Archive for October, 2010

Political Race & Campaigns: Apt Terms.

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

IMG_1278

Central Philadelphia campaign headquarters which consists of 10 to one dozen Internet phones, flat surfaces for logging get-out-the-vote calls and the debris of many long days and nights.

Lurching from one chaotic event to the next is the mode of operation in a race for office. It’s not the complexity of the wide variety of the associated issues, but their pace and quantity that challenges staff and management. A day’s events comprise the unveiling of a historic marker in commemoration of the Underground Railroad; a meeting with a self-described bishop of a collection of community churches; a midday luncheon in the four block square Chinatown followed by bandit-like darts into shops and restaurants to hand-out signs; check-in at a satellite office for 50 phone calls; a rally on the other side of town in a room buffeted on either side by the outdoor, salsa music modulated aerobics class and the stink of a genuine boxing gym complete with every bit of paraphernalia that you’d associate with a time and sport long gone by. I couldn’t help myself by fooling around with the speed bag. After dark, back to the Bishop’s neighborhood for door to door literature hanging to demonstrate Heading to dinner while planning the turn-out (crowd creation) for the visit of a former President, then learning of the weekend visit of the standing President.

I’m nearly worn-out after four days and many of my new colleagues have been at this for 1 or 2 or 4 years. I suppose that they are sustained by ambition, excitement and the productive fruits of their labors. There are many, many people to help- the wide swath of God’s children, I guess. Simultaneously, one observes the ennobling, small pleasures of life and the corrupted behavior of some who seek to lead- or rule- only for the privileges of access and ruling. Human behavior is not that elegant at the closest range.

I’ll have more to say after Tuesday’s final count. I’m always touched by the second place winner in a tennis tournament or similar who must graciously accept his trophy as the audience eagerly awaits the award of the championship honor. Politics is more of a gamble than a tournament as the winner takes all. There are no second place trophies. All in, all won or all out. One path to the marbled hallway, the other leads to…. there is no other road.

Brilliant insight by Ray Ozzie: Dawn of a New Day

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Posting this so that I do not lose track of it. Inspiring and provocative.

http://ozzie.net/docs/dawn-of-a-new-day/

What Really Motivates People

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Interesting and not that surprising. Curious is how we accept and even reinforce, especially in our professional roles, what we feel not to be accurate. We are motivated by challenge, a sense of participation and feelings of achievement. Cash, in this case, is not king.

Blue Pane Studio Launches 10th iPhone: BTIS

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

BTIS App

App available here. Next step is for the Android platform. Information on app sponsor, the Brit Technology Information Series.

RTP Alumni Chapter welcoming USNA Superintendent

Friday, October 15th, 2010

The United States Naval Academy Alumni Association, RTP Chapter, requests your presence for cocktails and dinner in order to welcome the Superintendent of the Naval Academy, Vice Admiral Michael Miller, USN. Vice Admiral Miller’s bio may be found here: http://www.navy.mil/navydata/bios/navybio.asp?bioID=215

Distinguished guests accompanying Vice Admiral Miller will be Chet Gladchuk, Athletic Director, and Byron Marchant, USNA Alumni Association President.

In partnership with the Prestonwood Country Club, our evening program will consist of a cocktail hour, Coastal Carolina buffet and a discussion with the Superintendent. On Saturday 6 November, we’ll join the Superintendent in Greenville, NC for the Navy vs ECU football game (tickets available separately).

DATE: Friday, 5 November 2010
LOCATION: Prestonwood Country Club • Cary, NC
TIME: Form-up at 1830 for cash-bar cocktail hour; seats at 1930
DRESS: Semi-formal (jacket for gentlemen)

Please register as soon as convenient as seating must be limited to 100.
For additional information, please contact Chapter President, Christopher Perrien, ibmchris@mac.com

4 man iPhone band on NYC subway. Come on!

Friday, October 15th, 2010

The Economist 2010 Award for Innovation: be like Steve

Monday, October 11th, 2010

economist innovation

Economist citation here. What can be the results of such innovation? Microsoft announces new mobile phone platform today and stock goes nearly nowhere, remaining around $24.62. Today, Apple stock rises $2.83 to $296.91 achieving new, all-time high. Imitation is indeed a high, and seemingly profitable, form of flattery.

Where is the mobile phone app race presently?
Daily Downloads in millions:
Apple – 20
Android – 5
Nokia – 2.3
RIM- 1.5

Mobile Device Operating Systems, market share in %
Symbian (Nokia) – 40
Blackberry (RIM) – 18
Android- 16
Apple – 15
Microsoft – 7
Others- 4

Apple has 15% market share and greater than 2x the number of apps sold as all of their competitors combined!

