Tag Archives: Google

Real-time web eats its own shit: Google buys, then does not buy ICOA

The power and the freedom of the press is a flaming sword. That it may be a faithful servant to all the people, use it justly… hold it high… guard it well.” -Steve Wilson, Illustrated Press

Don’t Hate the Playah, Hate the Game.

Dozens of top tech journalists were caught in a hoax today on PRWeb announcing the acquisition of ICOA by Google for $400M.

Top news brands including:
TechCrunch
TheNextWeb
SlashGear
ZDNet
Telecom Paper
Forbes
VentureBeat
USA Today

and many others

The fact that this story broke and unbroke so fast is evidence of a new culture of Journalism that is somewhat toxic–an atmosphere of mutually assured destruction in an arms race of who can publish the news fastest and itchy trigger fingers across the journalistic profession.

Nobody in the broader readership much cares if a news story breaks in a hour, three hours or within seconds of the announcement. It’s a kind of snotty one-upmanship within the tech press community that drives press people to shoot first and ask questions later.

Some of the most experienced and savvy press folks I know were caught up in this sting and I absolutely dont blame any of these fine individual journalists. What I blame is the toxic atmosphere of one-upmanship which places more emphasis on who is king of the pecking order in journalism by breaking stories faster than others. This is masturbatory.

What the tech community needs is a brain that sits between the ear and the mouth, not some kind of trigger happy echo chamber. I’m not pointing the finger at any specific individual–even the person who perpetrated this hoax. This could not have happened if the community valued measured, thoughtful, analytical reporting.

Every journalist I have a personal relationship with that I know probably longs for the days when you could afford the luxury of fact-checking, interviewing and actually analyzing and writing intelligent news.

I don’t point any fingers in this blog post, but Kara Swisher savagely beat down TechCrunch over this in a series of blistering twitter posts referencing their role in this journalistic debacle:

To all those in the journalism industry, writers, bloggers, editors, I humbly ask you to work together to build a news culture that values disciplined, analytic, fact-based and professional journalism over what’s out there right now, a self-important, toxic, masturbatory echo chamber. Shame on you if you helped to perpetuate this sad culture of journalism.

I sincerely hope this incident results in editorial meetings and some accountability and process-improvements across the industry. I don’t think any disciplinary actions are called for, I think this is a cultural problem across the industry. Because of this, I feel the industry should take this opportunity to take a look at itself and understand better its role in serving the public.

Journalism is not a game of one-upmanship. It is a flaming sword. Hold it high, guard it well.

 

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Links for Social Media Week

Hello everyone:

Here’s a list of references for my keynote at Social Media Week SF.

1. The greatest failing of the human race is the inability to understand the exponential function

2. At $400 billion, Apple is worth more than Greece

http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/19/technology/apple_market_cap/index.htm

3. Cooperative binding of hemoglobin

4. The growth of mobile

5. Steve Yegge’s amazing Google platform Rant
https://plus.google.com/112678702228711889851/posts/eVeouesvaVX

6. The Love Competition
http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/02/love-competition/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialmedia&utm_campaign=facebookclickthru

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Enterprise Cloud: Why Size Matters

One of the biggest issues in speaking of technology trends is the natural impulse to apply a “one size fits all” approach.

People talk about technology the way they talk about the weather–it’s something that affects everyone the same way. Raining? That’s too bad about the ball game. Nice for your flower garden though.

Unfortunately, when it comes to technology, it doesn’t affect everyone the same way. At the risk of losing 90% of my readers in one go, I’m going to dust off one of the great evil words in the technology industry–Enterprise. As I’ve said before, the word “Enterprise” in the phrase “Enterprise Software” has come to mean software that sucks. In fact, if you Google “Enterprise Software” (with the quotes) the number two link is “Why Enterprise Software Sucks“.

So why dust off this word? I suppose I enjoy collecting antiques.

It’s after all a perfectly good word, and can be repurposed as a pot holder or maybe a tea cozy. What I’d like to have is a word that signifies the following:

An organization that has grown in size to the point where the old tricks don’t work anymore.

