Sunday, April 29, 2007

Dell Memo

This is nothing less than Michael Dell trying to reinvent his company. It is as if he were launching another startup. Making the Titanic do a 180 degree turn is not easy. And there will be plenty to watch.

If you are going to ditch the idea of direct selling, and if you are going to no longer try to keep inventory low, then that is Dell 2.0.

Dell is now going to be more like the other PC companies. That perhaps should have been coming, because other companies have become more like Dell and have brought the prices down substantially.

There is this synergistic competition going on. PC companies are busy eating into each others' turfs. But the new move is still for Dell to prove.

The real news might be the mention of the four BRIC countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and the mention of the phrase "next billion." Those countries have much less in terms of internet penetration, and so ordering computers online is not exactly a concept. And if you are going to stock up stores with your machines, it is not exactly build to sell. The direct way has been to take the order and then build. Now you build and then go sell.

Michael Dell is a legendary entrepreneur. The CEO Rollins before him could not have made a move like this one. This is too unorthodox. He would have felt like he were undoing Dell. Can you imagine a Microsoft that is about to ditch Windows? In the late 90s, some Microsoft engineers actually did suggest to Gates that the browser instead of the operating system should be made the gateway to the computing experience. Gates suggested those engineers quit Microsoft and go join the Peace Corps.

Michael Dell's memorandum to Dell staff:

To: Dell Employees Worldwide

From: Michael & the Executive Leadership Team

Dell Confidential -- For Internal Use Only

One Dell, One Focus -- Simplifying IT for Our Customers

We met as a complete Executive Leadership Team for most of last week to discuss Dell's future. We left the week with a great deal of confidence about our plans for the next generation of Dell customers. Throughout our history we have worked as a team -- as One Dell -- and we have made quality PCs affordable. Now Dell plans to make information technology affordable for millions of customers around the world. We will do this by simplifying IT where others perpetuate complexity and innovating beyond hardware into solutions. This is one of the most exciting periods in our history but it requires all of us to stand together as One Dell to make profound changes and take well thought-out risks.

Here are some of the steps we will take to get there:

• Fix our Core Business to be competitive. The Direct Model has been a revolution, but is not a religion. We will continue to improve our business model, and go beyond it, to give our customers what they need. We will simplify our organization to make it easier to hear customers and respond to them. We've already streamlined our executive leadership structure. We need to streamline our management structure to speed decisions and remove bureaucracy. We're making improvements in pricing, product development and fulfillment, and customer experience. We reorganized the product group to more effectively listen to our customers and develop end-to-end customer solutions. We are now revisiting our entire design process to improve our speed-to-market and focus on what customers truly value. Our new Global Operations organization, led by Mike Cannon, is working to take our supply chain and manufacturing to the next level of efficiency and quality. This group is also partnering with the regions and the product group to pursue new manufacturing and distribution models to address the unique needs of our customers in all markets. More broadly, we plan to eliminate overlaps in our organization and activities to enable us to deliver even more value to our customers. We also need to improve sales productivity. These won't be merely exercises in cost-cutting. We will re-invest those resources in the customer solutions that will build Dell for the future.

• Re-ignite Growth in our Core Business to reach more customers. We are taking some concrete steps to get growth back into our core business. We released the EC280 in March for first-time computer users in China. We will open a new factory in Brazil in May and a new factory in India in July to be closer to those huge customer bases. In June, we'll launch our new Inspiron models with personalized color options and improved mobile broadband. We will launch products and services for small and medium business customers later this summer. And our new Dell Data Center Solutions Division is addressing the unique needs of hyper-scale data centers for customers whose business relies on enterprise computing solutions. We plan to take our improved cost structure to acquire new customers and sell existing customers more products and services. We are accelerating down the path to be a truly global company giving customers around the world the best products, the easiest solutions and most choices.

• Build For the Long term to provide more customer solutions. Ron Garriques' Global Consumer team is re-inventing how we address the evolving needs of our consumers around the world and the unique needs of the next billion consumers in the large and emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC). With strong share position in markets such as Japan, the U.K. and Canada, now we are going to make a mark in the rest of the world. Ron and team are also tackling how Dell's consumer business should evolve in the long term in mature markets. Stay tuned for more here.

We are also embarking on a bold, long term initiative to radically simplify IT for our commercial customers. Simply put, the philosophy comes down to a set of core beliefs:

Information Technology shouldn't be as complex as it is.

• You should spend less on maintaining I/T and more on innovation.

• Every IT project should not require an army of consultants.

• Computing should have minimal environmental impact.

Superior information drives efficiency in your IT environment.

We are already taking steps to fulfill this vision, but we have a long way to go. For those of us who have worked for a while in this industry, we know our competitors drive complexity and needless cost into customers' environments. These so-called "service divisions" create a never-ending cycle of activity with unclear return on investment. We intend to break this cycle. We will build different kinds of services and offer key technologies that will help customers escape this complexity trap and unlock the true potential of technology. And, as we re-invent Dell to deliver on this promise for our customers, we will rely on Mark Jarvis, our new chief marketing officer, to ensure we properly position our new systems and solutions capabilities in the global marketplace.

