM…that is what Microsoft needs to do.

I’ll give them this, they have a lot of money in the bank, but they are not positioning themselves as a dominant player for the future.

COMMUNICATIONS

In talking to the analysts and even the press from time to time, arrogant seems to be a trend.  They need to be humble and explain the situation.  Most of all, they need a product and a strategy to deal with.  I don’t envy them.

So far, they have emulated IBM in a lot of ways.  Re-Inventing themselves would be a good start.

Fixing moral would be good too….I’ll end with what Rob Enderle says:

The best way the take on these problems is for the management team to engage with employees by both listening to them and providing insight into the company’s strategic plans. Candor is critical; the goal is to get people working as a team again.  Employee surveys are generally ineffective because they aren’t trusted and the results don’t create the needed dialog.

Update: Their tablet strategy is labeled misguided and confusing.  Who would have guessed that?

Let the communications team explain this.

Is Excel the Bane of Our Existance?

Dilbert.com

Microsoft office is mine.

Before I get to Excel, let me say how much of a time waster PowerPoint is. The executives I work with obsess over the charts ad nauseum only to have the analysts tear them apart. Some of our execs can only think in .ppt which in itself is a disease.

Now to excel.

It has many flaws, especially in very complicated or linked spreadsheets. Unfortunately, many company’s run their business off of it and I wonder how many have made fatal mistakes?

Gartner of all companies sums it up:

Excel hell is not an evil Microsoft plot, or some sort of madness that descends upon otherwise sane managers and knowledge workers when they open the PC.  It is the fault of enterprise software failing to provide an alternative.

Most of the users who use your software for a significant part of their day do so because they have to if they want to get paid: accounts payable experts, call centre agents, payroll administrators and returns clerks, for instance. They can’t get up in the morning and say, “Today, I’ll use Lawson or Oracle, because I didn’t really like the feel of the SAP application I used to process those invoices yesterday.”  Admin users are in an arranged marriage. On some rare occasions, love blossoms, especially in the payroll department. Most of the time though, they seethe with quiet loathing.

Most employees in an organization are voluntary users for the vast majority of processes. They don’t have to log onto the employee skills dashboard every week to check if their team is on track for their development goals. If once a year they log on to the HR application, complete the appraisals as fast as they can, and get out of there, they will. Many top sales people spend as little time as they possibility can in CRM systems. Many poor salespeople spend considerable time logged onto CRM applications.

Now you can draw up long valid lists of reasons why enterprise applications are better for business processes than Excel (an ideal use for Excel). You can deliver fire and brimstone warnings about the damnation that is Excel hell (use Facebook to attract others to your cause).

Gary Barnett of Bathwick makes an even stronger case

Excel-madness

We’ve all seen this – that faintly crazed look in a colleague’s eyes when they’re challenged on a point of data – You can see that they just want to shout “The number is 54.56% because the @$%$ spreadsheet says so!”. Who the hell are you to challenge the contents of cell 4987MP, What sort of messed up anarchist would challenge 4987MP?

If you look closer – into that person’s eyes – you will see their hidden desire to stab you in yours with their biro.

Question this number at your perilQuestion this number at your peril

And let’s face it – who the hell are you to challenge  this – Did you spend 110 hours over the last 7 days rushing to produce this analysis for the meeting? Did you grapple with the two dozen spreadsheets that have been linked and interlinked in order to get to this number?

This number is the truth, because the spreadsheet (which as the dweebs amongst you will have noted is OpenOffice Calc) says it is.

As John Mihalec tweeted to me in response to my tweet about writing this blog:

@thinkovation Because 2 + 2 is so obviously 4 that it lulls us into complacency re whether either 2 is even 2 at all.

Many key decisions (many of which have a profound effect on our lives) are made on the basis of data that is simply garbage

Computer Science 101 taught us “Garbage in, Garbage out” – and we’ve been collecting, polishing and re-packaging garbage ever since. But this stuff is different – Our retirement funds, savings, economic stability, even our understanding of climate change all depend on knowing the right things.