Funny Pictures

* Its organization has shattered into factions
* It’s technology has separated into silos
* Its market has fragmented into niches

The big challenge is how does one maintain the advantages of size and scale but still retain agility?

I think it’s possible:
Bull headstand

So how does fragmentation affect the use of cloud?

Well in terms of complex demand, cloud principles are very exciting.

swiss army

If your market is fragmented, you will be happy to offer a platform of reusable services that can be customized by channel partners or even by end users into thousands of possible use cases. Think iPhone App Store. So for complex demand, the cloud is a good thing.

The challenge for the Enterprise and cloud is the concept of “Complex Supply”. Since both the technology in the Enterprise is already siloed, adding cloud just adds another silo. Legacy Mainframe apps, Web Application Servers, Enterprise Applications, you name it, Cloud just adds yet another technology silo to maintain, integrate, secure and govern. Since large organizations are fragmented into smaller organizations, this problem is compounded when one organization creates a dependency on cloud services without a systematic enabling architecture.

Size matters. People try to apply architectural patterns and software solutions as if they were one-size-fits all.

ass is too small

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Google in talks to buy Twitter (hope) in the shadow of IBM buying Sun (fear)

Eric Schmidt has had quite an amazing ride since becoming CTO of Sun Microsystems. So has @Ev, Evan Williams who launched the blogging phenomenon with Blogger.com (sold to Google) and is in “late stage” talks to sell Twitter.com to Google (again!).

Looks like Google is rising while Sun is sinking…

Is Sun a Fail Whale?
Now it is rumored that the 1500 layoffs announced by Sun Microsystems recently were part and parcel of the negotiations with IBM. Also rumored is a late-stage price cut for Sun, another unilateral and somewhat draconian measure.

If IBM is taking an old-school consolidation approach with Sun and is already beginning a slash-and burn process that should significantly impact Sun employees. This violent and disruptive strategy is often times unnecessary and more detrimental to the long-term viability of a company. Often, the hangover from massive consolidation is mass layoffs.

I believe there is a better way. Software AG merged webMethods and became a billion dollar software company without major layoffs and turned in a 31% increase in revenue at the same time lowering costs. I’ll be the first to admit that the enemy of IT is cost (and it’s cousin complexity). How do you fight this enemy without crippling an organizations ability to grow? The first step is to know your enemy.

Big Mergers create complexity
One of the great victims of the huge economic disaster is trust. We must shift from blind faith and cronyism to rebuild trust through continuous verification. One of the extreme difficulties of scale as seen in the Bernie Madoff case is that if it’s sufficiently large it can be made so complex that nobody can understand it. This kind of “too complex to understand” is the cousin of “too big to fail”. We have to go back to “trust, but verify”.

What we can learn from Google
Google has the benefit of a radically successful and profitable core business… so making significant leaps of faith such as Twitter are not unusual.

But even Google has been making small (around 200 person) cuts in their teams in sales and marketing areas.

Accountable, iterative, tactical cuts
Gaining operational visibility and making rational, tactical cuts, you can create a transformational impact but in a non-violent way. Observe the gardener pruning a tree. She is constantly cutting the tree, yes, but the goal is to encourage growth.

Trust but Verify
Today’s organizations have poor visibility into their operations. They depend of quarterly historical results to make crude decisions about which groups stay and which ones are cut. What’s needed is a scientific, measurable, accountable way to see what is happening across silos and in near-real time. There’s an old carpenter’s saying “measure twice, cut once”. This is because measuring is less expensive and easier to “do over” than cutting.

Nonviolence requires respect
Nonviolence is stronger than violence. But nonviolence is also harder. It requires you to respect your enemy (cost and complexity).

We are seeing a significant uptake in our operational measurement products (real time business intelligence and decision support) and feel that the visibility afforded by such products can help businesses reduce costs, but without damaging their potential for growth.

But make no mistake, nonviolence is not “squishy”. The costs will come out of the system. But without the haphazard economic violence we are seeing today. Don’t cut people wholesale, we will need them to rebuild our economy

My 2 cents,
Miko

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