We won't hesitate to use our company's assets to build or buy the capabilities and technologies we need to deliver on our initiatives. Our transformation will take time to accomplish. We need your help to identify how we can become more efficient and effective for our customers across all areas of our business. We want you to take action with your team and bring your ideas forward. On June 20, we'll launch the internal version of IdeaStorm called "Inside IdeaStorm" for employees so that you can tell us where you think we have opportunities to improve as a company and how we can streamline our work to eliminate low value activities. We will listen and we will respond.

This is a defining moment in our history and in our relationships with our customers. Just as we re-invented the way consumers and organizations buy hardware, we are going to re-invent the way the world gets access to IT. We are excited about what we will achieve for our customers as we make information technology more affordable for them and what that will enable them to do.

The future looks great for Dell and we are up to the challenges that we'll face on our journey -- challenges that will test, teach and ultimately strengthen us as a company and as a team -- as One Dell.

Thank you for transforming Dell with the customer in mind every day. Be sure to let us know your thoughts on this on One Dell Way.
In The News

Dell Losing Its Religion, But The Devil Is In The Details
iT News The last time Dell entered the retail space, it was a move made out of "panic" that bombed because the company strayed from its core strength: so explained Dell in his book, Direct From Dell, which he wrote eight years ago as a guide to good business strategy. ....... Dell's three Golden Rules, "Never sell indirect." (The other two Dell Golden Rules are "disdain inventory" and "always listen to the customer.") ..... To make its way into the retail channel or commercial reseller channel this time, the company may need to re-think its second golden rule of disdaining inventory. As of last 3 November, Dell reported that it had five days of inventory. ...... To make a go of an indirect sales strategy, Dell may need to ensure that its pipeline has enough PCs, notebooks, peripherals and parts in stock so channel partners can keep their customers happy. To build that inventory may take an investment so large it could eat into the company's already-declining profits. ..... the difference between Dell and other companies is that while all companies make mistakes, Dell never makes the same mistake twice
HP on the rise Austin American-Statesman (subscription)
Hewlett-Packard comes back fighting Financial Times (subscription)
Strictly PC – the new king of IT Times Online Hewlett-Packard – the archetypal Silicon Valley company that recently overtook IBM to become the world’s biggest-selling technology company. ..... HP employs more than 150,000 people in 179 countries, and last year generated $94 billion (£47 billion) from selling computers, printers, cameras, consul-tancy, IT services and much else besides. ....... One of the central themes of Tough Choices is HP’s “dysfunc-tional” board, and the infighting among directors that went on for years before Fiorina’s sacking in February 2005......... HP – famously founded in a Palo Alto garage ...... the board was made up of people who were individually very good. As a group they struggled ....... HP has more than doubled in value, its shares rising from about $20 to $42. ...... HP almost doubled its operating profits last year, to $6.6 billion. ...... the $30-billion-a-year PC business. ..... Dell has stumbled, exposing the limitations of its direct-selling model ........ continuing fall in computer prices, which causes more damage to the manufacturers of cheaper, unbranded PCs. ...... HP invests about $4 billion in research and development. An old joke has it that most of the group’s investment in innovation is in creating expensive new printer cartridges ........ the continuing increase in the number of documents and photos people are printing, increasingly from the internet. ...... Hurd has spent more than $5 billion on acquisitions, the biggest of which was last year’s $4.5 billion purchase of Mercury Interactive, a company that sells quality-assurance and monitoring software. ....... The company estimates its technology is used by 1 billion people and claims it is addressing markets worth a total of $1,100 billion. ...... He tends to talk in broad generalisations. “We’ve got to develop innovative products,” he said at one point, “products that are well-designed and strongly featured, and get them to market with speed at the right price.”

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Entrepreneurs: Spikes

There are some entrepreneurs who end up super duper rich. There are many who end up doing quite well. There are numerous whose businesses do not see the light of day. These spikes are necessary. Entrepreneurs are indispensable to the market system. And markets are fundamental to democracy. No market, no democracy.

Over the long run, it is a progression for society at large. Society overall gets richer and richer over time, unless you are Zimbabwe under Mugabe. That genius has actually managed to create an ever shrinking economy. (Wash Mugabe Away With A Revolution)

It is for the democratic process to decide on the rules of the game. But within those rules, entrepreneurs are free, the best ones end up looking reckless. Much creativity is involved. Much risk taking is involved. Often much is at stake. But in the end, it is about creation. It is a progression.

In a well-oiled, functioning political system, the politicians are background noise to the entrepreneurs. There is strategic lobbying, sure. If you are leading the pack in your industry, maybe you know things. And the public servants need to hear. But other than that, the world of business is a galaxy all its own.

