Networking: NLP for IBN (intent-based networking)

If you have proficiency in the English language, chances are you understand the following phrases as being fundamentally the same, even if you would tend to use one over the rest: There are none There, none are. None are there. None there are. Some of the phrases are clunky, but nonetheless, you understand the meaning…

Networking: Why Software?

Why software, for any purpose? The simplest answer is: it is the easiest way, for the most engineers, to tell computers what to do, in the most expansive ways. The cloud era adds to that: it is the easiest way, for computer instructions, to be adapted to, the largest scope of computer / storage configurations….

Networking: The software craze – unlocking new sources of value

Sometimes it seems like the world has gone crazy over software, no less in networking. Why? Putting aside all the VC driven reasons (low-cost of funding, higher valuations, difficulty in getting hardware shelf space in consumer markets,..), let’s focus on two: agility and spectrum of scale. Of the two, the latter is the most significant,…

Auto: F1s Painful Path to Profitability

When a market is growing, and a company is on the front-end of a wave, for the management team, every new quarter brings a new sales record, champagne, caviar, and good times. But when the market turns down, and just treading water feels like drowning, life can be hard. The same is true for a…

General: Strategy – focus on what is most important

This post uses a specific industry, Formula 1 (F1) car racing, as an example of how to articulate strategy; specifically, the critical aspect of strategy dealing with identifying the most important issues, which, once agreed, should remain an ongoing focus of leadership in any enterprise. F1 is an intriguing enterprise to study because many challenges…

Auto: At top speed, reliability counts

When it comes to the best, when it comes to performing under extreme pressure, and the highest speeds, whether we are talking about Internet equipment, auto racing, or professional photography, one constant is true – reliability counts. When the best in the world are putting themselves on the line, then they expect, and need, reliability…

General: The many variables of differentiation

In 1995, I read a book that changed the way I thought about business. The book is now, based on its often repeated principles, a business classic: “The Discipline of Market Leaders: Choose Your Customers, Narrow Your Focus, Dominate Your Market” by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema. Back in that part of my career, I was…

General: What is Strategy?

Given the number of trees already killed trying to explain what strategy is, it almost seems pretentious to discuss the subject in a short essay; at the very least ambitious. But here we go…There are a few different contexts in which we can discuss strategy: generically, sports, corporate, and business unit. Generically The word strategy…

General: The Business of Values and the Values of Business

From Adam Smith to Milton Friedman, there has been a narrative that business is the by-product of individuals and corporations, voluntarily exchanging goods, services, and monetary devices of value. Milton Friedman’s classic “Lesson of the Pencil” is a great example of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5Gppi-O3a8[1] “Literally thousands of people cooperated to make this pencil. People who don’t…