As other firms cut costs, buy back stock and hoard cash, Apple pursues its own path of innovation. Their stock is up nearly $60 since the iPad’s introduction in April of this year. Seems to me that the mantra of the enterprise should be “how might we be like Apple?”

‘With access to the same people, the same technologies and the same funding sources, why are they consistently so innovative?’ might be a question that every CEO would strive to answer in our economic doldrums.

Steve Jobs The Econ

Useful comparison of Android and iPhone

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Android & iPhone

Click on image above to access article.

Well written by Nick Saint of Business Insider. His contact info:
e-mail:nsaint@businessinsider.com and AIM: erraticnyc

The Future of Retail is Here: Shoppers with money.

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

A couple of unrelated articles in today’s WSJournal today indicate to me how retailers are sharpening, necessarily, their focus on who really are the good customers. The one size fits all where every mall in every city looks like every other mall in every other city is rapidly falling out of fashion. Local is a movement. Local means knowing who comes into the store or, if Amazon, has its way, who visits on-line. The accelerator for this movement is the distribution of discretionary income or the nearly unimaginable debt load across the aspiring classes, meaning those pinned in the middle aspiring for the upper end. This article in the Journal describes the financial plight of this middle class.

1. Middle Class Spending In this category spending is down 3.5% from 2008 and 3.1% from 2007. The associated drop is the largest since such began to be collected in 1984.

2. Amazon Several dozen retailers agreed to support ShopRunner, an on-line collective, in order to compete for the “highest spending on-line customers.”

Throughout this year in a wide range of customer discussions, all are concerned about retention. In the case of retailers, the target is the high value customer as the near term economic outlook offers little hope that many in the middle will rise to the high end (call this ‘organic growth).

shop runner

Step one is to reliably identify who is the high value customer and how to effectively communicate with that customer (call this ‘retention). It’s more than up-sell or sentiment analysis. How performance and accuracy improvements in large scale analytics can help to uncover this critical segment within each customer set would be a compelling lead-in for vendors of related data analytics technologies.

Tough commute to work: convoy with USMC in Afghanistan

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

Clement-gift

In this photo is the Vice President of our Naval Academy Alumni Chapter, Jeff Truitt, and First Lieutenant Jeffrey Clement USMC at a recent Chapter luncheon. I am this year’s President of the RTP Chapter of the Association. First, more about Lt. Clement. He is 24 years old and a graduate of Georgia Tech. His young wife joined us for lunch. She is also a Tech grad and employed by the Nuclear Reactor Commission in Washington, DC. Her busy workload there kept her mind occupied as her husband spent six months leading 30 vehicle convoys forth and back across the lengthy, sole paved road in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. I’ll update this post with associated photos of the scale of equipment required to keep Marines supplied in their desert outposts. Aside from the terrifying nature of the work where they must contend with 1,000s of home-made bombs on every transit – a home-made bomb is termed Improvised Explosive Device or IED and is essentially a five gallon pail of explosives planted in the sand in clusters- their routine transit up and down the one highway (sic) twists and turns through sand storms and scorching heat without the benefit of maintenance support along the way. Those associated photos depict a modern day wagon train in a landscape unchanged in thousands of years. No matter one’s political association, one has to wonder why we are there with nothing to conquer, nearly no one to convert and only handful of small village, actually campsites, where any sort of help will make any kind of difference.

As with the young Navy lieutenants whom I meet leading the RTP’s ROTC programs at Duke, NC State and UNC, I was humbled by the calm and purposeful demeanor of Lt. Clement. At 24 years old and now a combat veteran, he stands tall with a presence of honesty, sincerity and trustworthiness. When foiled by the weather or the enemy on convoy, he described simply what happened, what had to be done and what was learned to keep his men safe and the mission on target. He looks you straight in the eye when speaking with you because you have his full attention. I doubt if he suffers fools lightly and you receive the benefit of the doubt in conversation.

Why does he do this? Why do any of the young officers commit to service, enthusiastically pursue routinely dangerous jobs – not once in a while assignments, but routinely dangerous jobs- and perform such roles for lower pay and a reduced quality of life compared to their peers? I guess because they are attracted to a cause greater than themselves and feel that they must try to repay what they have and expect to receive by virtue of being citizens of this country. Not exactly a cable television, reality show concept.

Whenever I try to make sense of the aftermath of the financial bust- now Ireland has one foot off of the platform so who knows what awaits- I wonder how the nation would feel if our military sold us out the same way that our financial institutions had.

At my end, I’ll try to bring to work on Monday the lessons and messages that the 1st Lt. USMC conveyed to me on Friday during the noon hour. I’ll endeavor to see beyond the petty distractions and disruptions that too often take me off of my own single lane highway. I’ll try to accept stoically what I cannot change and do my calm best when I have the opportunity to make a difference. For sure, I won’t complain about any commute that I might have down I-40 and across town.