Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"Don't worry about people stealing an idea. If it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats." Howard Aiken

"It is easier to get into something than to get out of it." William Swanson

Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management: unwritten rule number two...

"One should not be timid about committing, but one should commit only when one has a clear sense of goals and means. Invariably, it is more complicated and potentially more costly to undo an action already under way than to change a decision before it is acted upon.

This principle has specific meaning in many fields, including the transition of engineering solutions to manufacturing...

By involving all elements of the team - including manufacturing - early in the design process, producibility will be built in. Designing in quality is a lot more effective than inspecting - or testing - it in later. Customers understand this acutely. Get your suppliers on board, too.

Put another way: remember your first speeding ticket? It was so easy to exceed the limit, but there would have been so much less pain in the long run if you had observed good process - and the speed limit."

Enjoyed the annual sxsw Bruce Sterling rant. Some almost quotes (from my notes): "2007 is the year of video" "Video is the worst medium" "You pitch Google and Wikipedia together and it's kind of game over for the eighties." "There are downsides...it's a new world of laptop gypsies where there used to be sorta solid professionals." "Mashups are novelty music...it's bad music...it's a pastiche." "Fan art is terrible, it's not good and it's never gonna be good." "Folk culture is for hicks." "The teens are coming...native internet generation cares nothing for the proprieties of the 20th century media...time is not on the side of the incumbents." "It's hard to find a blog that will make you cry." On blogs, a form he sees as transitional: "I saw this, this, this and this. Sort of like watching you get beaten to death with croƻtons." "The media are not converging, they're all becoming sort of different flavors out of the same mixing machine." Bruce talked about the writing of Yochai Benkler, The Wealth of Networks, and spoke about "commons-based peer production" and quoted Benkler "Computers are platforms for self expression rather than well behaved appliances." Bruce also spoke of Henry Jenkins, Lev Manovich and Richard Stallman. Bruce left us with the words of Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz "Gift." Bravo Bruce! Really well done.

Bruce is spot-on about the teens. Cohort replacement is a beautiful thing. My sense is the only thing getting in the way of progress with the internet (and media), the root of today's problems, may be reduced to three words: old white men. The wrong old white men. We have too few enlightened seniors and way too many that are scared. Afraid to let go of the past. Dedicated to keeping everything the way it was. This will be messy, this will not be a smooth evolution. There is a genetic blindness at work here. Arrogance + ignorance + money = really stupid stuff happens. As Gary Hamel has said the bottleneck is at the top. It's a leadership problem.

Melapalooza: Mr Karmazin goes to Washington, this time the Senate. He's at bat before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. The hearing, by the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, begins this afternoon at 2:15 eastern. Mel's guest stars this round include Mary Quass, David Balto and Gigi Sohn. The hearing "The XM-Sirius Merger: Monopoly or Competition from New Technologies" will have Chairman Herb Kohl (WI) presiding. Check out all the action via the Senate webcast here. As the great Gary Owens is fond of saying "Don't miss it if you can."

: John Long, RKO Super Achiever and legendary programming ace, emails to say he is involved in the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame. Great idea. Perfect place to honor Drake, Drew, Ellis, Burkhart, Jockey Jack Gibson (and the entire WERD gang). Congrats and cheers to the Longman!