3.0 Stage of Life, working on some of the Best Stuff

In the book Becoming Steve Jobs is a point I remember well.

I wish I could have seen Steve Jobs 3.0. Seeing him from age fifty-five to seventy-five would have been fascinating. If you’re in good health at that age, 3.0 should be the best.
— Jim Collins. Schlender, Brent; Tetzeli, Rick (2015-03-24). Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader

I quit Microsoft 9 years ago at 46.  Spending 26 years at Microsoft, Apple, and HP I was done.  Part of quitting Microsoft is I realized it was better to quit before I turned 50 to think about what I wanted to do next.  There is very little chance I would have made it at Microsoft for the last 9 years and make it to 55.

Now I am 55.  Well tomorrow I am.  My health which includes physical, mental, and social aspects of health are so much better than 9 years ago.  And, the ideas of what is a 3.0 version of life are coming together nicely.  Working at great companies like HP, Apple, and Microsoft were valuable, but I've realized there are so many other things I can do that are so much easier when not being constrained by corporate managers.  I can blog and write whatever I feel like.  I can research ideas.  Challenge the status quo without being reprimanded by my boss.  

Ironically the ideas I am working on have corporate managers as the users, but probably less than 10% see the true value of the service as it works for those who want to transform the way they run operations, but it requires a different way of looking at things. 10% of the users is still plenty big and we'll help them out compete the rest.

A lesson I learned taking a break when quitting Microsoft is to focus on your social health.  Who your friends are.  With great social health your mental health naturally improves.  Feeling better socially and mentally, then your physical health wants to catch up.  Looking at problems in different ways is the luxury of the 3.0 stage of life.  On the other hand I think there are plenty of people who think the 3.0 stage of life is about endless vacations and hobbies like playing golf.  Is that how you think you'll improve your social, mental, and physical health?


1341 vs 3100 words, Gassee response to Satya's email, Seems like 300 words should have been enough

One of my friends asked if I had read Jean-Louis Gassee’s post in response to Satya Nadella’s 3,100 word e-mail to employees.  

Microsoft’s New CEO Needs An Editor

Satya Nadella’s latest message to the troops – and to the world – is disquieting. It lacks focus, specifics, and, if not soon sharpened, his words will worry employees, developers, customers, and even shareholders.

As I puzzled over the public email Microsoft’s new CEO sent to his troops,Nicolas Boileau’s immortal dictum came to mind:

Whatever is well conceived is clearly said,
And the words to say it flow with ease.

Clarity and ease are sorely missing from Satya Nadella’s 3,100 plodding words, which were supposed to paint a clear, motivating future for 127,000 Microsoftians anxious to know where the new boss is leading them.

Now what is a bit ironic is Gassee says brevity is advised.  But, don’t you think Jean-Louis could have made his point in 300 words?

One of the most interesting points is Gassee analyzing explanations for the e-mail.

Two possible explanations come to mind.

First, because he’s intelligent and literate, he forgot to use an unforgiving editor. ‘Chief, you really want to email that?’ Or, if he used an editor, he was victimized by a sycophantic one. ‘Satya, you nailed it!’

Second, and more likely, Nadella speaks in code. He’s making cryptic statements that are meant to prepare the troops for painful changes. Seemingly bland, obligatory statements about the future will decrypt into wrenching decisions:

“Organizations will change. Mergers and acquisitions will occur. Job responsibilities will evolve. New partnerships will be formed. Tired traditions will be questioned. Our priorities will be adjusted. New skills will be built. New ideas will be heard. New hires will be made. Processes will be simplified. And if you want to thrive at Microsoft and make a world impact, you and your team must add numerous more changes to this list that you will be enthusiastic about driving.”

In plainer English: Shape up or ship out.

Tortured statements from CEOs, politicians, coworkers, spouses, or suppliers, in no hierarchical order, mean one thing: I have something to hide, but I want to be able to say I told you the facts.

Now, Gassse does include a 200 word version of what Satya’s e-mail says.

BTW, I ran a word count on this post and it is less than 400, but most of the words are what Gassee said, not mine. :-)

Innovation is great if you are the creator, sucks if you are the victim

If you conduct a poll on how important it is to be innovative, you would get resounding support for the idea.

This assumes you are in the position of creating the innovation.  If you look at the opposite, there is innovation going on and you are the victim, the one who is being disrupted by the change.  Innovation sucks.  If you don’t want to change, the best hope you have for survival is your competitors don’t innovate.

Can you move your Perspective according to what you see? A Meditation Technique

Meditation can teach you many things.  Here is one technique to ask whether you practice.

Meditation is neither shutting things out nor off. It is seeing things clearly, and deliberately positioning yourself differently in relationship to them.

Kabat-Zinn, Jon (2010-02-06). Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation In Everyday Life (p. 30). Hyperion. Kindle Edition.

Predicting the future data center by taking Seven Steps back before leaping Seven Steps forward 2006 - 2020

Imagining the future of what data centers will be like in 2020 is hard.  Here is a blog post by LSI’s Rob Ober that takes a look 7 years ago, then predicts 7 years ahead.

Here is a snipped of the 7 years in the past.

And 7 years ago, our forefathers…
It was a very different world. Facebook barely existed, and had just barely passed the “university only” membership. Google was using Velcro, Amazon didn’t have its services, cloud was a non-existent term. In fact DAS (direct attach storage) was on the decline because everyone was moving to SAN/NAS. 10GE networking was in the future (1GE was still in growth mode). Linux was not nearly as widely accepted in enterprise – Amazon was in the vanguard of making it usable at scale (with Werner Vogels saying “it’s terrible, but it’s free, as in free beer”). Servers were individual – no “PODs,” and VMware was not standard practice yet. SATA drives were nowhere in datacenters.

An enterprise disk drive topped out at around 200GB in capacity. Nobody used the term petabyte. People, including me, were just starting to think about flash in datacenters, and it was several years later that solutions became available. Big data did not even exist. Not as a term or as a technology, definitely not Hadoop or graph search. In fact, Google’s seminal paper on MapReduce had just been published, and it would become the inspiration for Hadoop – something that would take many years before Yahoo picked it up and helped make it real.

Which then nicely sets up 7 years out.

7 years from now
So – 7 years from now? That’s hard to predict, so take this with a grain of salt… There are many ways things could play out, especially when global legal, privacy, energy, hazardous waste recycling, and data retention requirements come into play, not to mention random chaos and invention along the way.

Enjoy the post to get you thinking about what could be.