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The fundamental, data-driven shift in retail

Retail is undergoing an enormous change that is just getting started. If you’ve been to Best Buy lately, you’ll notice that selection on the shelves is decreasing and that the chain is moving more toward a two-pronged selling approach. The first is to stock the store with popular items that attract consumers wanting or needing […]

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Screen Shot 2013-07-20 at 11.38.52 PM

Our three enormous problems that Big Data solves

I’ll try not to bore you with the description of Big Data’s volume, velocity and variety. You can find that just about anywhere (and just about everywhere). By now, we get it. But what’s less commonly talked about is why Big Data is such a problem beyond size and computing power. The reasons behind the […]

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Cliff Walk

Cloud makes anyone and everyone a robber baron

Larry Ellison declared famously in 2009 that, “All that cloud is is computers in a network.” He also used the words “fad”, “nonsense” and “gibberish” on the record when dismissing cloud. But times change and so has Larry’s opinion. Even cloud’s most vocal opponents are starting to realize that cloud computing offers something entirely new: […]

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Busy is the new lazy – What “I’m busy” really means

How many people do you work with who are constantly telling you how busy they are? Do you feel badly for them or are you more often annoyed to hear their complaints? How often do you doubt their motivation? You probably should. Busyness translated Janet Choi, in Busyness is Not a Virtue translates, “I’m busy” […]

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3d Chromosome

Honey, that’s just your genome talking

This week at Cloud Connect in Santa Clara, I had a chance to sit down with Alistair Croll, founder of Solve for Interesting. I had been vaguely aware of the site 23andMe that tests and individual’s spit to help customers, “learn valuable health & ancestry information.” Not only can they tell you which of 22 […]

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Child in man's suit

Young people hate LinkedIn

There are just no young people on LinkedIn. Young people complain that there are no jobs when they get out of college, but the fact that they aren’t on LinkedIn makes me think they aren’t trying very hard to look. They certainly aren’t doing what they can. Who failed to give young people the memo […]

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How dare you text when I’m speaking

Texting in meetings is considered by many to be unprofessional and rude. If there was any doubt, asking that question recently on LinkedIn released a torrent of emotion that made it clear that some people feel very, very strongly against it. After watching weeks of emphatic responses and a few descriptive comments on how texters […]

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Tesla Model S

Tesla punches NY Times in their Internet of Things

The results are in. Elon Musk has posted a damning response to the NYT test drive report by John Broder which basically points out one glaring fact: it was all a lie. In his blog post, A Most Peculiar Test, Elon lays out counter-arguments for each point that Broder brought up in his review after examining […]

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Mars Curiosity Landing

When mohawks matter

We watched the Mars Curiosity landing tonight at It was fascinating to see cool professionalism erupt into tears and cheers when a one-ton, nuclear-powered vehicle sent back the first picture from the surface of Mars. It all happened four miles away at JPL in our hometown of Pasadena. We even knew a controller in […]

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Dark side of big data

Big Data without process is creepy

We used to know the purpose of information before we stored it. In fact, the mere act of defining the storage and retrieval patterns was what made it ‘data’. Going one step further, anything we didn’t store was by definition not usable. Those days are coming to an end. Unstructured information is a fact of […]

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An app approach

The future is an app

It took us a while to get there, and we had to get mobile first, but apps are about to explode as the best way to do business. It just makes sense to have light-weight, purpose-built functionality that’s highly specific to the various tasks within roles in the organization. We’ll look back someday in the […]

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The new look of retail

The new detail of retail

Retail has gone through enormous stresses in the past decade, with more to come. Just the normal ups and downs of local and global economies, supply chains and personal taste are a huge challenge. Add to that mix the increasing maturation of concepts like e-Commerce, Big Data, RFID and mobile. Each of these would be […]

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Big Data is so much more than a needle in a haystack

Big Data is so much bigger than that

The following is a guest blog by Simon Hall from Newbury, England. In Simon’s words, “Sales and selling have been my life. I’ve never been more excited than I am now about what the future of technology and business can be.” We’ve all heard Big Data can help us to find the proverbial needle in […]

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Canary in the goldmine?

The canary in the goldmine

Informatica’s (INFA) stock took a serious nose dive, falling nearly 28% last Friday as the company warned that they would have revenues well below expectations. This doesn’t come as a surprise. The market for traditional databases and their associated applications should be expected to drop in the age of the Internet, Big Data, Cloud and […]

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Cheap investment allows failure

Failing just got really easy

The single biggest barrier to innovation is the cost of trying, especially the cost of trying and failing.”Failure is not an option” may be a great mantra for moments when life itself depends on success.  The rest of the time, failure should be just a process step, usually followed by evaluating and trying again. This […]

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Picasso's Night Fishing at Antibes (1939)

Picasso had to unlearn and so do you

I’ve watched this Ted talk below about 5 times and it is making me think of my kids, my work, and my relationships.  It reminded me of the experience I had with my oldest, Zoe, and the way she was ‘taught’ history.  She is not alone and this problem isn’t confined to schools. At minute […]

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