The financial crisis was caused by many many things – and I’m not discounting either “greed” or “stupidity” as major causal factors – but the absolutely tippy-top of the list cause of the crisis was the failure of pretty much everyone (except Warren Buffet and a small number of others) to appreciate the level of risk that was associated with all of the various financial instruments that were flying about.

The reason for that failure to understand the true level of risk lies in the way in which both the instruments themselves, and the tools people used to assess their risk, wrapped and wrapped the risk under layers and layers of complexity – It was a giant game of pass the parcel – with the outer wrappings  so numerous and shiny and neat,that the smell from the final parcel of dog do0-do0 was completely overlooked.

If you allow something to become en-mired in many layers of obfuscation, you have to accept that the “system” you create is going to become increasingly chaotic. If you can’t track the journey taken by a simple number through the myriad sections, tabs and linked files – You have to be prepared to factor in “chaos”.

The image below is hypothetical – but it’s not an exaggeration – there really are figures sloshing around that are derived from inter-linked hierarchies of spreadsheets that are a lot more complex than this one.

A simplified map of the spreadsheets involved in an analysisA simplified map of the spreadsheets involved in an analysis

Take this image as an example. Item A is the output spreadsheet – which combines the results from B, C and D – which each in turn depend on one or more “child” spreadsheets. Here are some boring questions one might ask –

  • How long ago was the data in J refreshed?
  • Has anyone audited the assumptions made in H?
  • Is there anyone in the organisation who could explain to an Actuary how come the number is 54.56%?

If you can’t provide sensible answers to these questions – then, it’s time to take your life in your hands and tell your excel-crazed, sleep deprived colleague that they may as well have arrived at that number using a lab-rat and a roulette wheel.

Incidentally – someone has trained rats to trade, and reckons his rodents can do at least as well as the majority of the top fund managers – check it out here

To sum it up, they are good tools for simple applications, but they have done more to ruin productivity and correctness than most other softwared.

Disclaimer: I hate powerpoint presentations more than a root canal.  It is time for a new paradigm of software that works better and stinks less.

IBM Software Group Surpasses Oracle in SW sales to become Number 2

Usually, I wouldn’t view being in second place as something to brag about, but let me develop the thought.

The first point to this is that IBM is not a Software Company.  Although we have a good Software business, we are about solving customer problems with a myriad of solutions.  Unfortunately, upwards of 80% is legacy solutions that only works on an IBM mainframe.  That is the big lie not told.  I’m not looking to debate semantics here, we are a technology company, leader in Innovation,  IT player, call it what you want here.  I will say that customers have driven our business since Watson built it.

Next point, there was a long time that IBM was the largest SW company, but that was when we had proprietary solutions such as SNA and based a lot of revenue on maintenance.  What is interesting here is that the current leader is following the same path towards license based, proprietary offering.  I’ve been on record that Microsoft is going down a similar path as IBM in earlier years and the market/customers will ultimately rule or change the rules (name your open std or platform here).  They will then have to re-invent themselves as IBM has done a number of times.  Further, Software as a Service and the related SOA capability will likely take us away from the packaged application tradition….speculation here on my part.

Nuther point, acquisitions are in vogue, and Oracle bought their way to their postion.  IBM has made numerous acquisitions also, but they were based on a different model.  I don’t want to debate this issue in this blog, but going back to a Lou Gerstner quote, “you make acquisitions to position yourself for the next wave of growth and to protect yourself from economic fluctuations”.  That is a lot of what is behind the IBM strategy (my opinion only here) vs. what seems to be happening at Oracle who are buying marketshare (again, my opinion only).  Many of their acquisitions are neither technically nor customer related to their core business.  I realize you could argue this from a grand vision, but that is for greater minds or richer lawyers to do (or analysts).

