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    March 30, 2010

    The Rise of China and India

    I have my concerns about how content we are becoming as Western society.  I have spent time in Asia and there is no doubt in my mind they are hungry.  They are missing some basic skills and building blocks, but they are quickly figuring out what they are missing and learning or importing.  We have a Chinese au pair that looks after our children.  When she gets off of work she reads books on how to be successful.  She will go to the library and lookup "success" and read as many books as she can.  She will often ask me if I have read the books.  They are not books that I have ever heard as I seek knowledge differently (and I believe more efficiently).  I don't believe this is the best way to learn how to be successful, but it illustrates the aggressive drive I have witnessed throughout Asia.

    If you have never heard of TED, which stands for Technology Entertainment and Design, I highly recommend you plug into this stream.  The organization organizes a series of events where they bring together some amazing speakers.  They then selectively choose which speakers to release as videos on the Internet.  They reserve or delay some of the best speakers to create demand to attend their conferences in person.  I saw this video yesterday from Hans Rosling which was quite amazing.  It illustrates how fast China and Asia is catching up with the US and Europe.  He shows income per capital and life expectancy on a graph and then puts the graphs in motion.  

    TED Hans Rosling
    He is quite humorous in his description as you get the sense that he is describing a horse race.   Here is a link to the point of the video that is eye opening.  I'd suggest watching the whole video as it is very informative and entertaining.  He tries to predict when India and China will catch up to the U.S.  I wonder what will happen at this point.  When this intersection occurs will they surpass us and leave us behind or as he demonstrates with Japan will they become more like us (and Europe) and we all get on the same trajectory? 

    January 30, 2009

    It's Not as Far Fetched as it May Seem

    Here is a funny video published by TechCrunch showing a 1981 report on the news being delivered electronically.  Funny unless you work for a traditional news paper (i.e. New York Times or Chicago Tribune).

    Most newspapers have and continue to hold-on to the old business model.  They have tried to change, but are too reluctant to break with the past.  Most news is funded by advertising.  In the 1980's, the newspaper was a good place to spend advertising budget. Today Google is getting more and more of that budget.  Companies are still spending money on advertising and people are still reading the news.  Its just a different business model.  I personally read the newspaper less and less.  I get more of my news digitally.  I don't think my children will read newspapers.

    Imagine a news report recorded today about the construction document distribution industry being shown 20 years from now.  What would people in 20 years find funny?  My 16 year old son has never seen rotary phone (shown in the video).  20 years from now few will remember a diazo machine.  What will the business be like?  What will it be like in 5 years?

    December 03, 2008

    When Extra Charges Go Too Far!

    As the industry struggles with how to recover costs by charging for "digital services" the satirical publication, The Onion, has a little comic relief.


    August 15, 2008

    What Happens in Your Shop When You Are Not There?

    February 08, 2008

    We Don't Care.... We're the Phone Company

    I had several IT managers contact me and empathize with my previous post.  It seems that even though competition was introduced to the telecommunications industry somehow we have reverted back to the same poor customer service that existed when there was a monopoly.  For those that know me well they know of my god-given gift to relate any situation to a Saturday Night Live skit.  We'll here's a SNL skit that is starkly familiar to conversations IT managers have with telecommunications companies providing network services.

    December 13, 2007

    One of Those Bad Days...

    Sometimes when a day gets off to a bad start it is only the beginning. Apologies in advance for the language and infamous get the point.

    December 12, 2007

    Bubble 2.0

    For anyone wondering how YouTube can be sold for 1.6 Billion and Facebook is almost worth as much as Ford Motor company (...wait this sounds familiar), here is a funny video.

    December 11, 2007

    IT Stockholm Syndrome

    I wrote a previous post about Commercial Stockholm Syndrome where companies who are captured and treated bad by a vendor start to develop a loyalty to that vendor.  [Here is a link to an actual description of Stockholm Syndrome].

    Over the last few years I have seen many cases of a similar phenomenon.  Business owners who believe that their IT staff is very good even though the IT problems that they are facing are often debilitating.  I had one reprographer tell me that his e-mail had been down for 3 days and he would occasionally receive e-mail that was addressed to other people in the company.  He then said, "but my It guys is working on it.  He's pretty good. [pause]  Well at least I think he is good."

    I once had a boss who told me that when you are not educated on something and you hear someone else talking about it you assume they are really competent.  It is your lack of knowledge on the subject not their actual competence that creates the perception.

    There are a lot of companies who have "homegrown" IT staff that face a multitude of IT problems that could be easily solved by a more competent IT employee.  This doesn't necessarily mean that the IT staff doesn't have the potential it may mean they have not received the appropriate training.  Competency can be hired or developed. 

    Another thing to look at is certifications from an external source.  One example is a MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer).

    November 21, 2007

    Turkey Drop (Again)

    I know this is a repeat, but I think it is one of the funniest WKRP in Cincinnati shows.

    Part 1 of 2

    Part 2 of 2

    July 02, 2007

    Not Everyone Embraces New Technology

    Somebody wasn't too excited about Microsoft's new "Surface" technology...