Monday, December 24, 2007

Sun Microsytems: Most Delusional Company Ever?

Sun has got to be one of the worst run and most delusional companies on the planet. This banner ad has been cropping up all over the blogsphere, no doubt in some attempt to influence the influencers.

So Sun is now supposed to be relevant because they've finally hit a price point that makes sense for anyone other than NASA to purchase their servers. Wow, $2,180 for a quad-core box!!! A powerful focused message at a targeted audience in a banner ad. How would I sum up this banner campaign in one word?


After seeing that small businesses can buy quad-core servers from Dell for $1,098, how would I sum up this banner campaign in two words.


Somebody needs to wake Sun Microsystems up. The company has been asleep at the wheel for nearly a decade. How can you run a campaign about new value price points, when you're twice the cost of you're biggest competitor? You'd think with marketing budgets big enough to buy this many banners, they at least have an intern to check Dell's prices.


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Monday, December 17, 2007

Any Excuse to Link to Your Buddy

Must admit, I'm a bit tired of the semi-conflict-of-interest stuff going on in the blogsphere.  Checkout TechCrunch attempting to stir controversy out of nothing between a friend of Mike Arrington's and one of the startups that he has invested in.  Is it really a story that Loren Feldman was less than polite or that Loic Le Meur responded with this?
"Thank you Loren Feldman of 1938 Media for treating us as idiots like this, reality check is always good. You know what ? We are idiots that enjoy talking to each other and that really is what I like. We are happy idiots who like to hang out together. Let the happy idiots in peace !"
It feels like Arrington is trying to manufacture something here to drive traffic to two sites he has personal ties to because I don't get that Le Meur "didn't take it very well" or was "frustrated" from his response above at all.  In fact, in Le Meur's update to his post, he says he had fun watching Feldman's video.  

For me, it is not okay to manufacture a story and then justify it with a disclosure midway through the article.  For bigger blogs like TechCrunch I expect nearly the same editorial standards as mainstream print media.  I feel like Michael Arrington pushes this boundary a lot.  IMHO, the professional thing for him to do would be to not invest in consumer oriented websites.  

As someone who enjoys keeping up on startup news, I probably won't boycott TechCrunch all together, but when I see that the similar stories getting coverage on TechCrunch & it competitors, I'll direct my pageviews elsewhere.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Great Amazon Kindle Conversation

Just a heads up that there was a great Amazon Kindle conversation sparked by Tim O'Reilly on the Radar blog.   The original post is quite interesting and so are the comments from readers, most of which Tim responded to.

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Self Reflection: Sportswriters & the BCS

Sportswriters have been whining for years about the BCS's selection process for determining which college football teams play for the national championship.  For me this is a classic example of not reflecting on how one's own behavior impacts outcomes... particularly reflection regarding self-improvement.  I find this very annoying so I'm venting  with this blog post.

Several years ago, I read the following statement on the chalk board in the bathroom of the Crossroads Cafe in San Francisco:
"You Must Be the Change You Wish to See in the World."
I think the media itself is the problem with the BCS.  The problem is the voting mentality of the participants in the various polls.  How is that an average team like Kansas ever cracks the top 10 with out having any quality wins on their schedule? The Big 12 is awful this year and Kansas didn't play Oklahoma or Texas and lost to Missouri.  Even if they had beaten Missouri, they don't deserve to play in the national title game.  Going undefeated simply is not enough to play in the title game.  And the arguments about "you can only beat who you play" or locking out non-BCS schools are complete B.S.  If you want to be have a shot at the national championship you have to schedule solid non-conference opponents.  Kansas's non-conference schedule was pathetic:
  • Central Michigan 
  • Southeastern Louisiana 
  • Florida International 
  • Toledo
...and they only have 2 victories against opponents with winning records:
  • Central Michigan (8 - 5)
  • Texas A&M (7 - 5)
So the problem with the BCS is not their formula, but rather with voters who mindlessly shuffle teams up the rankings based on record alone.  The BCS system is heavily weighted towards the sportswriters polls, so if these guys just voted for who they thought was the best team in the country rather than who has the best record in the country, the system would work.  Why is it that Missouri (then #1) was an underdog against Oklahoma (then #9)?  Clearly, sportswriters were ranking a team #1 that they didn't believe would beat #9... which makes no sense at all.  (No, betting lines and rankings aren't the same thing, but they usually tightly linked)  And back to bashing Kansas... They're currently ranked #8, but how many top 25 teams would they really be competitive with?  In my opinion they would be underdogs against every top 25 team except Hawaii, BYU, Cincinnati, South Florida & Boise State.  If Kansas is the 8th best team in the country, shouldn't they be the favorite against all 17 teams behind them in the top 25?

So bottom line to sportswriters... stop whining for a playoff system and change your silly voting practices.

P.S.  Here is my personal top 10:
  1. LSU
  2. USC
  3. Ohio State
  4. Florida
  5. Georgia
  6. Virginia Tech
  7. Oklahoma
  8. Tennessee
  9. Illinois
  10. Arizona State


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