So being number 2 isn’t really that bad.  In fact, when you are dealing in the multi-billions, and when software is only a piece of your overall business (IBM has services, hardware and financing for those that didn’t notice), it’s a pretty good number.  Given my statements on Microsoft’s issues, either IBM or Oracle (or SAP or some other) may be number one in the future.  I wonder if you added up all the open everything out there if that was really #1?

A new record for Windows patches, fixes? Screw ups?

Microsoft today sets a new record for 26 patches, many for security.  I’m for getting my system working and secure, but the installation kills my productivity.  How do you make something so faulty? (that’s my pointer to screw ups).
It’s not giving me a whole lot of confidence that my system will function right either.  Why can’t we have something that works?  Or better, let’s have an OS that hackers don’t find so easy to mess with, or find out why they hate the company that produces it so much they want to hack it.  My choice at work is Windoze, I’m stuck with this at work.  Home is going to be different if this keeps up.
Powerbooks are looking pretty good to my right now.

What is Apple up to on the 12th?

The same thing that Microsoft wants. Control of the Living room and the entertainment lifestyle. There will be announcements about a new iPod phone or a service but look at the Big Picture.

Here’s the big picture, check all that apply:

1. mickeymouse.jpg

2. check #1.

3. All of the above

Who is the largest Disney Stockholder? one guess.

Steve_Jobs.jpg

So look for code talk about new products, but read between the lines at how “lifestyle” and “entertainment” will change and how Apple is looking to “help” the media experience.. Don’t fall (too much) for the iPod phone with some downloads or a touch screen iPod. Yes that would be cool, but those are only building blocks. Look for how they want to compete for taking over the entertainment center and work their way back to the office (with Intel machines). It will be with better content and delivery.

And what better known content than Disney? They’re pretty much the King of entertainment (I take exception to Eisner’s view of entertainment, but over the years they have been solid). Apple has a better media interface than Windows, and from what I can tell Linux too.

Apple has been very profitable with the iPod/iTunes model. Sell both the hardware and software by controlling the content. Offer better content and DRM is still a nuisance, but you’ll put up with it a bit longer as Apple milks the cash cow. Move that model to the living room and you have the media center hardware and can sell iTunes like Disney movies, working better or cheaper with Apple. Oh, and Jobs collects on the Apple and Disney side. Hey, I don’t blame him, he personifies the American dream. Wish I’d thought of it.

So on the 12th we’ll see if it’s another lame announcement about an lame iPod docking speaker, or selling move movies and hardware. Note, I’ll give Microsoft a D at their try at this; xBox, windoze media software and a large install base and a whole bunch of Wintel boxes…they shoulda had a much better share of the consumer marketplace.

Off to Linux

Just like why I’m blogging, I’m installing Linux. I figured that if I’m going to talk about it, I need to experience it.

Fortunately, IBM has a desktop install that I currently have underway, approximately 817 files to be downloaded and installed. The only issue for me is that I work remotely and I had to go into an IBM facility to load it. So I blog here from a cube farm in a building that is half IBM and half Lenovo.

But the good news is that I’ll work as much as I can from Linux, except for the Windoze only programs that I have to keep until I find a work around.

I’ll have to speak with Steve O’Grady to see how he migrated his iPod/iTunes to Linux, cause that’s one of the programs on the table for me.

Oh, I forgot to mention that one of the reasons I’m switching is the millions of blue screens of death I’ve experienced, the delay’s in operating system releases, the bugs, security, and some amount of arrogance.  By the way, I’ve been at this since DOS 1.0, so I have experience with PC OS problems.
I also need to expand my boundaries technically. I can’t bear to sit back with the norm, it seems I have to push the envelope to test my abilities, hope I can pass the test.

Making Microsoft Lemonade from lemons, or – maybe the cleverist Idea of the year

I hate it when I don’t think of things like this. James Governer on Vista

James Governer suggested to give a rebate with the purchase of an xbox. It may go down as the cleverist idea of the year. And to further support James’ idea, it has precidence with one of the top marketing rebounds ever.

