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Do You Know the Difference Between a House of Cards and a House of Lego Blocks?

house-of-cards

Here’s a house of cards:

 

And here’s a house of Lego blocks (well, sort of ..)

Explanation here.

 

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In Memoriam Robin Gibb

Robin Gibb passed away at age 62.   Apparently all the younger generation knows about the Bee Gees is their disco period.   How said.  Long before the disco era the Bee Gees were legends, at times rivalling the Beatles.  Here’s a little playlist I’ve thrown together, based on their Golden Oldies I could find on Youtube.

 

aside

Trying to wake up this dormant blog…

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Evernote Celebrates Birthday by Joining the Billion Dollar Club (Really?)

Evernote has recently celebrated their third birthday. I also recently had my 21st birthday – it feels good to be able to legally grab a drink finallySmile.  (Hey, if Evernote can lie about their age, so can I…).   Joke apart, I have no idea why a company would pretend to be half as young as they really are – there are quite a few users, yours truly included who remember the early product, back from 2005-2006.

evernote scrollOK, so back then Evernote was really nothing more than a scrawny little note-taker, with a weird scrolling tape metaphor that was hard to get used to, but it already showed unusual flexibility of mixing typed and handwritten text with imaging. Still, the key benefit was price, compared to Microsoft Onenote.  It’s hard to compete with free.

I was truly surprised by the news of their first funding round. Here’s my offending post from 2006 (hm, before they even existed, if you believe the birthday news…):

EverNote – Love You and Hate You

EverNote is the last company I expected to raise venture funding: has a mature product, a mix of freeware and a $35 version, and I pretty much considered them a good candidate for safe, organic growth. GigaOM just reported it EverNote’s funding to the tune of $6M. Wow…

My Love & Hate relationship? The love part is easy to understand; it’s a handy, easy-to-use notetaker, which I prefer to the comparable Microsoft OneNote, and the $0 price is quite unbeatable. The hate part: it really does not fit into strategy of moving off the desktop into the Cloud.

In fact it’s the only application that breaks my sync efforts between two laptops using FolderShare:

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Chase Bank Loses Customer’s … No, Not Money, Just Email

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words – so here’s my 2k-word essay, straight from Chase Online:

OK, that should be easy, let’s click to get that email:

Oops – dear Chase, where’s my message?

Of course on the week when the IMF and the US Senate gets hacked, GoDaddy goes down (did they forget to renew their domain?), I should not complain.  After all, it’s not my money they’ve lost. (?)

 

 

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Customer Focus: the Constellation Supernova Awards

Constellation Research, founded by fellow Enterprise Irregular and star analyst Ray Wang has just announced the  ambitious Supernova Awards program, focusing on – what a twist! – customer champions of innovation, rather than vendors.

Krish and I both feel honored to have been invited as Judges for the Cloud Computing category. Below is the official announcement in full:

 

THE GENESIS

Today, we announce an award that celebrates and recognizes leaders who have overcome the odds to successfully apply emerging and disruptive technologies for their organizations.

In Search of Protostars

Most award programs recognize the technology suppliers for their advancements in the market. Few, if any programs, have recognized individuals for their courage in battling the odds to effect change in their organization. The Constellation SuperNova Awards celebrate the explorers, the pioneers, and the unsung heroes who successfully put new technologies to work. More importantly, these leaders have created disruptions in their market.

“Applying technology innovation to effect business results requires exceptional organizational leadership and teamwork. It is not enough to simply implement the technology. To ensure success, these leaders had to build buy-in relationships across all levels of the organization – appealing to rational and emotional senses – as well as make tough calls in system delivery to make change easier”, noted Amy Wilson, Vice-President and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research, Inc.

An all star cast of judges will identify applicants who embody the human spirit to innovate, overcome adversity, and successfully deliver market changing approaches. Applicants will be subjected to a vigorous set of criteria that reflect real-world and pragmatic experience. Semifinalists will be selected in five categories: social business, mobile enterprise, cloud computing, advanced analytics, and emerging technologies.

“Innovation is the life blood of businesses. We need to celebrate those pioneers who are able to see what the others don’t, who are willing to invest their time and energy while others don’t dare to, and whose passion inspires us all to look innovation in the eyes, embrace it and become innovators.” said Paul Papadimitriou, Vice-President and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research, Inc.

THE DETAILS

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Startup Lifecycle a’la ABBA (Are We in a Bubble?)

Wow, who would have thought 1970′s supergroup ABBA were such good predictors of the Startup Economy:-)

No kidding… it all started with a tweet by Box Lead Magician Aaaron Levie:

@levie
We must be in a tech bubble given how much ABBA I’m listening to.
24 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

My first though was:

@ZoliErdos
@levie As long as it’s not only Money Money Money :-)
21 minutes ago Favorite Reply Delete

Then I had this crazy thought of trying to remember more ABBA titles… it took me about 3 minutes to see ABBA’s wisdom … LOL.. I mean to come up with a full startup lifecycle, purely based on ABBA titles:

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Chatting Cars and Enterprise Software

Today’s big news is Salesforce Teaming up with Toyota to create a private social network where you can befriend your car and it will “tweet” you when it’s thirsty, need a checkup etc..etc..etc – see the details from @Krishnan’s post.  The opportunities are really endless – more on that later.   I have to get something off my chest first.

I admit when Chatter first came out, I did not get it.  Yeah, another activity stream, so what?  I’ve long agreed with Chief Curmudgeon Dennis Howlett that activity streams without business context offer little value in business.  Things started to get interesting when Chatter added the ability to follow documents, opportunities and other business objects.  Aha!  So now we’re getting business context in Chatter!  But why?

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The LastNews (!) You Want to Hear is LastPass Hacked. Now What?

Password management service LastPass notified users their servers may have been hacked. I take a minute break, let it sink in.

Yes, this is the one (Last) uber-super secure system you trust with ALL your passwords.  Ouch.  But d

espite the hacking, LastPass says users who had a strong master password in the first place are still safe (and they are forcing users to change that master password now).

I’m not a security expert and don’t pretend to be one, so all you can get from me is some ramblings from a business user:

 

Most of us are at an even higher risk every day: statistics show that over 60% of Internet users

have a favorite set of login credentials …

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Conspiracy Theory: the Vista-ization of Windows 7 has Started…

I simply don’t get it: Vista is barely out, nobody seems to like it, CIO’s refuse to upgrade, analyst firms tell them to wait, individual users who tried it switch back to XP, others time their new PC purchase so they can still get an XP machine – generally speaking Vista was as poorly received as the ill-fated Windows ME.

Apple is gaining market share, the major computer manufacturers are offering Linux PC’s, the Web OS concept is getting popular, applications are already on the Web – can anyone clearly see the shape of personal computing in 2012? (Yes, I know MS plans for 2010, I’m just adding the customary delay.) Will it still matter what OS we use to get on the Internet? How can Microsoft be so out of touch?

I was right and I was wrong.  Right in the assessment, that Vista’s main competitor was Microsoft’s own solid OS, WinXP – there was simply no reason to upgrade.  Yet as buying new computers with Good Ole Vista became increasingly difficult, many of us got stuck with Vista.  I was wrong in not foreseeing that Vista would turn out to be such a disaster, that millions of Vista victims would end up paying the ransom to get out of the trap and get the version of the OS that actually works: Windows 7.

What followed was two peaceful years when Windows computers simply worked.  Yes, They Just Worked. Almost like a Mac. Smile

Then the unexpected (?) happened…