Mini Microsoft

Mini-Microsoft. Wow, written up in Business Week, Slashdot, etc. Shows the power of the web when someone can put up a site like this about the insides of a company.

Wonder how long it will last, so read it while it lasts. Some really greet insider comments. It took me an hour to read one post like “comments”: or “reorg”: of course I have my own opinions but I’ll keep them private 🙂

Blogging by the way is an incredible way to communicate. Wish we had made more investment there 🙁

“Sinofsky’s”: comments are interesting given he’s Mr. Office.

Steve Jobs on Apple was probably the most interesting

. Q: What can we learn from Apple’s struggle to innovate during the decade before you returned in 1997?
A: You need a very product-oriented culture, even in a technology company. Lots of companies have tons of great engineers and smart people. But ultimately, there needs to be some gravitational force that pulls it all together. Otherwise, you can get great pieces of technology all floating around the universe. But it doesn’t add up to much. That’s what was missing at Apple for a while. There were bits and pieces of interesting things floating around, but not that gravitational pull.

People always ask me why did Apple really fail for those years, and it’s easy to blame it on certain people or personalities. Certainly, there was some of that. But there’s a far more insightful way to think about it. Apple had a monopoly on the graphical user interface for almost 10 years. That’s a long time. And how are monopolies lost? Think about it. Some very good product people invent some very good products, and the company achieves a monopoly.

But after that, the product people aren’t the ones that drive the company forward anymore. It’s the marketing guys or the ones who expand the business into Latin America or whatever. Because what’s the point of focusing on making the product even better when the only company you can take business from is yourself?

So a different group of people start to move up. And who usually ends up running the show? The sales guy. John Akers at IBM is the consummate example. Then one day, the monopoly expires for whatever reason. But by then the best product people have left, or they’re no longer listened to. And so the company goes through this tumultuous time, and it either survives or it doesn’t.

Katrina Images

In this new world of images, everything is online. A quick search for Katrina shows just the most incredible analysis of what happened. One case where google is just amazing in finding interesting sites when looking for google:”katrina images”:

* “Digital Globe”: Many of googles images come from there, their presentation is particularly good showing the differences on August 31 when the levees collapsed
* “NOAA”: has some really raw footage that is very interesting.
* “Global Security”: They took Digital Globe images and put in animated GIFs so you really see the changes starkly.

As always, if you want to give to Katrina evacuees, then, as usual a blog seems to be the best place to find them all thanks to “Instapundit”:

Where are the Carriers?

Kind of a fun site, “Global Security”: answers the question, where are the carriers. Tells you an amazing amount of facts about where they are right “now”: which is basically that we have twelve carriers with the Nimitz in the Persian Gulf and the Vinson in the Pacific right now. There is one carries, the Roosevelt that is “surge ready” that it is it is ready to be deployed.

Amazing how it takes twelve carriers to have three up and ready to go. That’s because of training and maintenance cycles.

WMD Not Found

Cannot find Weapons of Mass Destruction. The funniest site I’ve seen in a long time. Someone did a spoof of the “Web Page cannot be displayed” message that Internet Explorer shows and change it to “Weapons of Mass Destruction cannot be displayed.” Hilarious.

Ludwig says I missed it and this went through the blog world a few weeks ago. Oh well, I’m behind. It is the #3 hit on google when you search for “wmd”

Won the War, Losing the Peace

Passion for PeaceA great piece by Friedman as usual. The Rumsfeld doctrine of small-force, high-tech armies may be great for winning wars, but you need the Powell doctrine for winning the peace: a massive, overwhelming investment of soldiers, police and aid. We should be flooding Iraq with people and money right now. Start big and then build down — not the other way around. Ditto on the politics side. In destroying the Iraqi Army and Baath Party, we have destroyed the (warped) pillars of Iraqi secular nationalism. We need to start replacing them, quickly, with alternative, progressive pillars of Iraqi secular nationalism; otherwise, Shiite religious nationalism will fill the void.

The War – Chapter 2 Ends, On to Syria (Gulp!)

End of ‘Major’ Combat, Fall of Tikrit, Anxiety Over Syria. Wow, what a difference a week makes. We went on vacation to Hawaii and it looked like a long hard conflict and we’re back this week and it is all over. Gives someone much to think about. I still think that we did this and were very lucky. I’m still a believer personally in the Powell doctrine of massive force with lots of multilateral backing. Obviously, that view is in its twilight in the current administration.

“Iraq Chaos No Surprise, but Too Few Troops to Quell It”: This shows some reasons why.

“Confused Start, Decisive End”: Great insiders view. Some excerpts: The most important meeting of the war may have been the one held on the morning of Saturday, March 29, on a wooded ridge in the Maryland countryside, at the Camp David presidential retreat. Some retired generals were arguing that U.S. forces in Iraq should wait for reinforcement from the 4th Infantry Division, and some Army officers on active duty privately agreed with that view. Several people close to Bush said the calculated risk of plunging ahead was driven partly by the realization that it was important for Rumsfeld’s ambition of transforming the military into a lighter, more agile force. Slowing down on the battlefield threatened to suggest a reversal of the administration’s key defense policy. So there you have it.

“How 3 Weeks of War in Iraq Looked From the Oval Office”: Another insiders view. But quickly, a new argument took its place. It was about postwar Iraq ? who should run it, who should determine which Iraqi leaders should emerge from the seed-corn democracy the United States intended to sow. “Same players, same departments, just a different version of the same fight,” one senior White House official said. But in the first week of April Mr. Rumsfeld reopened the issue, writing a letter to Mr. Bush saying that he wanted to fly the exiles into the country and give them control of the south. That would give Pentagon favorites, including Ahmad Chalabi, the head of the Iraqi National Congress, a huge advantage in the eventual leadership of the country. Ms. Rice to come into the White House press room on April 4 to describe what the new government would look like. “She had to set down the law for a lot of these guys,” one senior official said. No sooner had she done so, though, than Mr. Chalabi was flown to southern Iraq with a group of lightly armed supporters, to the surprise of American diplomats.

“Bush vetoes Syria war plan”:,2763,937105,00.html. Let’s just hope that folks are listening. It’s pretty clear that there are those who want to go right at it. Amazing. In the past few weeks, the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, ordered contingency plans for a war on Syria to be reviewed following the fall of Baghdad. Meanwhile, his undersecretary for policy, Doug Feith, and William Luti, the head of the Pentagon’s office of special plans, were asked to put together a briefing paper on the case for war against Syria, outlining its role in supplying weapons to Saddam Hussein, its links with Middle East terrorist groups and its allegedly advanced chemical weapons programme. Mr Feith and Mr Luti were both instrumental in persuading the White House to go to war in Iraq.