I am often asked what my opinion is of Cisco. Is it going out of business because of white box? Should they buy Arista? Should they buy NetApp or EMC or Citrix or RedHat? The news today that HP is going to break into two companies tells me that we have reached a point where it is difficult to grow large cap tech that have multiple business units. No CEO of a large cap tech company wants to be the AOL/Time-Warner of this market era. A few thoughts on the subject of large cap tech companies. Continue reading
The 80s were magical, but that time is lost and gone forever. We may never get that feeling back and if you missed the 80s, you may never know what it is like to live in the risk on world and that fucking sucks. I feel sorry for all you who were raised with all these good intentions about happiness and a place in the world, but you will never know the liberation that comes with traveling south crossland. Continue reading
I posted last week about a sales call gone wrong and an innovator’s dilemma moment. Since that time I have had additional customer and internal engagements that caused me to think about what I call institutionalized impedance, which might be more familiar to a broader audience if I called it Taylorism or scientific measurement. Continue reading
A question I am often asked by people outside of tech industry is: why do I use Twitter and what is it good for? Most people think that Twitter is good for following athletes, musicians and actors. Now that Google Reader is gone, it has for the most part replaced my RSS reader application. I consume news via Twitter. I actually like that I can choose to tune in or tune out. Continue reading
At dinner a couple of weeks ago with some industry colleagues I found myself thinking and then stating that I think the SDN community did itself a disservice by being vocal and derogatory towards the incumbent supplier vendor community. If you read the previous post that would be the steam shovel companies. Continue reading
Absolutely horrific sales call today with prospective client. It started down the wrong path when customer said they just wanted the technical details regarding the Plexxi solution and did not want any marketing messages. To a sales team, this is red flag because customer is telling you that they have complete working knowledge of your product without ever taking the time to listen. In this case, the customer just wanted to ask “technical questions” to “ferret out the holes” which is an interesting directive because it assumes a working technical knowledge around our product set as well as controllers, photonics, switching silicon, network architectures, switch design, graph theory, etc.
Bandwidth is deflationary and I find any arguments to the contrary to be foolish. This is a subject I have written about before here, here, here and here. Over the past few weeks, I have been reminded that it is always easier to solve most networking problems by applying bandwidth. A few weeks ago I found myself reading one of Marc Andreessen tweet streams of conciseness and I replied (see below). After making the tweet I wondered if I was correct?
A component of my job requires me to interview people and one effect of the successful Arista IPO has been an increased number of CVs from Cisco employees. I am interviewing a candidate from Cisco about a week ago and this person tells me that Plexxi seems to have copied the theme from Insieme. That is nice. I find it to be a good exercise to look back and review writings from a year or two ago. Is it still accurate? What has changed? Do you still believe what you wrote? I think this is best way to avoid self-referential data sets.
My perception of 2013 is a year lost in noise with regard to networking and SDN. It seems that after Nicira was acquired by VMware in 2012, the velocity of SDN and networking noise increased to unexpected levels and it had a detrimental effect on the market. If I worked at an incumbent networking company, this is exactly the effect I would have desired. Freeze the market in a state of confusion and sprinkle in as much disinformation as possible. Well played if you have market share to protect.
When I was a young corporate system engineer (CSE) I helped a field sales team in the mid-west close a large deal at an insurance company. This was during the transition period from SNA to Client/Server networking and the deal included core, regional and branch nodes. The deal was the biggest in the company history and it provided me with a promotion to be the CSE manager. All was well in my world until six months later when the COO told me I had to go back and fix the account because we were having serious issues and we were on the verge of losing it.
These are some rough, non-distilled thoughts around the concept of an emerging modern IT force. This is a continuation of a prior post, but the genesis of my thoughts reach further back to a breakfast on December 11, 2009 with Charles Gave. It was at this breakfast I was introduced to their idea around the model portfolio company. In December 2009, the equity markets were well off their lows and we had endured only the first round of QE from the Federal Reserve. From my memory, the model portfolio company looked like a company that had strong brand awareness, with a strong balance sheet, essentially self funded with no reliance on government or public sector funding, it developed their product set (i.e. intellectual property) in the US, manufactured overseas in low cost centers and was able to optimize their tax burdens by collecting and retaining cash in overseas markets. There was a back and forth discussion on corporate tax laws, where a company should be domiciled, where it should develop IP to best be legally protected and what the modern construct of the corporation would look like in the coming years. Continue reading
I am curious to learn the details around the Comcast/Netflix deal that is being widely reported this afternoon. Having spent the better part of the past twenty-years selling equipment to service providers of all types on most continents and in a variety of regulated constructs, the subject of net-neutrality and OTT have been a prominent subject in my blogs over the past eight years. SIWDT is coming up three years old and one benefit that content has to me is it is searchable and I can go back and critique my thoughts. I did a search on “net neutrality” and it came back with four prior posts. I carved out a relevant quote from each post:
I am careful with the use of the term revolution. This discipline comes from my academic studies and too many years studying actual revolutions and revolutionaries. We can debate the impact of technological advances on the field of battle, but these advances would be limited if they were not organized, trained and led with purpose. I understand the impact of the percussion cap and rifled barrel, but it is the adoption and use of the technological that is important — not the invention of the technology in isolation. Continue reading
SIWDT is my second blog. My first blog lasted few years from 2005 to 2007. I created my first blog, which can still be found on the Wayback machine, after having an unexpected breakfast with Dave Winer in 2006. It was at a conference in San Diego and if you do not know who Dave Winer, please stop reading now and go back to whatever you were doing before you thought to read this blog. Continue reading
The internet is dead, corrupted, boring, monitored and it stopped being cool a long time ago. Ironically it is led, marketed and championed by people who think they are cool. We were told that the internet was going to lead to a global awakening of new avenues, self expression, freedom and it was going to result in a world that was closer with deeper insights into the human condition. We went out and spent all this money to bring connectivity, computers, tablets and smartphones to everyone and the fact is it is all shit. The reason it is all shit is it is too good; too polished, too perfect, too monitored, too censored, too controlled by companies that long ago sold out to advertising by pushing the same crap brands.
When I was in high school and college, I never thought about a career in networking; it was just something I did because it was better than all the other jobs I could find. I worked at my first networking startup in the late ‘80s and twenty-five years later, I am still working in networking. Continue reading
Over the past two weeks the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) had their Phoenix Project moment with the launch of Healthcare.gov. From an outsider’s viewpoint, it appears we are at the point in the novel where the launch of the site and backend systems has been a failure. Continue reading
I am listening to Mellencamp’s Lonesome Jubilee album, which provides a flood of memories from 1987. I had the morning drive slot as a local DJ at tiny college radio station when the album debuted and I was heavily into U2 at the time. One morning the station director surprised me a little after 6am one day to ask why I was not playing more John Cougar? This was a time when we were still using cart players for ad insertion. Check it Out and Cherry Bomb are two fantastic songs from that album. I had two Twitter exchanges collide (one on OpenFlow and the other on thought leadership) this past week which provided the framework around this post, but I could not channel the energy to write until I put on an old playlist and much to surprise, I found myself listen to Mellencamp after a decade long hiatus. That is how SDN and thought leadership met Mellencamp one day and became a blog post. Continue reading
I have been a known CSCO bear in the past. All you need to do is click on the CSCO category on my blog to see two years worth of postings. Recently, I have become a CSCO bull for the long term. I have been building a position in the $23-24.25 range. I did not become bullish on CSCO because I did some work on it and found some facts to fit my thesis. It was a different path that lead me to becoming bullish.