My friend Nikola Bozinovic (say that three times fast) is a very sharp software developer originally from Serbia who has, over the years, worked for most of the usual suspect American software companies. He is also the guy who restored from a grotty old VHS tape my film Steve Jobs — The Lost Interview. And as of this week he’s the CEO of Mainframe2, an exciting startup strutting its stuff at the DEMO conference in Santa Clara. Mainframe2 claims it can put almost any Windows application into the cloud, making apps usable from any device that can run a web browser supporting html5. We’re talking Photoshop and AutoCAD […]
No law is more powerful or important in Silicon Valley than Moore’s Law — the simple idea that transistor density is continually increasing which means computing power goes up just as costs and energy consumption go down. It’s a clever idea we rightly attribute to Gordon Moore. The power lies in the Law’s predictability. There’s no other trillion dollar business where you can look down the road and have a pretty clear idea what you’ll get. Moore’s Law lets us take chances on the future and generally get away with them. But what happens when you break Moore’s Law? That’s what I have been thinking about lately. That’s when destinies change.
There may have been many […]
The Innovator’s Dilemma, a 1997 book by Harvard professor Clayton Christensen, made the point that successful companies can lose their way when they pay too much attention to legacy products and not enough attention to new stuff. They are making so much money they either don’t see a competitor rising up or are too complacent to feel threatened. In either case the incumbent generally loses and the upstart (usually one of many) generally wins. The best way for successful companies to avoid this problem is by inventing the future before their competitors do.
We see this pattern over and over in high tech. Remember Lotus? Remember Word Perfect? Remember Borland? And it’s not just in software. […]
This week we have the DefCon 20 and Black Hat computer security conferences in Las Vegas — reasons enough for me to do 2-3 columns about computer security. These columns will be heading in a direction I don’t think you expect, but first please indulge my look back at the origin of these two conferences, which were started by the same guy, Jeff Moss, known 20 years ago as The Dark Tangent. Computer criminals and vigilantes today topple companies and governments, but 20 years ago it was just kids, or seemed to be. I should know, because I was there — the only reporter to attend Def Con 1.
In those days there […]
A memo went out this week to managers in IBM’s U.S. Integrated Technology Services division requiring that future use of additional sub-contract (1099) workers must be approved in advance by a director or vice president. This includes coverage for sick days and vacations, not to mention inevitable customer emergencies. The memo further required that the renewal of any ongoing 1099 contracts include an across-the-board 10 percent reduction in labor rates to IBM. While this may not sound like news, inside ITS it has great meaning since the company has already been cut to the bone. There are, for example, reportedly two remaining IBM experts on HP-UX, HP’s version of Unix. Yet IBM supports customer running […]