February, 2008

  • Steve Clayton

    Twitter Survey Results



    Nice work by Thayer with results available in a smahin little PDF. Guess what most people wanted? Uptime....of course

    Looking fwd to round 2 of this work. Meantime you can follow Thayer on @Thayer and me on @stevecla

  • Steve Clayton

    Microsoft predicts rise of the datacentre


    image credit - New York Times 

    The headline is form the Financial Times yesterday - this topic is going to be a big one this year. Steve Ballmer predicted that "a new super-group of tech companies would dominate the cloud computing market, each of them managing what amounts to a giant centralised computer made up of a number of big datacentres"


    "Amazon has one. Rumours are Google will have one. We've said we're going to have one," Mr Ballmer said.

    Mark my words. This year we'll see numerous articles about the size of these datacenters, their capacity, the fact you can see them from space, their eco-impact, their CSR impact.....this stuff will generate miles of coverage and given the players mentioned above, you can imagine how it'll be positioned as the next arms race.

    Tom Raftery and Peter Ferry are good commentators on this topic so I'm looking forward to their insights.

  • Steve Clayton

    A Day Of Free Stuff


    Hot on the heels of Chris Anderson's Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business post at Wired comes TrendWatching's latest report "Free Love".

    FREE LOVE: the ongoing rise of free, valuable stuff that's available to consumers online and offline. From AirAsia tickets to Wikipedia, and from diapers to music.

    You can grab their report in full from the link above and in PDF format.


    The height of free? Metro distributes more than eight million copies daily. Wow...that accounts for a lot of the paper on the London Tube. I wonder who's recycling that free and making money from it? If I were London Underground, I would :)

    As the advertising world grows dramatically and our ability through software to deliver more contextual ads improves, business models like this one have real potential.


    Photo prints -  An interesting idea that's been put on hold after an apparently too-successful launch: French MesPhotosOffertes offered free picture processing and home delivery in exchange for ads on the bottom of pictures. Up to 20 pics could be uploaded at a time, which resulted in 11 x 15 cm prints, with a 4x15 cm (tearoff) bottom strip containing ads. A FREE LOVE idea waiting to be picked up by a perhaps bigger player in this field?


    Imagine you're at The Olympics in Beijing and just took some photos  in the arena. You walk out and a booth sponsored by Nikon is offering to print your photos on the spot for free as long as you don't mind a small ad or their logo on the bottom of the photo. I'd "buy" it. Not only that I'd tell ten friends what a cool services (and company) Nikon is.

    The potential is HUGE. i

  • Steve Clayton

    Noodling on Doodling



    A while back the Blue Monster appeared in the Financial Times when Stormhoek put it on a bottle of wine for geeks. Now it's in BusinessWeek as Doug MacMillan explores the impact of cartoons and doodling on business. Rock on as Hugh would say :)

    I spoke with Doug last week and provided answers to some of the common questions I get around Blue Monster - where did it come from, where is it going, did the suits go ape, why haven't you been fired, etc etc.

    I've been thinking maybe I should answer some of those questions here too. What do you think?

    I'm also asked where is BM going and "has it died" relatively often. The latter question is my favourite as the death or otherwise of Blue Monster is well out of my control and Hugh's. What started out as a fun cartoon turned in to a movement and like any movement it depends on the followers to keep it alive. In the last week I had a few interesting meetings in Redmond where the Blue Monster was brought up by others which says to me it's alive and well on the inside.

    The real question for me is this. Why does a one year old cartoon garner interest from BusinessWeek and become the lead in the piece? Maybe the subtitle of Doug's piece holds a clue to the answer.


    A simple drawing can communicate complex ideas quickly and almost effortlessly. It can even be the basis of a successful business plan


    Off to noodle.

    [hugh's post]

  • Steve Clayton

    Trust me, the world needs more than 5 computers...



    This line is the latest one doing the rounds on the web, most notably after it appeared on Greg's blog. As he notes Thomas J. Watson probably never uttered that immortal phrase in 1943 anyway.

    Actually I agree with Greg to some extent as he is talking pejoratively about the overall trend of things moving to the cloud rather than an exact count of computers. However, the compute power on the desktop isn't going away soon which is why we continue to think a best of both world - Software plus Services approach - will win out. There is no question that there is an arms race under way though to build out datacenters and associated services and we will arrive at a set of utility computing companies that look a lot like, err, utility companies. Despite what you may think there is much to be learned from the Gas and Electricity suppliers around the world. Okay so they all have their issues but stuff like customer care and billing has been their trade for many many years.

    This part I found very interesting though

    Similarly, the cheapest computing is not necessarily obtained by lashing together racks and racks of the cheapest computers you can find. Engineering for scale matters. Really matters. 

    On the one hand that could be a swipe at Google's approach that seems to do this. Regardless, I'm looking forward to reading more about how Sun would do this. Whatever you may think of Sun, there is no denying they've pushed a lot of the bits around the globe for many years so likely know some things about this kind of scale. Let's see.

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