Archive for February, 2005


Yeah, Tanya is blogging!

February 27, 2005

Wabi Sabi

Well, she is blogging again. She had been, then she went silent, and now she is gushing with words and pictures.

Everyone should visit Tanya. Tanya should include more links in her blog to her favorite places. For example, perhaps she is fond of a co-worker’s or maybe even a boss’s blog.

Technorati Tags: ,


The sweet joy of customer service (and the ultimate revenge of the nerds)

February 25, 2005


Some observations from my week

February 25, 2005
  • Always dine with people who are smarter and better looking. This way you look better through association and learn something (hopefully) as well.
  • Don’t trust that the garbage men will actually take your trash if it does not meet your expectations, and remember the power they have to make your life very unpleasant.
  • Many companies strictly limit the web domains that employees can visit (not my own company) and that may include such nasty sites as
  • All the people on the planet don’t know nor care about RSS. However, the people that matter to technology marketers do.
  • Unlike many frozen proteins, shrimp can be defrosted quickly in running water with a minimal amount of impact on flavor or texture.
  • Blogging is no substitute for discussion, nor the final truth.

JR — Who is atlas?


RE: SCS Leather Laptop Slips

February 23, 2005

scs_slipcase.jpgIt can barely be called a laptop case, but these SCS Powerbook/iBook sleeves are extremely simple and very classy. Both are all leather and available in black or brown, and despite the name can accomodate any laptop that’s around the dimensions of the Powerbook 12- or 15-inch models. Since they are Japan only, however, you’re going to pay for simple and classy—$158, plus shipping.

Catalog Page [GeekStuff4U]

[Via Gizmodo]

Thank you Gizmodo for finding the cool stuff!


Prepare yourself for a bevy of blogs.

February 22, 2005

The groundswell behind blogging seems to be growing out of control. This is mostly a good thing, but as with all mass movements there are always some potential downsides. Here are a couple, with more to come.

1) Too many blogs about the same thing.
I read a ton of blogs about gadgets and technology (and want to start my own) but the differences among them are growing slimmer each day. The best content comes from a unique POV with something interesting to say. I am concerned that we are being overrun.

2) The endless incestuous relationships among blogs.
I know that the essence of blogs is being able to connect to other items of interest online, and I do it myself, but I am concerned when I see blogs that have lots of comments from the same people, link back to the same people, and are linked to by the same people. Over and over again. Finding new readers is tough, I realize, but essential.

I am potentially victim to at least one of the above. I should do something about that.


Why are all marketing people seen as useless scum?…

February 21, 2005

Why are all marketing people seen as useless scum? Perhaps because some are useless scum.

Robert Scoble, the king of Microsoft bloggers, posted this sad entry recently. I left a long comment as part of the stream there, but felt the need to say just a little more.

Technology marketing is not easy. Anyone who has ever done it realizes this almost immediately. The new marketer who comes to this realization has three courses of action, 1) suck it up and get better and better by learning, 2) say “screw it” and just do the same things over and again and damn those geeks anyway, or 3) get a job working for Pepsi.

Many people choose option 1. I like to think I am one of those, though some people may disagree. After 15 years as a technology marketer I am pretty sure I am not going to choose option 3. But, I repeat that this is a hard space in which to be a marketer.

Technology products, particularly software, are crystallized magic. They are able to do the unthinkable and impossible simply because someone figured out a way to build a “machine” that lives in unthinkable and impossible land. Convincing others of the value of this is often a hit or miss proposition. Either people get it or they don’t. If they don’t, then the hard work begins to show them enough of the unthinkable dreams they have turned into reality to warrant them using the product. This is really where the fun begins for marketing people.

I work with many many smart people – -marketing, sales, development, legal, finance, hr, etc. The IQ/sq ft in Redmond is huge, and it shows every time I have a conversation with my co-workers. But, some of these people just don’t have any real love or passion or belief in technology. Those people would be much better off working for Pepsi or Wal-Mart or Goldman Sachs.

Technology in general, and software in particular, is special. It is magic (and I can say that without a shred of irony) and you either believe in the magic and respect its power and the power of the magicians, or you go elsewhere.

I believe in the magic. Always have, always will.

Technorati Tags: ,


Not more TV, but better TV! Harry writes about Ti…

February 21, 2005

Not more TV, but better TV!

Harry writes about TiVo and 24 in his latest entry. Evidently Tanya claims people with TiVo watch more TV than before they had the device. (Tanya is obviously looking for reasons to justify not blogging more often.)

I have heard this argument before and don’t think there is a reasonable answer to it. I believe that in my house we watch less TV as a result of TiVo, since we can just watch what we want when we want it instead of flipping endlessly waiting for something good to come on. I think of TiVo a great timesaver.

At this point, since we have two TiVo’s in our house, we are saving so much time we hardly watch TV at all. Let’s see it is really just Alias, American Idol, 24, Desperate Housewives, Boston Legal, Joey, Will & Grace, Scrubs, ER, Sesame Street, and whatever Food Network shows are on at any given moment. No, we don’t watch that much at all. Really, before TiVo we watch a lot of crap.

I was having dinner a few weeks ago with an old friend who was part of the founding team at TiVo and holds several patents for some of the things we take for granted in TiVo. He was telling about the experience he had trying to get the engineers to build the FF/Play combo correctly so that it “jumps back” in time when you hit the Play button during FF. This jump back allows you to start from the beginning of what you want to see, not miss the first few seconds. It seems that the engineers were very opposed to this — they wanted the Play to start from exactly where the button was pushed. My friend explained that the reaction time of people was such that they would always miss a few seconds at the beginning of what they wanted to see. The engineers claimed that people would just learn to hit the button sooner. Need I say more?

Technorati Tags:



February 18, 2005

The official lunch blog OR how I learned to stop worrying and let other people pay

Now, I am not naming names, but seems that everyone wants their fair mention in the blog after having lunch with me. I know that I am entertaining and my lunch choices are usually very fabu, but who would have imagined I would become the seen/be seen column of high-tech.

So, seen recently at lunch were two high-powered publishing people in my company. Needless to say, they made me look a whole lot better than I would have looked on my own. Secrets were shared and someone ordered the Gorgonzola Fries. Yes, whispered discussions ensued and some real hand-washing occurred.

I am no gossip, but I think the whole place was waiting for another celeb to come in and join our table. Alas, Mr. Gates couldn’t make it to see his supposed cousin.



February 15, 2005

Knee deep in trying to get some presentations complete.

Lots of material has been written about the good and bad (mostly bad) of PowerPoint. Try this or this (Harry just sent it over) for some perspective on the problem.

I could write a lot and say very little. I have struggled for years to make PowerPoint work for me as well as demonstrate to others the good and the bad of it. Sometimes, however, I just shake my head and want to give up. Why?

Well, it has dawned on me that PowerPoint falls in the same classification as marketing. Namely, everyone thinks that they can do it. Everyone thinks that the ability to judge quality is sufficient to be able to create quality. Nobody wants to admit that presenting means PRESENTING, not just reading slides. Slideware is no substitute for being a good presenter.

I could go on and on about this. The bottom line is that it frustrates me. I work at a company where PowePoint is used in place of Word to create documents for people to read. I think this is a losing battle for me.

So, back to my presentation. Perhaps I really need some more spinning stars and dancing dogs to make my point.



February 8, 2005

We are all time. We are all the time. We are all in time. We are out of time.