Midshipmen, Officers and Lacrosse Players

Monday, May 11th, 2009

It was Navy weekend with the NROTC commissioning ceremonies at both NC State and Duke Universities. Gratifying to be around so many purposeful young men and women and their inspiringly proud parents. Observing 12 young midshipmen take the oath of office then promoted to Ensigns and hearing of their assignments to nuclear submarines, airplane squadrons and the Medical Corps excited me about the intriguing futures in store for each and diminished the weight of the prevailing befuddling stream of economic news.

After these Friday ceremonies, we prepared for a BBQ and the Navy vs Duke lacrosse match as part of the NCAA tournament. A vicious thunderstorm forced us inside without much loss of our spirits, but whatever good mood remained was completely dispelled when Duke ran off 10 unanswered goals in the first period. Even John Paul Jones might have struck his colors at that point. As Yankee Yogi would say, ‘it got late early for Navy.’

Duke is off to Annapolis next weekend to play UNC in the second round of this championship! The schools are 20 minutes apart and will drive 11 hours round-trip for a 90 minute game. Go Green Movement! Of course, both are happy to be in the final 8 no matter where the field.

Lacrosse participation is certainly on the rise as the Duke players appeared larger, faster and more skilled. Thirty years ago, the Navy had the larger and faster players keeping them competitive even when they were not as skilled. I’m sure that the distribution of talent into our corps of naval and marine officers follows an opposite trend, more talent is drawn from a smaller pool of interested parties.

In both the commissioning ceremonies and the lacrosse game, one had to both entertained and satisfied that there is wealth of talented and capable youth readying to relieve the watch.

Politics, Finances & Football: what’s a knowledge worker to do?

Friday, March 7th, 2008

Super Tuesday wasn’t that super; sub-prime confessions continue to spiral the market; and Brett Favre retires!   Does anyone really want to hear about the enterprise value of the Internet’s blooming capabilities?!

As we round the corner into spring weather, it might be useful to recall a few of the primary changes brought about by this current generation of web technologies, aka Web 2.0:

1. no longer dozens of markets comprised of millions of customers, but millions of markets comprised of perhaps only dozens of customers – think Long Tail or the permanent changes in media distribution (film, music, tv, advertising).

2. the Apple Store is more like the branch bank of the future than is the current drive-up window.  Customers want to affiliate with like-minded people where their particular needs can  be addressed.  The better news is that given the tools, customers will form these communities themselves.

3. Knowledge is no longer power because everybody knows – or at least has access to knowing.  This is the highest peak for management to climb.  Instead of singularly figuring-out how to deploy Web 2.0 tools e.g. the proper level of privacy, we should ask our employees, customers, partners what they think (and know) will work best.  Management has to bound the chaos, not provide the answers.

4. Mobility and Video are exploding right before our eyes similar to the marriage of computers and spreadsheets in the mid 1980s which launched the PC revolution.  Consider Google’s (owner of You Tube) Android program and yesterday’s Apple – Kleiner Perkins announcement to fund enterprise applications for the iPhone.  BTW, Steve Jobs is the largest shareholder of Disney Corp.  Wait ‘n see may be ok; and it’s not too soon for incubating a promotion strategy on mobile devices.

One thing is for certain, tomorrow’s Duke vs UNC game will be a good one and that game tips-off the welcomed respite of March Madness.  Go Carolina!

Regards, Christopher Perrien