I’m nervous, seriously nervous. In a few hours, in the Olympic stadium in Rome, FC Barcelona (or “Barca,” as its supporters call it) will face Manchester United, the other soccer superpower, in the game of all games, the final of the UEFA Champions League, the most important club competition in Europe (and the world, for that matter). Both teams have already won two trophies this season (their national leagues and national cups, respectively), and a victory in Rome would see either one clinch the “treble.” For Barca, it would be a historic accomplishment–no other Spanish soccer team has … Read more
I don't have any scientific proof of this, but it strikes me that open-source CEOs are different. Not just because some sport ponytails (Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz), or some speak with a light Southern drawl (Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst), or even that some swear in Italian (Funambol CEO Fabrizio Capobianco).
No, what really makes them different, at least as compared to their enterprise software counterparts, is their cutting-edge adoption of technology.
In this they're no different (and probably a bit behind) the Web 2.0 crowd, but compared to an HP, IBM, or SAP CEO, the CEOs … Read more
The new issue of our design mind magazine is out. The theme is "Motion," and it features a great interview with famed ballet choreographer Alonzo King, who discusses the risks and rewards of collaboration with San Francisco Chronicle dance columnist Rachel Howard:
"Collaboration is always risky. You don't have total control. Also, with choreography you have such a short amount of time to do it. If you're writing a book you've got years; a film, you can shop it around; Broadway, take it out six weeks for previews. With most choreographers, you've got … Read more
2009 will be a year of major uncertainty. The doom and gloom of the economic downturn, the deterioration of mass markets, the pervasiveness of the digital lifestyle, a host of explosive political conflicts, and the fragmentation of traditional societal institutions are causing anxiety and propel a new search for simplicity and non-economic value systems.
Consumption-driven wealth and status are being replaced by identity, belonging, and a strong desire to contribute and do something "meaningful" rather than just acquire things. Trust and reputation are no longer enablers for the exchange of goods, services, and information, they are replacing them. … Read more
If you're a frequent reader of this blog, you might have noticed that I'm an avid soccer fan who doesn't let an opportunity pass to draw analogies between the "beautiful game" and the other big game: business. As such I was riveted by Clive Thompson's "Goalkeeper Science" piece in last week's New York Times Magazine's "Year in Ideas" issue. Based on research examining the behavior of soccer goalkeepers facing penalty kicks, Thompson concludes that "inaction may be the biggest form of action" (Jerry Brown).
The study, … Read more
Guest post: Christopher Lochhead, the former chief marketing officer at Scient and Mercury, offers his advice on how companies can do more than pray for survival in a prolonged economic downturn.
It's easy to be great when things are going great. The real test of leadership is who are you when things are tough. Leaders take market share in bad times, and losers lose share, money, and market cap.
We seem to be heading into a multi-quarter (or maybe longer) downturn. Planning for a long downturn is the right approach, even if you think this is just a blip.… Read more
The conference wants to attract academics and professionals interested in learning and discussing ways in which user-centric and affordable technology can improve the world around us. It will bring together such far-ranging fields as social entrepreneurship, engineering, design, economics, development, and environmental studies in search of new opportunities … Read more
Shaun Connolly, formerly an executive with JBoss/Red Hat, offers some interesting counsel to his former employer. In Shaun's view, Red Hat needs to "think big" if it wants to "lead big," and rigorously fight complacency:
...Red Hat needs to realize that past success does not guarantee future dominance. Red Hat needs to improve its ability to grow into new areas. It needs to make its ability to expand its footprint a strategic weapon.
Focusing purely on business as usual may yield some solid results over the coming year, but will ultimately result in decreased momentum...and the crowning of a new open source big dog.
This is what Jason Maynard used to say, and it's what some among us have been asking Red Hat to do: Lead. Red Hat's response to this is often, "We already are." Sort of.… Read more
Jeff Raikes, the Microsoft executive most closely associated with the emergence of Office, said that the rise of that product is clearly the highlight of his long career at the software maker, which will come to an end in September.
In an interview on Thursday, Raikes noted that Office didn't exist when he left his role as a Visicalc engineering manager at Apple in 1981 to join Microsoft. Now it has more than 500 million users, while Microsoft has grown from 100 employees to 70,000.
"It's been an incredible 26 years," Raikes said. "I … Read more
Mozilla picked its COO, John Lilly, to take the helm of Mozilla as its CEO. I don't know John but trust Mitchell's judgment and assume this was a good move. Even so, it makes me wonder if the field of applicants was so thin that Mozilla had no choice but to look inside for its next chief executive.
After all, Mozilla spent months looking for a CEO executive director [See update below]. I received emails from its board members on several occasions as they scoured the industry for referrals to good people who could take the job. Evidently the board never found the right person outside the organization.
Is the talent pool for open source really that thin?… Read more