Entrepreneurs are almost a different species. The entrepreneur's worldview is different than that of the jobholder. Early stage entrepreneurship can also have some interesting stories to it.

A few hours back I registered my company: JyotiConnect Inc. I want to be a Spike. Godspeed.

In The News

HP and Dell slug it out in Second Life Brisbane Times
Book Review - Bill & Dave: How Hewlett and Packard Built the ... How Hewlett and Packard Built the World's Greatest Company ...... founders' innovation in both new products and new ways of doing business created an environment in which customers wanted only HP products, employees reciprocated the loyalty HP showed to them, and future Silicon Valley generations tried -- and usually failed -- to follow in their footsteps. ......... for almost 50 years they partnered at the top of the organization they founded ...... the family atmosphere that came to be known as "the HP Way." ...... a roughly 10-page document that lays out a blueprint for entrepreneurial success. ....... meeting at Stanford, where Dave Packard was the tall, gregarious, can't-miss golden boy sports star and Bill Hewlett was a short, dyslexic, somewhat reserved sort still getting over his father's untimely death ...... shared interest in electronics ..... Hewlett and Packard baked HP instrument panels in Packard's oven and randomly priced their first product in such a way that it was impossible to make a profit ....... worked hard throughout HP's ascendancy to create a family atmosphere, and this is perhaps their greatest legacy ........ handing out bonus checks to employees based on Hewlett-Packard performance and having Friday "beer busts" to let off steam ...... flex time ..... avoiding mass layoffs by sacrificing revenue in favor of employees keeping their jobs ...... from that garage partnership to an incorporated small business to corporate behemoth so smoothly, always with an eye on profits, sentimental toward their employees but never sentimental toward products that no longer make the cut.
Hack-a-Mac - security vulnerability found in Apple's Safari heise Security
Laser equipped laptop! Toshiba’s new Satellite P205
Taiwan market: HP aiming for 20% growth in business notebooks this ...
Round Two: Intel's Fortunes Rise, and AMD's Fall
IT Jungle
Cisco to give lift to Telstra
Australian IT
SAP Selects Cisco TelePresence System for Virtual Meeting Experience
Web Services Journal
Google Is Riding On The Marratech Express
Internet Financial News
Google Buys Video Conferencing Software
Google rises at Yahoo's expense
Yahoo, Slate and Huffington Post to Host First Online Presidential ...
Wired News
Microsoft gaming labelled a "disastrous endeavour"
IBM Powerizes Linux on Intel apps
Face Off: Business Objects vs. Oracle (and Microsoft)
Intelligent Enterprise
The New Dotcom Bang: Will Sun Microsystems Shine Again?
Seeking Alpha
Wal-Mart Learns Lessons with Organic Foods
Helen Walton, widow of Wal-Mart founder, dies at 87 Houston Chronicle
Charlie Rose To Host First Online Presidential Debates Search Engine Watch
LA Times to cut up to 150 employees as print revenue declines
San Jose Mercury News
Report: Chinese WiMAX Market Will Grow Seven-Fold Between 2009
RF Globalnet (press release)
London Goes Wireless
Government Technology
The Future of Wireless Broadband - 3G, 4G, WiMAX.. Who Knows

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Bear Stearns: An Investment Bank

Web 5.0: Face Time

JB Hunt Transport Services, Inc. to Participate in the 2007 Bear ...
Business Wire (press release), CA
Bear Stearns names European prime brokerage and equity finance heads
HedgeWeek, UK
Wabash National Corporation to Present at Bear Stearns Global ...
United States: Ponzi Scheme Transfers By Hedgefund To Broker ...
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Bear Stearns Companies Inc. Is Taking Out The Highs Of The Day
Trading Markets, CA
'07 downturn to sink deeper than expected: Firm
Today's Trucking News

Forex - Pound dips below 2 usd after mixed UK retail sales data UPDATE
Forbes, NY
Fitch Rates Bear Stearns Commercial Mortgage Securities Trust 2007 ...
Business Wire (press release), CA
UPDATE 2-Triarc to sell money manager for about $300 mln
Earnings rally and firmer crude lift energy stocks
MarketWatch Up on Bear Stearns Upgrade
Forbes, NY
Chasing Value: Bear Stearns - cheap and growing
Blogging Stocks
Celadon Group to Participate in Bear Stearns Conference. Bear ...
dBusinessNews Indianapolis (press release), IN
Bear roars to top of hotel M&A rankings
Financial News Online US, UK
Bear Stearns Merchant Banking Acquires Universal Hospital Services ...
Trading Markets, CA
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RH Donnelley up on takeover speculation
Bear Stearns & Co. Starts Clearwire Corp. At Peer Perform
Trading Markets, CA
Bear Stearns affiliate to buy Universal Hospital
Bear Stearns Capital Trust III Announces Cash Distribution
American Digital Networks (press release), MD

