Monday, June 30, 2008

Cisco LIVE!

Last week I got exposed to the big, gigantic bowl of Kool Aide known as "Cisco Live!". This is the rebranding of their "Networkers" convention that they've done now 19 times. After feeling like I've been drinking from a firehose, I will say I came away with more of an idea of the vision from Cisco than I think I've ever had from the company. Maybe it's just bad local representation (as in Sales force) or just great representation by their competition down here, but I've had a very jaded view of Cisco for a very long time. Three distinct things caught my attention during the week though -

  • Cross Market Leadership: They aren't just the "best of breed" in one thing - they are competitive in so many different areas that they really interconnect and intersect their IP. That's not saying that the product in the end is the best, and I'm still turned off on the "one stop shop" since the old days of Lucent/Nortel beating folks up. That said, it's still impressive that they have leading market share (top 2/3) in over 20 products.

  • Trying new ideas on themselves first: John Chamber's keynote talked at length about how Cisco has evolved over the last 8 years to bring about a new corporate structure that is based on collaboration instead of hierachy. Granted some of the hierachy still exists, but from the presentation given a lot of the middle management is distributed. Think "Bit Torrent vs FTP" in design structure, and while the metaphor might break down shortly after that, the mental image seems to be similar.

  • IPv6 - they seem to have put a lot of effort into implementing IPv6 today. They show where and why folks will be moving to it, and the concept of the issues that Cable MSO's are having is probably the first place where wide-spread IPv6 will be needed. All the work that's been done on tunneling v6 through v4 is going to be important very soon, too.
That said, I came away with a lot of brain food for the next few months. I need to start trying to blog more, and actually do blogs during events instead of afterwards, to try to get more of my thoughts down to review later.. but that will come with modivation and time.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Why Metallica STILL sucks

In July of 2003, the Orlando Weekly posted an article about Why Metallica Still Sucks. It was a really well done piece of journalism, with a jade against Metallica. A band that was literally on top of the world in 1992, now personally I consider them a joke. They probably have some of the most recognizable metal in the business, and inspired a generation of bands. Thing is - their trademark vocal sounds have been lost to aging, and their trademark is now to be anti-fan.

They used to be the band that encouraged folks to tape their live performances and share it with their fans, now they ask journalists to not report on how bad their new album is. I found the following the most disturbing, though:
Metallica's management and PR team knew who the (anonymous) writer of the piece was, as they invited him; if they chose to do so, they could probably make his livelihood more difficult to earn in the future.
That is beyond disturbing - the fact that a company was pressured by "you'll never work in the business again" in the age of the Internet is still a sad, sick reality is just preposterous. There was no NDA signed, and the product was obviously not ready to be commented on per se. This turned from a possible win PR-wise by Metallica into what should be a complete nightmare.

After the flop of that "St. Anger" was, I don't know how much more "music" (if you can call what St. Anger was really music) we'll see from them. They shouldn't have to produce more music, they keep whoring out the old hits to their fans over and over again. At least they have that pension plan to blow on booze and whores.