For the past few days, I’ve been in Australia meeting with customers, and hosting along with our sales leadership our annual SunRise event (a training/celebratory event for our most committed folks). Other than the challenge my flight faced on the way over (we ran short of fuel and had to land in Brisbane to get more), it’s been a really enjoyable trip, meeting with customers, press and analysts.
I was at a customer dinner last night, hosting a series of CIO’s and CTO’s from Australia’s largest businesses. As always, I find their stories and challenges fascinating – the CTO for a leading financial institution told me “we’re doing more transactions on-line today than we do in all 1,000+ branches we have in the world combined.” Wow. I met with a leader in government whose organization delivers live traffic video to citizens wanting traffic reports. On mobile handsets. And this was a government agency (the US should take notice). He was more facile with issues of content distribution and rights management than most technologists.
I’ve also had a chance to meet with a few of HP’s largest customers – many of whom seem to share my anxiety about the fate of HP/UX, and many, courtesy of HP (and Computerworld Australia), have read my perspectives on the challenge HP faces without an operating system. I love the internet, communication can be so efficient (stay tuned here if you’d like to read the cease and desist letter, and our formal response clarifying HP’s strategy to HP’s staffers and their entire user community).
The title of my speech at a local chamber of commerce was “Why I Believe the Dot Com Bubble Was Just A Proof Of Concept.” Where I reviewed some of the more interesting trends we see in the industry – the commoditization of the market bringing massive new volumes, the explosive growth of market opportunities (and share values), the realization that Henry Ford’s approach to mass production (you can have any color, so long as it’s black) is the right approach for the bulk of business processes; and the need for businesses to take PC security as seriously as Telstra takes handset security. It was an exceptionally friendly audience, all of whom agreed that the ‘net has become way more central to business today than ever before – and that a new wave of value will accrue to those that invest in R&D and intellectual property.
Now, on a personal divergence to what is an otherwise very business oriented blog…
I’ve been to a ton of places in my line of work, and so it’s not without some experience that I make the following recommendation: if you haven’t visited Australia, you should. It’s a gorgeous country. As a Californian, I don’t make that statement lightly, either. We Californians tend to be a bit parsimonious in doling out the word ‘gorgeous.’ But Sydney’s got the climate of Seattle, the cityscape of San Francisco, the endless vistas of Texas, and a population with an addictive sense of humor. What more could you ask for. Food, and wine? Bad news, California, Australia’s got both.
And because I don’t want it to come out on some tech tabloid tell-all, I would like to inform everyone that reads my blog that I did, in fact, taste kangaroo meat at a luncheon yesterday. I feel bad saying that, I hope my neices and nephews don’t find out about it, but I tasted it. And I know this will likely disqualify me from public office at some point, but I need also confess, I enjoyed it. It even paired well with a good shiraz.
There, I said it. Secret’s out.