When the original Star Wars came out in 1977, it was before action figures from movies was what it is today as an aftermarket sales vehicle. They not only underestimated the demand for this, they blew it for the Christmas Season. So they had the empty box campaign. You got the box and the figures would come later.

Microsoft pooped a big lemon yesterday, and here’s how to make lemonade out of it.

Do I think they will listen to him? When pigs fly out of my…… because of the reasons I spoke of yesterday, but is it an idea that should cause Microsoft to want to hire him like they did when they hired Borg analysts, I seriously hope not. May the force be with you James.

Back to the Future, Microsoft is IBM, circa 1980’s-early 1990’s

In 2012, my prediction has come true, although IBM is guilty of the same process of stacking reviews of people killing employee morale and innovation.

Original Article here:

History is reliving itself.

Take a dominant company with a large market share with essentially a proprietary product and have it grow to a large enough size based on a subscription or renewal/upgrade model, and you have either pre-Gerstner IBM or Microsoft today.

Peter Drucker has made very relevant descriptions of how companies reach plateaus and either change, tread water or decline. I’m not an analyst, but I can’t help notice that Microsoft is following a similar path that IBM lead in the late 80’s/early 90’s .

I have questions after hearing Vista is delayed, like how long can you miss your product introductions and keep credibility happy customers before they search for options (Linux, Workplace, name your new desktop platform here)? Um Bill, when Lou Gerstner took the reigns, people who missed deadlines had a career decision made for them as opposed to the pre-Lou years when things just went as they went. Look where that got us.

How long before external issues begat internal strife? Mini-Microsoft describes some management issues here calling for the leadership to be fired now.

How long before it affects your other products like Office? (StarOffice, OpenOffice anyone?)

Peter would be rolling in his grave right now to see this happening all over again. IBM went through this and almost didn’t survive. I’m not predicting a company death here, but if something doesn’t change, the market will change it for them as we vote with our dollars. Doesn’t anyone learn from history?

There are too many competitors out there today Microsoft, I know Steve Ballmer is firing shots across the bow at IBM, but I think that Oracle, Apple, Google and a host of others have more marketshare in mind than gathering crumbs under the Microsoft Thanksgiving table. Next time you shoot at IBM, you should look in the mirror and think if the following words mean anything to you? They do to the customers, the industry and history…..

Proprietary, Monopolistic, Bureaucratic, Schizophrenic about the competition.

Competition is good. It promotes Innovation and lower prices, oh yeah, it delivers your products on time or you get a career decision made for you.

Gates, IBM is number one, but how many balls can you juggle?

At CES, Bill Gates said IBM is our number one competition . Ok, I’m fine with that, as I’ve said before, everyone shoots for number one. At least we’re relevant to them.

Here’s my point, I’ll use an analogy. To win an Olympic medal, you have to keep your eye on the goal, win the Gold. You train hard, eat right, strict schedule and most of all FOCUS.

Microsoft is trying to release Vista, compete against Sony and Nintendo with the XBox360, fend off Google, win ODF issues (perception and reality), legal battles around the world on monopoly issues, fight off Linux both in server and in the desktop, Google issues, Yahoo issues, instant messaging, dot.Net in the middleware space, office application needs/updates and star office competition, mobile and hand held device operating system competition, need I go on?

So how in the world are they going to focus on winning? I get multi-tasking, although Windows doesn’t do that as well as Unix/Linux but come on! How are you going to concentrate on not dropping a ball here.

One would say, yeah but these are only Software issues, look at IBM or Sun that has hardware and software, and services. This would be a good point, but Microsoft is doing better than Sun, so throw them out of this argument for now.

IBM has lived through these issues more than once, trial by fire changing from tabulating machines to computers, from near death to resurrection by Gerstner, changing the business model from mainframe only to software and services. Oh yea, and a lot of mistakes along the way like the one that made Microsoft a company, giving away the PC operating system.