Bear Stearns
Bear Stearns - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia one of the largest global investment banks and securities trading and brokerage firms in the world. The main business areas, based on 2006 net revenue contribution are: capital markets (equities, fixed income, investment banking; just under 80%), wealth management (under 10%) and global clearing services (12%). The company was founded in 1923 and serves corporations, institutions, governments and individuals. It is one of the few investment banks that has stayed independent and not merged with any other bank throughout its history. The company's business includes corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, institutional equities and fixed income sales, trading and research, private client services, derivatives, foreign exchange and futures sales and trading, asset management and custody services. Through Bear, Stearns Securities Corp., it offers global clearing services to broker dealers, prime broker clients and other professional traders, including securities lending. Bear Stearns is also known for one of the most widely read market intelligence pieces on the street, known as the "Early Look at the Market - Bear Stearns Morning View." ..... In 2005-2007, Bear Stearns was recognized as the “Most Admired” securities firm in Fortune’s “America’s Most Admired Companies” survey, and second overall in the security firm section. The annual survey is a prestigious ranking of employee talent, quality of management and business innovation. This marks the second time in the past three years that Bear Stearns has achieved this top distinction.
Quote - - for Bear Stearns Cos.
.: Bear Stearns - Global Clearing Services :.
Bear Stearns World Headquarters, New York City
Bear Stearns Asset Management
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[PDF]The Underground Labor Force Is Rising To The Surface
BSC - Bear Stearns - Fortune 500 2006 - CNNMoney
Chasing Value: Bear Stearns - cheap and growing - BloggingStocks
Health Innoventures venture capital fund
Tech Trader Daily - Barron’s Online : Yahoo: Bear Stearns Ups Ests ...
BSC: Bear Stearns Cos Quote, News & Summary - AOL Money & Finance
Google Tells eBay Sellers It Will Roll Out Product Search
Financial News and Information from Financial News Online US
Corporate Cash Management Group
[PDF] Bear Stearns.qxp
[PDF] Hewlett-Packard at Bear, Stearns & Co. Annual Technology ...
Bear Stearns - Analyst News | :: Bear Stearns upgrades Czech Republic, Hungary is ...
BSC: Basic Chart for BEAR STEARNS COS THE - Yahoo! Finance
BSC: Bear Stearns Cos Fundamentals - AOL Money & Finance
The New York Times: Search > Topic: BEAR STEARNS COS
$14.8 Million Bonus at Bear Stearns - New York Times Bear Stearns gave its chief executive, James E. Cayne, a bonus of stock valued at about $14.8 million after the firm reported its fifth consecutive year of record profit. ..... Mr. Cayne's total pay package, when considered as a portion of the company's total earnings, has typically exceeded that of other chief executives at Wall Street's biggest brokerage firms. Last year, for example, he was paid $30.3 million when Bear Stearns made $1.5 billion. Merrill Lynch's chief executive, E. Stanley O'Neal, got $35.4 million when his company earned $5.1 billion. Fiscal 2006 profit at Bear Stearns surged 40 percent to a record of $2.1 billion. ... Shares of Bear Stearns have almost tripled in the last five years, the best performance among the big brokerage firms.
Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc.: Lit. Rel. No. 18109 / April 28, 2003 - Overview
The Bear Stearns-NEW Connection: Time To Short Select Investment ...
Bear Stearns chief received $33.85 million last year - Mar. 27, 2007
Google May Be Close To Developing iTunes Competitor -
Bear Stearns Introduces ``BearCast(TM)'' Podcasting Technology ...
BEAR STEARNS Tournament of Champions Squash 2007
Bear Stearns Among Wall Street Movers: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance
Eagle Investment Group Partners With Bear Stearns To Launch ...
Bear Stearns Jobs - Employment Opportunities at
AppleInsider | Bear Stearns ups Apple target to $125, says Palm at ...
News -
Bear Stearns: Apple iPhone Should Add $6 Billion Revenue, 22% To ...
bear stearns google ceo schmidt on dmarc youtube
Google's 'Nowhere Near a Bubble' - Bear Stearns - Seeking Alpha
[PDF]Microsoft PowerPoint - Bear Stearns London 022707-HNT [Read-Only]
Bear Stearns to Buy Universal Hospital: Financial News - Yahoo ...
Bear Stearns Files First Active ETF Prospectus: Issues of ...
Merrill aims to catch up with Bear Stearns in subprime mortgage ...
Tech Trader Daily - Barron’s Online : Vonage: Citigroup, Bear ...
Diversity in Action: Bear Stearns' hands-off culture promotes ...
BSC: Summary for BEAR STEARNS COS THE - Yahoo! Finance
UPDATE 1-RESEARCH ALERT-Bear Stearns cuts Cerner to peer perform ...
bank,bear stearns co,bearstearns,earns,mortgage,mortgages ...
blog | nano: Bear Stearns Says NanoBubble Yet to be Blown
China's Richest Man Teams Up With Bear Stearns - Not content to sit by while the fortune he made from building China’s largest electronics retailer is eroded by low interest rates and rising inflation, China’s richest man, Wong Kwong Yu, is busily investing his money. ....... he announced that he is teaming up with Bear Stearns (nyse: BSC - news - people ) to form a private equity fund focused on China’s retail sector. .... Wong’s Eagle Investment Group and Bear Stearns’ private equity arm will each kick in $250 million to invest in local retailers who may have the potential to go national. ..... Wong has ample capital and investment experience at his disposal, having almost doubled his personal fortune in 2006 to $2.3 billion.
Bear Stearns ordered to repay hedge fund $125.1 million ...
HousingPANIC - The Housing (Bubble) Crash Blog with an Attitude ... - full analyst news coverage
Stocks Trading & Investing Tips
R.H. Donnelley Corporation at Bear Stearns Media Conference ...
[PDF] Webcast Bear Stearns Conf 2006 v7.ppt
Bear Stearns sends back-office work to Boston - Daily Business ... Mellon will administer $2.5 billion in client fund assets; among services that Mellon will provide to Bear Stearns are account opening and maintenance, transaction support, custodian reconciliation, and investor reporting.
Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. Jobs - Yahoo! HotJobs

