Category Archives: Uncategorized

Chris Matthews often interviews Chris Mathews

When I have the opportunity, I often enjoy watching Hardball with Chris Mathews, but his interviewing style often drives me nuts. Ultimately, my issue is that I am a stickler for the “unwritten” rule of questioning – person A (in this case the host) asks person B (the guest) a question and then the person B answers the question. If necessary, person A asks a follow up question to probe deeper or to clarify person B’s previous answer.
Well often Chris asks a question and then answers his own question, often talking over the guest. The guest then stops talking to listen to Chris Mathews, who at times will also stop talking creating a very unnatural momentary pause or they both talk simultaneously and you can’t hear either clearly. I respect Chris Mathews experience in politics and enjoy hearing his unique perspective, even though I often do not agree with him. Maybe one of these days, I will grow accustomed to the fact that he will often answer his own questions before he allows the guest to answer.

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Dell pcs to ship with Ubuntu v7.04 pre-loaded

According to a Peter Galli article on eWeek.com:

Dell and Canonical will announce a partnership on May 1 that will see the hardware giant ship Ubuntu Linux preinstalled on some of its desktop and laptop computers.

The article points to its sister site, DesktopLinux.com which suggests that the first machines loaded with Ubuntu’s “Feisty Fawn” will be the “Dell e-series ‘Essential’ Dimension desktop, an XPS desktop and an e-series Inspiring laptop, and that the systems will be available in late May 2007.”

As an Ubuntu user, who has quickly become a fan, I am excited by this news.  But my mind quickly fills with a number of questions.

  • Is Dell hoping to increase PC sales by taping into those who have been building their own PCs and installing open source
    OSs?
  • Is this move solely focused on the consumer market?  Or is a part of their strategy to grab some additional small / mid-size business user business who may have switched to open source?
  • What impact, if any, will this have on the long-term marketplace? 
    • How nervous should Microsoft be about this move?
    • Assuming it is a successful move, how many years will it take to truly have an impact?
  • Even if the numbers of buyers aren’t huge, how much of an impact will this move have on Dell’s bottom line since it is a freely available OS?

If you have an opinion, I would love to hear it.

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Filed under Canonical, Dell, eweek, Fiesty Fawn, Linux, Operating System, OS, Peter Galli, Technology, Ubuntu, Uncategorized

Tater Mitts!!!

TaterMitts 

 

I was sitting here working on my blog, watching the Military channel when a commercial came on – forgot to hit fast forward on the Tivo – for Tater Mitts.  Seeing this commercial made me realize that the end is indeed near.  Anyone who pays $19.95 plus shipping and handling should be caned.

Better yet, just send me the $19.95 plus $6.95 and I will send you something much better… an autographed photo of yours truly.  It never ceases to amaze me the useless crap that is marketed via infomercials.  More surprising is the number of people who line up to buy this stuff.  Hell, who hasn’t seen one of those As Seen on TV stores in one of their local malls.  What’s one more crappy product that will take up space in a drawer?

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Filed under Marketing, Rant, Uncategorized, useless crap

Do companies need a second in command?

Second in Command  Recently I read an article written by Nathan Bennett and Stephen Miles which was published in the May 2006 issue of Harvard Business Review entitled, “Second in Command” which discusses the relationship between CEOs and COOs.  The authors point out that no two COOs have the same job description – not even two that have been employed by the same organization.  This, they argue, is a result of the fact that position is determined largely by the needs (and strengths and weaknesses) of the CEO.  They quote statistics that show the gradual decline in the number of COOs who are currently employed.  More interestingly they point out that 17% of COOs, who are promoted to CEO, elect not to hire a replacement COO.  I am surprised by this statistic, because I would imagine that a former COO would understand the benefit that a COO brings to an organization.

 

Many would agree that, among many other things, the CEO needs to be focused on the long-term direction and strategy of the organization.  The COO should be focused on the day-to-day operations of the business and implementing the CEOs vision.  A mistake that some organizations make is by having a CEO who is too tactically focused.  If we view those companies over a 5, 10 or 15 year period, I am willing to bet that those organizations – with tactically focused CEOs (and no COO) – will be much less successful than those with a CEO and COO.

Companies do need a second in command.  The CEO can not effectively be both strategically and tactically focused.  They need a trusted employee to focus their attention on the daily operations of the business and on executing on the CEOs strategy.

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Filed under CEO, COO, Harvard Business Review, Leadership, Nathan Bennett, Stephen Miles, Strategy, Uncategorized

Wall Street Scandal

I was reading the Matthew Goldstein article on UBS in the March 26th issue of BusinessWeek, and I found myself fixated on one small aspect of the story.  The story briefly outlines portions of Michael Guttenberg’s work history.  I found myself wondering how he went from being a “sales assistant” with Axiom Capital Management to an Executive Director with UBS in four short years.  Now, I will be the first to admit that I do not have intimate knowledge of the New York City Financial Services market, but to an outsider that sounds like a fairly incredible jump.  I found my mind shifting from did he, and twelve others, do what they are accused of or not, to what did he accomplish during those four years that justified that type of jump?

 

I found another comment in the article to be very interesting as well.  Goldstein, through sources that are “familiar with [Guttenberg’s] duties” labels him as a “glorified marketing executive.”  I find this interesting, because one of my pet peeves is that a number of people that I have come into contact with have a low opinion of the marketing profession.  So much so that they believe almost anyone can do it.  While this article does not provide an exhaustive look at Guttenberg’s resume, it struck me as an example of this type of thinking.  It appears that Guttenberg spent a fair amount of his time in the sales profession, but yet UBS promoted him to a marketing executive position, and on top of that placed him on “an elite committee” within the company.

 

Time and the courts will tell if Mr. Guttenberg and his colleagues are guilty, in the meantime I am fascinated by the progression of his career prior to this incident.

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Filed under Axiom Capital Management, BusinessWeek, Financial Services, Marketing, Matthew Goldstein, Michael Guttenberg, Sales, Scandal, UBS, Uncategorized, Wall Street

Slingbox

Slingbox

 

For those of us who spend entirely too much time in hotels, the Slingbox could be an incredible product.  I love the idea that I can “sling” my favorite programs from my Tivo to my pc or other internet accessible device.  If this product can live up to the hype, then I want one – it beats watching the crap that the hotels offer you.

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Filed under Technology, Uncategorized