Office Live beta

At the TiE event tonight the subject of Office Live came up briefly. It’s surprising to me that what Microsoft is doing with the Live products is getting as little attention, or appreciation, as it is. This is a fundamentally disruptive product upgrade that delivers a completely services based application suite with a new economic model and a new delivery model. I’m impressed that the same team that brought Office XP to market is behind Office Live, it’s not often that a culture can absorb and deliver this radical of an upgrade.

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Web 2.0 in the enterprise event

I spoke on  a panel at the Web 2.0 event hosted by TiE tonight. All in all a really interesting couple of hours, as always it’s a great opportunity to sit next to Ross Mayfield, Charlene Li, and Jeff Clavier and talk about these things.

On the drive back I had a couple of thoughts. First, there is much confusion about what web 2.0 actually is… a technology, a business model, software delivery, or an ideology. I don’t think I realized how disruptive these ideas are until I saw them play out in the audience.

Speaking of the audience, it was very interactive. One of the best comments was when someone piped up that “web 1.0 is people on a stage talking to an audience, web 2.0 is the audience talking to each other”. Perfect, the participation economy in action.

The one aspect of this event that probably created self-inflicted confusion was that we tried to talk about too broad a reach of topics under the web 2.0 meme. It’s pretty hard to focus on the concept of mashups when you are also introducing blogs/wikis, or talk about the signifigance of scripting and hosted software delivery at the same time.

Lastly, it was interesting to realize that many people in enterprise IT (whether a vendor or a practitioner) look at these technologies and say “what will they do for me” or “what new apps will I get” and that really misses a subtle point. Web 2.0 is, IMO, user initiated packaging of application services so the real question should be “what can I do with these technologies that nobody else is doing.”

More on this topic (What's this?) Read more on Web 2.0, Computer Software at Wikinvest

Bode Miller doesn’t deserve a medal

“Sport was born clean and would remain so if it
was about just competing for the fun of it, but the media and the
public corrupt it because of the pressure they create,” the outspoken
Miller told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

Bode Miller is a fucking cry baby. You don’t hear Tiger Woods complaining about the pressures to win, but that’s the difference between the two athletes, Tiger thrives on it and delivers while Miller chokes and blames everyone but himself. Miller should go back to being a nobody, go back to Telluride or wherever and ski by himself in between his shifts operating the lift or driving the sno-cat.

UPDATE: I deleted a bunch of comments from this post. The person who wrote them didn’t appear to have a grasp of the basic communication skills; it’s one thing to use profanity to ornament a comment but another thing altogether when profanity is the entirety of the comment. What rises to the level of irony is that the comments criticized me for “hiding online trashing an Olympian” and of course all of the comments were authored with a pseudonym. If anyone doesn’t like what I write about, they are free to just go away if they are incapable or unwilling to debate. If you are up for debate, go for it because I don’t shirk away from what I write and I always put my name on it.

UPDATE 2: Because spammers seem to really like this post I turned comments off.
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Books I’m Reading, or at least intend to read :)

Silos, Politics and Turf Wars by Patrick Lencioni.

I actually had an invitation to the launch party as well but couldn’t make it. Looks like an interesting read, and when I read the letter from the publisher that accompanied my copy I had to laugh at this paragraph:

“… shows readers how to overcome the maddening factions that create office politics and in-fighting which ultimately kill productivity, squash profits, and push the best people out the door.”

I was thinking of buying the entire first run and sticking a copy in every mail slot in every office of this entire company 🙂

Starting Something by Wayne McVicker.

This one is actually near and dear to me because Wayne is the founder of Neoforma, which was one of our investments. His book chronicles month-by-month the period of 3/1996-2/2001, but more than a diary or journal this book devles into the cultural dynamics of “starting something” and having it grow by leaps and bounds into a $3 billion public company. There’s a lot of stuff in this book about control, culture, and interpersonal dynamics among people when there is a lot of money on the table.

10 Rules for Strategic Innovators
by Govindarajan and Trimble.

I usually don’t like books that try to boil things down to 10 rules for this or 5 things for that so I probably won’t read it. I’ll probably send this to someone on my team, they are all b-school types and will probably enjoy this book (there’s even some graphs included, ooohhhh).

The 360 Degree Leader by John Maxwell

Possibly interesting. The “Dear Journalist” letter that came from the publisher included a list of sample interview questions, which I presume would be questions to ask the author in the event I were to interview him (LOL). Is that how this journalism gig works, not only do people send you free stuff but also the questions to ask in the event you are too lazy to read the book or think up your own questions?

More on this topic (What's this?) Read more on Productivity at Wikinvest

Web 2.0 in the Enterprise

I am speaking at the TiE panel on web 2.0 in the enterprise tonight. This is a topic that I get really excited about, so it should be fun and I will report back tomorrow.

What would you like to hear talked about?
What companies do you find interesting in this space?
What are the obstacles you would define?
What are the implications for incumbant vendors?

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Cartoons Depicting Coach “Bear” Bryant Cause Riots

Too funny. Via the Corner.

Tuscaloosa, AL — Riots broke out across the University of Alabama
campus and the state itself today following reports that the M Zone’s
Danish affiliate – Den M Distrikt – posted cartoons showing former
University of Alabama football Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant wearing an
Auburn hat and another showing him drawn into the infamously cheesey
“Dogs Playing Poker” painting.

Congress puts heat on tech industry on China

“Your abhorrent activities in China are a disgrace. I simply do not
understand how your corporate leadership sleeps at night,” said Rep.
Tom Lantos, the ranking Democrat on a House International Relations
subcommittee on human rights. Lantos’ California district includes the
high-tech empire of Silicon Valley.

Rep. Lantos represents my district, and despite being a Democrat I voted for him in every election he and I participated in. Why? Because he’s a decent man who has done a good job of representing the 12th Congressional District in California over the years. I also like Rep. Lantos because he actually responds to e-mail sent to his office, unlike Senator Feinstein who sends out form responses that quite often are about a different topic than what you emailed her about or get your position wrong on the issue (I don’t bother writing Sen. “Dim Bulb” Boxer… what’s the point?). We don’t always agree but he’s always thoughtful in his positions and not prone to the influence of the MoveOn moonbat element that is increasingly in control of the Democrat party.

I’d encourage you to read Tom Lantos’ story, he was a teenager in Hungary under Nazi occupation, and fought the Nazis as a member of the underground resistance, survived the Holcaust, immigrated to the United States and earned a PhD in economics from Cal.

Anyone who has read this blog knows I have been highly critical of Google’s decision to censor their Chinese service, and while I have not been as vocal against Yahoo!, Microsoft, or Cisco, I am equally disturbed about their compromises in China. Intel gets an approving nod for telling the Chinese to go pound sand on the issue of having a Chinese-censor-equipped Wifi standard.

Tom Lantos understands evil, I am very supportive of his efforts to hold American technology firms accountable for enabling the Chinese authoritarian government to do use technology to further suppress and deny freedoms to the Chinese people. Lantos understands that by enabling the subversion of freedom we are endangering our long term security, not just for us as a nation but for the very ideals that the American tradition is built upon.