goldman sachs
merrill lynch
morgan stanley
lehman brothers

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Web 5.0: Face Time

We are still mostly Web 1.0. And Web 2.0 has been the in thing. I imagined a Web 3.0: A Web 3.0 Manifesto. Web 3.0 is when the web becomes a utility. How often do you get excited about electricity? I have left Web 4.0 to mean things I can't imagine, let alone deliver. And I am thinking Web 5.0 is going to be face time.

Already social networking is all the rage online. The web is about people. But the technology is still largely clumsy. It will get better. But what if it keeps getting better and better until it is at its absolutely best and there is little room for improvement. At that point you realize that all along what you had really been looking for was face time. Even screen time was about face time.

That face time is what Web 5.0 will be about. And I am talking about face time as technology, almost. As in there will be a scientific approach to it. Assault is illegal right now. Racist comments will be put in the same category as assault in a Web 5.0 world.

In a Web 5.0 world, we will have achieved levels of mental and emotional health that we have achieved today in terms of physical health, in terms of what we know. We will have found a cure for depression and suicide the way we have found cures for polio. Happiness can be imagined as something always-on, like always-on broadband, because sources of unhappiness can be so precisely pinpointed.

It is ridiculous to me to watch people really really struggle with some of their painful past experiences. All they have to do is to relive it, be able to articulate it, and the pain goes away, the puss comes out, and the wound is soon gone.

That Web 5.0 imagination has implications for business practices in a Web 2.0, Web 3.0 world. It is possible to try and create Web 5.0 style group dynamics in a corporation of today. Such a corporation can be invented. That corporation would be 100% meritocratic, and it would be the workplace of the post-ISMs individual. That corporation would think in terms of pure work that is delightful to those who participate in it.

Levels of that Web 5.0 style face time can be achieved in loving relationships today. That perhaps has always been possible.

