Need to bring my Yellow/Red Referee cards to DC Conference

I count myself extremely lucky hanging around some of the thought leaders in the data center industry. In the past I would travel with and spend time at conferences with Mike Manos when he ran Microsoft's data center group and Olivier Sanche when he ran eBay's data center group. I still get to hang with the thought leaders and one of the things I see too often are the sales guys who would circle like sharks around a target, waiting for when they could move in. Most of the time the sales sharks keep their distance.

Sometimes though the sales sharks commit when there is no opening and they interject themselves in to an existing conversation. After a minute if the sales shark doesn't back off, we figure out whose turn it is to save the DC executive from the sales shark.

What do you do? We typically joke about it later. I can tell you never do any of these sales sharks score a "so glad that guy interrupted our conversation to tell me about his product/service." So, how do you stop the sales shark predator behavior? Is this just part of what comes with going to a DC conference?

The idea I had years ago, and I still have them is a package of Yellow and Red referee cards used by soccer referees.

If I pull a yellow card and have one of our friends take a picture we would have record of committing a foul, interrupting a conversation. We could then share the image with others, and hopefully the sales shark would go away. This could be pretty funny too. Dude perfect has their own youtube video.

if we wanted to make it even funnier we could make it like a photobomb with someone inserting themselves with a yellow card.

Three Choices for the future Smart Phone for Steve Ballmer

Steve Ballmer is famous for his statements against the iPhone. Here is his Youtube video.

Saw Steve yesterday morning and I was thinking what is his next smart phone?

Would Steve get one of the market dominating phones from Apple or Google? Those two choices are obviously no.

Then I thought the 3rd choice. What is his other option? Given the low price and abundance of inventory of Windows Phones Steve could have hundreds, thousands of Windows phones in his garage replacing it every year.  Every year, heck every month, week. Maybe more often and he would always have a new Windows Phone.

Windows 3.1 is still running. 24 years after it was released in 1992. Hey, 1992, that is when I joined Microsoft. :-) Do I still run Windows 3.1? No. I think I fire up Windows now maybe 2-4 times a year.  I run Mac OS. Which may seem like a sacreligious act given I spent 14 years at Microsoft. But, I spend 7 years at Apple. I have Google devices and Kindle. I have an Amazon Echo. Don't really care.  :-) Just things to play with.

Tips for spotting the foolish leader

We have all seen the leaders who act like fools. But it can be hard to be specific.  I found this post while sitting watching a presentation that was particularly foolish.  The post is good here is a snippet.

How do we know if a potential leader is foolish? The principle is in this statement that Jesus made: “Every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit” (Matthew 7:17). We must examine the fruit. And the Bible is quite clear on what the diseased fruit of foolishness looks like:

The foolish look with haughty eyes (Proverbs 6:17).
The foolish engage in slander (Proverbs 10:18).
The foolish joke about their wrongdoing (Proverbs 10:23).
The foolish make great boasts (Psalm 12:3).
The foolish are stubbornly right in their own eyes (Proverbs 12:15).
The foolish are quickly annoyed by insults (Proverbs 12:16).

Words of wisdom on the application of Computer Technology to Process from 50 years ago, Pete Dawkins

At the 7x24 Exchange Keynote Alison Levine mentions General Pete Dawkins and his great words on the "Freedom to Fail." His document is here. And the 1st paragraph is so good I had to share.

"it was a genius who developed a machine which could calculate every day the total amount of toilet paper used by the entire United States Army; but was a damn fool who ordered us to keep track.

"it was a genius who developed a machine which could calculate every day the total amount of toilet paper used by the entire United States Army; but was a damn fool who ordered us to keep track.

Bet you have all experienced something similar to this.

I think one of the top things artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks could do that would make all of our lives so much better is to find the processes created by the damn fools who made our lives worse tracking stupid things.

Happy Holidays!!!

I've been slow posting.  Been thinking what has been meaningful in the data center industry this past year.  Not a whole of things are popping to mind.  It seems like we are ready for some big changes for 2015.

As most of you are getting ready for the holidays I'll be cutting back on my blogging as most of you won't be reading as much.

My family is ready for the holidays and I am too.

Happy Holidays.  I'll have plenty more to write about in 2015

My kids are in holiday spirit. Enjoy your family and friends. Below my daughter is the center of attention.


One of the good rules for our kids party's is turn in your phones.  Focus on the party.