Friday, January 20, 2012

My new commitment to my blog

It's been over 2-years since I made a post here. The last post was my promise to make more posts. I didn't stick to it. I might not this time around, either. But I'm really going to try. Here's what I think the secret will be: I'm not going to try and post novels.

I'm going to post ideas, thoughts and commentaries. Brief ideas, thoughts and commentaries.

Maybe no longer than this.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Almost Christmas

Christmas of 2010 and I haven't posted anything since April. Shame on me because I've had many a brilliant thought since then. For instance:
  • AOL was the first Facebook
  • Yahoo isn't a search engine
  • "The Cloud" is a simple idea that's made really confusing when people try to make it simple
  • Bottled water is the single, biggest marketing to consumers-as-gullible-sheep coup ever
  • Politics as we know it is a criminal enterprise
  • The Internet is getting more and more closed
  • It's funny that people think there's still such a thing as "anonymous" browsing
  • Twitter's probably really good for nothing
  • And it will be gone in 5 years
  • Fast food is the new cigarette
  • The iPad is the one thing from Apple that I can't talk myself into buying
  • There will be a GM renaissance
  • There won't be one for Toyota
That's it for looking backwards. On to the future and a prolific 2011.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Why Should Apple Care About Adobe?

I've been paying some attention to the ongoing grousing between Apple and Adobe because I am a fan of both and a user of both. And, I guess, a consumer of both. There is nothing that really compares to Adobe Creative Suite for creative development and design and there is no better device or interface for anything than those from Apple; I'd rather jab a rusty fork in my eye than have to use Adobe apps (or anything) on a PC. To me, the companies always seemed to be united around a common goal of making stuff that's really good for customers before anything else; they were both premium offerings that were the class of their categories, expensive but worth it. When I heard they were squabbling, I was disappointed and, candidly, more disappointed in Apple than Adobe.

I thought that Apple was using it's new-found, broad-based and wide-spread popularity to start (I hate to say it) Microsoft-ing other companies that didn't fall in line with what the company wanted. Why not be a little more Flash-friendly? Why not let your old comrade-in-arms be a bigger part of your grand vision of the future? And beyond Flash, I was concerned that the rift between the two companies would widen to a full-fledged break-up or divorce or whatever, and I'd be left with my fork-in-the-eye alternative of either using CS on a PC or not having the best creative development platform for my Mac.

But after reading this, I think my fears are unfounded. And I think my ire might have been misdirected. Sure, I know this is from the Apple propaganda machine but I want to believe it. Honestly, Apple has never done anything other than earn my business and loyalty with everything they've done; I have never had a bad, disappointing or negative experience with anything the company has anything to do with. I love every Mac I've ever had; I love the OS and other software they develop to create such a sublime interface between user and hardware; I don't have an iPhone but want one (it's an AT&T thing, not an Apple thing): I love my iPods; and I'm looking for a better reason than "coolness" to buy an iPad, which I'm sure I'd love.

The thing that turned my perception around after reading the piece from Mr. Jobs — and after thinking more about how Apple has plowed (and sometimes plodded) through adversity — was that, in the end, I think Apple does everything they do for me. And every other user of anything Apple in the world. And everyone who doesn't use Apple's products but longs for something better. Apple has more or less bucked the conventional wisdom that access to what already exists is better business than making something new and better because it's riskier.

Henry Ford is often quoted as saying something akin to "If I'd have listened to consumers, I would have invented a faster horse." I think Apple and Steve Jobs are in that camp, too: inventing great things for consumers that they didn't necessarily know they needed or wanted. And then executing meticulously all aspects about and around whatever that thing is. I don't know if I think Adobe has that in mind: great things I don't even know I need or want.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I Think I'm A Ford Fan

Or , after reading this story in the Wall Street Journal, at least a fan of Alan Mulally, the CEO. As a voyeur of the American auto industry crisis, it's hard not to notice how often GM and Chrysler seem to stumble and bumble in, out and around bankruptcy. And how Ford has managed to mostly do the right thing and make smarter choices than their Detroit neighbors. At first I thought it was because Mulally was an outsider but, then again, so is Ed Whiteacre ( former Chairman and CEO of AT&T) and so was Bob Nardelli (former CEO of The Home Depot) who was brought in by Cerebus Capital to run Chrysler after they acquired it. Sergio Marchionne is a certainly a Detroit outsider albeit not an automotive industry outsider as the CEO of Fiat.

So while outsiders now abound in Detroit and the American auto industry, what is it that makes
BusinessWeek story so interesting is how so not like a car guy Mulally comes off as. Which is probably why Ford continues to be a better story than the rest of the American auto industry (although I'm pulling hard for all of them and even starting to feel a bit optimistic about GM, too). Ed Whiteacre, in particular, seems like he could have had an entire career at GM and doesn't seem that different from Rick Wagoner and is only having more success because he doesn't own the baggage of too many years at the same company. I don't know if he's really doing much that's so different but he is just free to do it.

But the big difference, I think, is that because Ford didn't take bailout money, Ford can continue to run itself like a car company while the others have to run themselves as a government subsidiary. I don't think there's many people, if any, that think that having to include government bureaucracy with giant legacy corporate bureaucracy is going to do anyone any good, particularly the public. And that's the other difference between Ford and the other companies: Ford is still working for it's owners, chiefly shareholders. The other companies are working for the government; how inspiring.