A Web 3.0 Manifesto
DL21C Events: High Class Acts

In The News

Yahoo's Next Search: A New CEO? BusinessWeek Panama's patina has officially worn off. .....attributed the decline to the phaseout of Microsoft's search ad business and rising costs of driving traffic to Yahoo sites. ..... "The writing is on the wall," wrote Jackson Securities analyst Brian Bolan, speculating that CFO Decker could soon take the helm. "Another quarter with a bottom-line miss will be the last one for Semel." ...... Yahoo expected double-digit improvements in the amount of money it generates per search by the second half of the year. .... Google garnered more than 64% of searches in March. It had slightly more than 58% of searches for the same month last year. ... Yahoo's search share dipped slightly from 22.3% in March, 2006, to 21.3% this year...... Google's brand name and constant innovations in search have proven difficult for competitors to overcome. ...... Yang boasted that Yahoo was the Internet's largest display advertising network
Sprint: Say Bon Voyage to Vonage Vonage, now locked in a patent dispute with Verizon ..... Sprint, which also alleges patent infringement by Vonage. ...... its customer base of 2.2 million is expected to shrink at a rate of more than 27% a year ...... Sprint Nextel has been trying to transform itself into a wireless-only company. ...... In 2006, Sprint spun off its local calling business into a company now called Embarq (EQ). Today, 85% of Sprint sales come from wireless services....... in 2010, 44 million Americans will use Web-calling services, up from 10.3 million last year.
The Marshal of MySpace
BlackBerry service being restored
Google: The Ad Dominator? Google already controls about two-thirds of the roughly $7.7 billion expected to be spent on online search advertising this year ..... the $3.75 billion market for online display advertising—the multimedia ads found in a fixed spot on a Web page ....... "FOG"—"Fear of Google."
Executives Remain Wary of Web 2.0 Instead, they're putting their resources behind technologies that enable automation and networking ..... Web services, including software that enables systems to communicate with each other ...... Collective intelligence, which attempts to tap the wisdom of crowds to make decisions ..... Peer-to-peer networking, a technique for efficiently sharing music, video, or text files ..... social networking .. MySpace and Facebook .... RSS .... podcasts .... wikis ..... blogs .... mash-ups ..... in a knowledge economy where companies remain hierarchical in structure, knowledge is power ..... people with heavy knowledge tend to keep that for themselves ...... companies serious about embracing these collaborative technologies will need to find a new incentive system for employees. ...... Baby boomers, who still make up the majority of the workforce, are used to picking up the phone.
iPhone: Harder to Build than Apple Thought The cell phone "contains the most sophisticated software ever shipped on a mobile device"
Toshiba's Flashy New Look at Chips The plunge in global chip prices over the past year is enough to make any semiconductor executive nervous. .... He's betting that laptop PC makers will shift to a hybrid of hard disk drives and flash memory. .... consumers are likely to snap up the next-generation HD-DVD recorders and players, further fueling chip demand. ..... The demand for nuclear reactors in China, India, and even the U.S. seems real and lasting....... hoping for a resurgence in demand later this year, due to Apple's iPhone.......
The High-Tech Home of Tomorrow "There is no doubt that the way we live will be different in the future," Gates said at the time. "The advances in PC technology and low-cost communications are bringing a revolution."
VCs Aim to Out-Angel the Angels Khosla investments range from $100,000 to $25 million, in areas including Internet technology and clean energy.
The End of a 1,400-Year-Old Business Kongo Gumi's case suggests that it's a good idea to operate in a stable industry. ..... cited the company's flexibility in selecting leaders as a key factor in its longevity ...... the practice of sons-in-law taking the family name when they joined the family firm. ...... mingle elements of conservatism and flexibility ...... switched temporarily to crafting coffins during World War II. ..... Despite its incredible history, it was a set of ordinary circumstances that brought Kongo Gumi down at last. ...... during the 1980s bubble economy in Japan, the company borrowed heavily to invest in real estate ...... social changes in Japan brought about declining contributions to temples ....... in 2006, the end arrived. The company's borrowings had ballooned to $343 million and it was no longer possible to service the debt. ....... evolve as business conditions require, but don't get carried away with temporary enthusiasms and sacrifice financial stability for what looks like an opportunity
The 10 Worst Corporate Practices
The World's Most Livable Cities
Asia's Most Livable Cities
The Coming Virtual Web more realistic, interactive, and social ..... Neal Stephenson published Snow Crash in 1992 ..... The metaverse, as Stephenson called it, was essentially the Internet. .... the popular online role-playing game World of Warcraft, which is revolutionizing online games with sophisticated graphics and complex team strategy. ..... There, Entropia Universe, and Second Life ..... online games and virtual economies. ..... virtual worlds are inherently social settings. "You go up to an avatar and you know there's a real person on the other end" ...... social activity dominates what people want to do online. ...... the 3D Internet ..... many people don't even have personal computers that can handle the often heavy processing demands of virtual worlds. The amount of data required by 3D environments also can tax even high-speed Internet connections. ...... 3D excels for a number of applications, such as medical scans, architecture, and chemical modeling, most information is best accessed and analyzed in more mundane, 2D fashion. ....... Dozens of universities are conducting classes and other activities inside Second Life. At Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., for instance, some freshmen are taking the English 104 composition course partly inside the world, writing about field trips they take inside Second Life. A sign of how compelling the notion is: The first class drew 300 applicants for 18 slots. ........ inject real-world richness into online business negotiations and collaboration ...... people are more influential when they look directly at their counterpart ..... PCs need the benefit of a few more rounds of graphics-chip improvements, as well as faster broadband speeds.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Search: Much Is Lacking

Search as is is not good enough. If you can't find what you are looking for, as often happens. The user is not in control enough.

Search is especially poor on the multimedia front. You have to find a particular site, and then search around inside that site, often you have to be a registered user to make use of the stuff offering.

There is no one place where you can go to search through all photos online, no one place to look for audio and video clips, all of them, no way you can zero in like you might zero in onto a map, zoom in, zoom out.

It would be nice to be able to zero in on content providers based on their geographical location. That would really help.

There is not enough standardization. All of the web is not being shown as one search space. Participating sites would benefit. If you make it easier for users to find you, that is good business, right?

Ad offerings will have to get creative if the ad model is to be the primary revenue generator. Tiny ads. This photo brought to you by Coke. Can you say that in an inch in length, and 1/10th that in width, maybe in less? Of course, you can see the Coke logo which, if you click on takes you to the Coke website, perhaps.

Multimedia search as it stands is primitive.
  1. Make it super easy for users to create and store media.
  2. Make it super easy for users to find media.
  3. Make it super easy for users to share and consume media, to display media on their own sites.
So the emphasis has to be on standardization of search so as to make it as easy as possible for search to happen. Maybe content providers and search engines should actively collaborate to that end. And the way to maximize sharing is to rely on the ad model. The average user wishes to be able to display for "free." And that is where the big money is, in the "free" zone.