Does Microsoft need to re-invent themselves? Not in the traditional sense, but they are going through growing pains that will either get them focused or diluted to just juggling.

Going away? Hardly, they’ll be a force for a while. Sun was a force during the dot.net bubble also. IBM was a force during the 360 days also.

Predictions here? No, just wondering about history before it happens. At least they think we’re number one. Or maybe Bill is trying to get the press to focus on IBM and not on him.

CES, answering my question on video downloads

CES is quickly becoming the new Comdex. Formerly the convention for new and geeky toys it now is as my teenagers say, where the cool kids go.

In my blog on time shifting , I hinted that i-tunes was only the beginning and that there would be many more sources out there and could someone point me to them.

Thanks Bill Gates

Thanks Google

Knew someone would have the answer for me. The ability to download what I want, when I want it will avalanche, as will the devices to load it to.

How to attract developers

Hats off to Microsoft here, I wish we’d thought of this.

Prize in Indian Talent Search

Microsoft has a talent search in India that will produce one member to work with Gates for a year. If you look at this closely, there is one big winner….Microsoft. You may have thought I was going to say the guy/girl who gets to work with Microsoft for a year, but I’m not sure that is that good.

Microsoft is pulling the credit card game, announce a contest and you pull everyone in. Compound that by it being in India, and you have one heck of an idea.

We make no bones about the fact that we are expanding heavily in the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China. It looks like we aren’t the only game in town now.

Hope we learn from this.

Scoble has a big set of attachments/Customers do matter

Kudo’s to Robert Scoble today for calling out his own company in public, that took big….uh….attachements. Why, if you go to the end, he talks about Microsofter’s having to work for other companies because the customers will leave.

12 reasons why not to work with Microsoft .

I read Thomas Watson’s book about IBM. It was always about the customer, both Watson Sr. and Jr. Let us not forget that either just because it’s Microsoft that has become the BORG, that our end goal is the CUSTOMER! (listen to this, it’s scary when you think about the operating system war).

Ultimately, it is about the customers. It’s not about what you can do to climb the ladder of success, or how great a product you can produce – especially if no one wants to buy it…..or for Microsoft, if no one wants to work with you.

Fork in the Road for partners? Yes for some, Crocodile for others.

Oracle has bought Siebel, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and will likely buy others. Microsoft has bought Great Plains and Navision, today they announced a business intelligence solution going up against Cognos. All but Great Plains were staunch IBM partners. SAP has Netweaver applications. For the major middleware companies mentioned in the same sentence with IBM, those are facts.

The easy bandwagon is to jump out there and say everyone should buy a company and get into the application marketplace. Just ask the press.

Here is the speculation section. What will the outcome be with the applications marketplace? All the above mentioned major players have applications in the common business arena. IBM on the other hand is going to this market with partner applications as the solution. These are two pretty diverse paths when considering the partner aspect of channel conflict. Thus, the fork in the road

I am a staunch believer in capitalism, that it promotes competition forcing better solutions and lower prices, usually resulting in an overall better customer solution. How will this concept be applied to the aforementioned channel conflict and fork in the road?

The answer is that history will tell the ultimate story, but as with all things, it will not be a zero sum game for any of the companies mentioned. Partners will be motivated by who helps them the most. Sort of the capitalism statement. It will likely parody the political situation. The staunch believers (or those too far financially invested in a solution) will likely stay there. Those deciding on a solution, or moving to open source or have ODF issues or those pissed off at channel conflict or competition from their existing middleware supplier are at the fork. So the fight is not for the right or left, but for the middle….those at the fork.

Yogi Berra said, “When you get to a fork in the road, take it”

IBM is making a stand on supporting the partners and going to market with them as the application solution. There are co-marketing programs and 30,000 IBM sales reps helping them make sales.

Microsoft, Oracle and SAP have said where they are going to compete with partners, and hope they can drag enough other business along that are willing to go in their middleware space. Some partners will go that way, hoping that they don’t or won’t have to compete.

