Monthly Archives: May 2010

Big finance and now Big oil

As America turns more and more into a nanny state I hope americans and their government representatives start to realize that government is suppose to provide a safe environment for people to live – live as they please without breaking the law. It seems the government has spent way too much time telling us HOW to live while they let big finance clean out the coffers, making a lot of people rich, and now they have let big oil destroy the gulf.

Government should be regulating business more than regulating our lives. Clearly we missed it on wall street and now it is clear that those watching over big oil were more interested in profit than the environment. Disgusting.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/28/opinion/28fri1.html?ref=global:

Mr. Obama said he would need Congress’s help on some changes. But there is much he can do administratively, and rapidly, including requiring more rigorous inspections of rigs by the Coast Guard and other agencies. One big problem, as he noted, is that government officials (he included himself in this indictment) have too easily accepted industry assurances that it could deal with a worst-case scenario.

They clearly should not have been so trusting. This is an industry that can no longer safely be left to its own devices.

The secret is out! (Yahoo! buys Koprol)

t-shirtWell – this is what I have been working on for the past few months with my good friend and co-worker Shanan. My first M&A deal at Yahoo! but also the first of its kind in places like Indonesia. Pretty sure this is the first time one of the big internet companies has bought an Indonesian startup. This is great for Indonesia and the emerging markets as a region – showing that good products have an exit strategy.

I will be blogging more as I work on the Yahoo! integration and the plans for Koprol in the future. Stay tuned.

Just some of the coverage –

http://www.e27.sg/2010/05/25/yahoo-acquires-koprol-foursquare-of-indonesia/

http://www.pcworld.com/article/197064/yahoo_buys_indonesian_mobile_internet_company.html

http://techcrunch.com/2010/05/24/yahoo-koprol/

http://kara.allthingsd.com/20100524/yahoo-acquires-indonesian-geo-location-service-called-koprol/

Arrington is finally onto something!

I was reading this post today by Arrington and was LMAO – it is so spot on.

For the years I lived in Thailand I was generally running around with a cheap Nokia phone – something like this. I think I paid like 40 USD for it – brand new. Slapped my SIM card in it and I off I went. I was always able to get any of the cheap phones to sync using Bluetooth to my MAC so I was always up and running with my full address book quickly. Battery life is killer on these phones and call quality is amazing with the ability to make calls in elevators most of the time.

It is amazing how smart phones add in all the whiz-bang stuff but seem to fall down on the normal stuff – like making calls.

This is the good stuff though:

And really, for certain social situations, like dinners, all this phone activity needs to stop anyway. If you can’t check into Foursquare or Gowalla with your phone, you definitely won’t be. I found I was having actual conversations with people instead. While my tiny prepaid phone sat lightly in my pocket, humming on a full battery charge.

When all your phone is for is making calls – then you tend to use it less and actually interact with the real world. Nice!

My prediction is having “dumb” phones will be the new cool thing!

The battle of the Century!

Read this first: http://radar.oreilly.com/2010/03/state-of-internet-operating-system.html

Then: http://radar.oreilly.com/2010/04/handicapping-internet-platform-wars.html

A shame Yahoo! was left out but oh well – the info is sound but probably does not correctly reflect that the big war is between Google and Apple. At Google I/O it was very evident that Google knows who they are battling – Apple. What I find so childish is though Google having to throw jabs all day at Apple. We all know that the guy who brags or claims to want to take you down is the guy who most people don’t respect. Google may win or may not but being so cocky about it is lame, lame.

Here is Cedric going on about it, former Google employee heading to Linked-In, and I think he is wrong. Whether or not Google will surpass Apple is beside the point – being arrogant about it to me is so unprofessional. One thing I like about Apple is they tend to keep their head down, produce and innovate. Google is a huge innovator but the cocky attitude is getting tiresome – especially coming from such a cutthroat company constantly breaching privacy rules while pretending it was an accident.

It was good to see Kara point out that Google I/O would have been better without the arrogance. I had assumed given Schmidt’s experience at Sun that he would have seen how McNealy’s constant chest pounding and jabs never got Sun anywhere – well other than sold to Oracle. 🙂

Crazy times but I think the quiet superstar always comes off better than the arrogant one.

Go Larry…

I don’t really care for Oracle but you have to like Larry. I remember at one of the first Java One conferences he followed Bill Coleman’s diatribe and just mopped the floor with him. Coleman is a sharp guy and BEA had its heyday but when it comes to speaking and showmanship – BEA was terrible. Scott Dietzen could usually save the day with a demo and talk but anyway – moving on.

When it comes to the Enterprise software space Larry is one of a kind. I have spent an afternoon with McNealy back when I was working with LVMH and he was cool but as a speaker he spent more time bashing than enthralling. Larry has a magical way of slightly bashing while enthralling. Much more powerful. I was backstage when Chuck Phillips and Larry listened to Coleman rambling on and on while coming up with their retaliation game plan. Larry followed Bill – pretty much everyone forgot what Bill said at that point cause Larry was a showman and he owned the audience.

I was impressed – in my opinion he is the Steve Jobs of the enterprise space.

Stumbled across this article today and loved how he explained Sun’s ponytail years as I call them. In my opinion Schwartz ruined Sun and I was pretty happy that Larry was going to try and save it:

Ellison says he learned that Sun’s pony-tailed chief executive, Jonathan Schwartz, ignored problems as they escalated, made poor strategic decisions and spent too much time working on his blog, which Sun translated into 11 languages.

“The underlying engineering teams are so good, but the direction they got was so astonishingly bad that even they couldn’t succeed,” said Ellison. “Really great blogs do not take the place of great microprocessors. Great blogs do not replace great software. Lots and lots of blogs does not replace lots and lots of sales.”

Schwartz declined comment as did Sun co-founder and former Chairman Scott McNealy.

At the start, Ellison shut down one of Schwartz’s pet projects — development of the “Rock” microprocessor for Sun’s high-end SPARC server line, a semiconductor that had struggled in development for five years as engineers sought to overcome a string of technical problems. “This processor had two incredible virtues: It was incredibly slow and it consumed vast amounts of energy. It was so hot that they had to put about 12 inches of cooling fans on top of it to cool the processor,” said Ellison. “It was just madness to continue that project.”

More infuriating, says Ellison, is that Sun routinely sold equipment at a loss because it was more focused on boosting revenue than generating profits.

The sales staff was compensated based on deal size, not profit. So the commission on a $1 million sale that generated $500,000 in profit was the same as one that cost the company $100,000, he said. “The sales force could care less if they sold things that lost money because the commission was the same in either case,” he said. Ellison added that Sun also lost money when it resold high-end storage equipment from Hitachi Ltd, storage software from Symantec Corp and consulting services from other companies. Oracle is ending those deals.

Larry and Oracle have their work cut out for them but I know that a lot of my ex-BEA friends are there and in powerful positions. Larry just might pull off his grand vision and it is thrilling for me to know that I was a small part of it given that the WebLogic stuff is a huge part of Oracle’s middleware strategy.

Panic!

daring fireball does it again.

Check this link: http://www.panic.com/blog/2010/05/an-apple-e-an-ipad-and-jed/

These guys make the coolest software – been using Transmit for years but what is also hugely evident by reading their blog is that they are the coolest people. Cool, happy people make better software.

Panic – my hats off to your team! Amazing stuff.

I miss my Apple IIe but seeing it hooked to the iPad made me miss my original Newton!

peace