Say if I took a photo, and uploaded it at some photo sharing site like Flickr, and I had the option to let just about anyone to display that image, as long as I could have that little link ad, that maybe links back to my own site, I would be okay. What about you?

Revver has a pretty good model for video.

Textbooks are game. Textbooks also have to be offered like media. Ad supported. Maybe disable copy and paste, at the author's discretion.

The average web user is going to want to produce content. Right now search is chaos. What is the GPS version of web search?

Advanced search options need to get much more intuitive.

Google is huge. It is an elephant. As it grows bigger, it is going to get less nimble. That will create huge markets for niche search. One size will not fit all.

Redefine search.

What am I looking for? How long does it take me to find it?

Some combination of machine search and social search might also work, especially when the end user is in control as to the degree of it.

It is to Google's advantage that it also provides platforms for content creation, like Blogger.

Just like it does with text, a good search engine should be able to help you search through multimedia without the multimedia sites actively collaborating. Multimedia sites should get indexed as they spring up, and they could spring up anywhere, any part of the globe.

Multimedia in English has been problem enough. The problem is compounded when you demand - as you should - that the multimedia search has to be language neutral. The machine should be able to understand any media in any language and offer it to you in your language of choice. That has to be the goal.

But first search has to get language neutral for text. Multimedia will be step two.

What if you are not necessarily looking for the most popular and most linked to and most visited sites to show up at the top. Some of the best sites for what you are looking for might be on page 350 or worse. How will you ever find them?

The advanced search option is not advanced enough, and it should not be a separate page where you basically have to fill out a form, it should be as intuitive as simple search. You tweak a few things here and there and you are ready to go.

Also how do you make it easy for people to do mashups and still not destroy the ad business model? How do you make RSS stuff really simple, as the name promises but has not delivered?

Create content. Consume content. The netizen demands those two basic functions.

And my pet peeve of all: why can't you "blog" in mathematical symbols? Like you can find chess players to play chess with at Yahoo Games, you should be able to collaborate on mathematical work. Just do a search and find them.

What does the netizen want? That will be a perennial question. It will still be asked a hundred years from now.

Remember that adage from the last dot com bust, that a site is all page hits and no revenue? Looks like page hits are all that matter after all. It was not a bad business model to start with. Just a little too early.

A Web 3.0 Manifesto
Dell, HP, Apple
Google Books: Primitive
The Next Search Engine
Memo To Bill Gates
Google And Languages
Internet Phones, Video Blogging, Nano
Google: Poised To Be The Number One Software Company In The World

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Enter The Titans: AMD Smacked By Intel

Intel did not see AMD coming, Intel got hit last year. The pendulum has swung. AMD did not see Intel coming in the second round, which is now. This clash of the titans has generated quite some flurry, and is a harbinger of things to come in the larger industry: prices on chips are going down. The consumer wins. The market corrects itself. AMD swung into action. Cost cutting is on the block. The market rewarded AMD for it. Its stock price actually went up on the bad news of lower than projected revenue.

This is the market in action. It is dazzling to watch.

A big company can stay crisp, like Intel has in this case. The small company can be agile, nimble, reflexive, smart, but it serves to be wise. Be ready for the big leagues if you decide to hit. Prepare. Plan. Take the plunge.

This is warfare. This is an ecosystem. Some animals are food.

AMD's cost cutting is not to be in its innovation efforts, so I am sure there will be another round. AMD will swing back perhaps.

If prices on chips go down, you are looking at cheaper PCs. Cheap PCs are a good to great idea.