As a famous president once said: “To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will.” Ronald Reagan.

Hey Microsoft, it's IBM deja vu… all over again

I’ve been watching this phenomenon happen now for a few years. In fact, because I think that James Governer is a better writer than me (ok, it’s not even close), I suggested for him to get rich writing this book….James, there’s still time.

Microsoft is facing what the old IBM faced in enough ways that it’s now not a conincidence. Since my due dilligence on this hasn’t been approved by anyone, I’ll just mention a few public similarities.

Back in the pre-PC mainframe heyday, IBM had what some would call proprietary architecture. The industry then revolted with of all things DOS/Windows, ethernet, distributed computing, etc. Now the roles have reversed and Windows is proprietary and IBM is pushing Open Standards. I guess it’s human nature to want to have control and to not want to be controlled.

IBM was the big bad corporation, Microsoft was the upstart that freed everyone from the data center. Now Microsofts server product is called Data Center.

IBM had some legal troubles with monopolistic behavior, I think Microsoft has it’s hands full with this distraction right now. I won’t go into distraction too much. I’ll leave it with if you take your eye off the ball, you can’t hit it.

These are merely symptoms of the condition though, here’s another. Yesterday, there was and organizational change in Redmond, Microsoft Management Undergoes Major Overhaul . I’ve been through 100’s of these changes in my career. Some really shook up a group and things took off (very few times did this happen), some were monumental failures (more often than not) and some were treading water (some things changed, but the results were about the same). One fact that is not lost on me is that when you’re killing the competition, or when things are working well, few teams will change their line up.

Re-inventing yourself is how a company can survive key times in their existance. Re-shuffling is not the same thing. IBM has had faced this a number of times (remember typewriters, 360, Akers to Gerstner, commitment to open), and now Microsoft may face an IBM sized challenge.

I spent a good part of the day with an analyst yesterday and we had this conversation (I’ll keep him anonymous for now). He rightly points out that one company doesn’t have to take away a big portion of the desktop OS market, but many companies can take a small piece causing the same erosion effect. Heck, even a shift in technology to something like a handheld device with lots of bandwidth can cause the OS to be irrelevant.

Other companies haven’t managed as well, remember DEC?

Microsoft has $50 billion cash sitting around, so they are not in financial trouble, so they could tread water for a long time. Managing shifts in technology is an issue, dealing with people and their loyalties (internal and external) is a bigger challenge. This is a fast and ever changing industry. It’s tough to keep up. My analyst pal and I also talked about the defining changes in history like from horse and buggy to trains, to cars, to planes.

The first closing I ever put on my email was this, change is the only thing that stays the same. Others point this out, it’s tough to get to number one, it’s tougher to stay there.

Everyone shoots at number one.

Will history repeat itself? Not exactly, but there are only a few big corporations and their problems, while not exact are similar.

I’d like to get in my DeLorean with a flux-capacitor and go back to the future to see what happens and how this works out. Maybe James will be rich enough to invite me to his new place in the Mediterranean that he can buy from book royalties?

VC's and Mentoring

IBM announced the VC advisory council and mentoring programs today. It was a good announcement and it got plenty of attention. A new term for me came out, BRIC which stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China.

We briefed a number of the analysts, so here are some of the comments.

There was a theme of emerging markets, some as a delivery model, some for cost reduction. The partner network is key in these countries as they are huge opportunities and no one company can cover it. Good thing IBM has a solid partnering program

Open is a big word. Both standards and software. Gluecode and PHP are big for IBM, but RUBY is something that VC’s are looking at.

The council gives quick connection for the VC’s to our executives. Cutting through the maze is a major task at any big company.

A big software company in the northwest is scaring their VC’s with uncertainty and fear of competing with them.

Here’s a link to the lead exec for this, who’s always a good read when checking out IBM and partnerning…

Buell Duncan