A Web 3.0 Manifesto
The Next Search Engine

Dell, HP, Apple
Michael Dell

In The News

Intel Introduces New Quad-Core Xeons CIO Today the L5320 and L5310 require as much as 60 percent less power than the company's existing 80-watt and 120-watt quad-core server products. ...... The L5320, at 1.86 GHz, and the L5310, at 1.60 GHz, both feature 8 MB of Level 2 cache and can run over a 1,066-MHz front side bus. ..... greater performance and a "dramatic reduction in power consumption" ...... "power and heat becomes a real infrastructure problem -- not just a problem for the I.T. guys, but for the building managers." ..... the lower-powered Xeons are expected to be available worldwide in new servers from Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, Verari, Samsung, Wipro, Acer, HCL, Digital Henge, and IBM, as well as the announced servers from Rackable Systems.
IDC Report: Virtualization Cannibalizes Server Sales IDC predicted that server and component vendors will rally around quad-core technology, then move ahead to octi-core chips.
Blu-ray Promoter Foresees Victory in DVD Format Battle "Within three years it will just be Blu-ray." ... Blu-ray's will completely replace the widely popular current DVD standard by 2010. .... the videotape battle between VHS and Betamax. Sony lost that battle, but is having much greater success with Blu-ray. ..... In mid-February, when the Oscar-winning film "The Departed" was released in both formats, the Blu-ray version sold 20,000 copies to the HD DVD's 13,000.
AMD forced into cutbacks as it falls prey to Intel's cheaper chips Independent
AMD lowers revenue outlook
AMD cuts forecast; to slash costs MarketWatch
AMD plans overhaul after disappointing first quarter performance, Canada
AMD pays the price for awakening Intel Goliath Advanced Micro Devices is paying the price of moving from the sidelines to front and center on Intel's radar. ..... a two-pronged attack by Intel, including strong products and price cuts ...... lower average selling prices and unit sales ..... no mention of a reduction in research and development ...... Through most of last year, AMD grabbed market share from Intel by selling a higher-performing server chip that took the larger rival off guard. Drawn by its better price-performance ratio, companies couldn't get enough of the Opteron, which was key to AMD soaring to eighth place in the microprocessor market last year from 15th in 2005 ......... "Intel was ignoring AMD for a long time, and they paid the price" ....... Intel came back strong, cutting prices and closing the performance gap with Core 2 Duo chips for desktops and notebooks, and its Xeon 5100 series for servers. ...... should lead to lower prices for servers and PCs. .....AMD has outsourced more manufacturing from Chartered Semiconductors ......... Microsoft's new Windows operating system isn't expected to significantly boost PC sales ...... AMD's plan to integrate graphics and core processors in one chip is expected to simplify notebook motherboards, which should lower the price of the hardware ...... scheduled to ship in 2009 ..... "They were caught a little bit off guard by Intel. I don't think AMD expected them to be as effective as they are." ...... AMD no longer has a technical advantage. ..... "They have to prove that they can take Intel head on, while Intel is looking at them."
AMD Restructuring After 1Q Revenue Miss Houston Chronicle, TX
Advanced Micro's Sales Fall 8%, Less Than Anticipated (Update5) Bloomberg
AMD's Perfect Storm Spooner
The first quarter of 2006 represents the high water mark for AMD and ATI’s combined revenue for the last eight quarters ..... Intel is on the upswing with an improved product line that has increased its ability to compete and win business from AMD. ...... AMD’s purchase of ATI has created some uncertainty around its graphics processors and chipsets product line. ..... an overall slowdown in brand-name desktop PC sales ...... competition between Intel and AMD will remain intense throughout 2007. ...... its ability to begin an on-time transition to 45-nanometer production. ..... any delay in its transition to 45nm, which is scheduled to begin at mid-2008, will hurt AMD’s long-term capability to compete with Intel.
AMD Gives Us A Tech Reality Check GigaOm The demand for devices – from PCs to wireless phones to everything is heading south - fast. ..... the demand has been lagging in most high-end volume markets - PC’s, wireless handsets and most categories of consumer electronics. .... The good news is that this is market self correcting itself, and instead of a Bust 2.0, we might have a slow correction in the technology ecosystem.
AMD's Pain, Investors' Gain BusinessWeek Chalk investors' positive reaction up to aggressive cost cutting. .... curtailing its spending to weather a fierce onslaught from giant Intel ..... With less money coming into the company, AMD said it will revise its business model. ..... AMD's stock price has plummeted by about 60% during the past year, a $9 billion drop in market value that has underscored concerns about the company's ability to withstand the pricing pressure from the much-larger Intel. ........ Blogger Om Malik called the AMD announcement a "tech reality check"

AMD sees revenue coming up short, plans overhaul Globe and Mail, Canada AMD's shares gained 3.5 per cent to $13.30 in early trading while larger rival Intel Corp. rose 1.6 per cent to $19.89. .... a bruising price war with Intel that has eroded profits for both companies
AMD to miss market expectations Toronto Star, Canada
AMD will restructure business after earnings drop Computerworld, MA
AMD Sales Battered By Intel Red Herring, CA Advanced Micro Devices, the world’s second-largest maker of personal computer processors, said revenue declined 8 percent in the first quarter amid a pricing battle with larger rival Intel. .... The drop in revenue wasn’t as big as some investors anticipated, sending the shares higher. .... Intel has superior products and it is pricing them “aggressively,” putting pressure on Advanced Micro’s sales and profitability
AMD sees revenue below view, plans overhaul, Canada
AMD sees revenue below Wall Street view CNET, CA plans to reduce 2007 capital expenditures by about $500 million, cut discretionary expenses and limit hiring to critical positions.
AMD sees revenue below view, plans overhaul Washington Post, DC evidence that a price war between AMD and Intel is continuing ..... "We expect to see evidence of a decline in prices across the board, and that's likely to hurt both AMD and Intel." ..... hopes that AMD's moves would help reduce excess capacity in the industry .... the second quarter in a row that AMD has shown signs of trouble in the price war that has eroded profits for it and Intel in the $30 billion processor industry.
AMD, Intel shares rise, UK

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