JCL Blog

RetroDex is Tomorrow (and Comdex too)

If you are in Seattle or Silicon Valley (Mountain View) on the evening of November 16th, you should join us for RetroDex.  It should be a bunch of fun.  Info and registration here.  Use the code "CSGfriend" for a discount.

This has been a very fun project.  Starting new things is something I like to do and it is the all consuming part that I like the most.  I suspect my blogging frequency will be picking back up later this week.

We started this whole project because Comdex is being reborn this year as a virtual event.  If you have not yet registered for ComdexVirtual click here.  

Today we closed the loop on the Comdex theme with our new Escape from Las Vegas web based game.  So tomorrow when you are sitting there doing the Comdex thing virtually, you can have a little fun by playing our game.  Try it out and let us know what you think.

Also, we are partnering with the UP CON 2010 Cloud Computing Conference for discounted tickets.  If you did not get the special offer email, please send us an email at sales@retrodex.co.  If you are already going to UP CON 2010, check your bag for discounted tickets to RetroDex.

Consumer and Enterprise: Oil and Water?

Somewhere around the fifth grade we learned that oil and water do not mix.  I was reminded of this lesson not long ago when my daughters did the experiment that we all probably did in grade school.  They put oil and water in a glass beaker and stirred them up – and then watched them separate.  Anyone who has introduced water into engine oil, via a blown head gasket on an old engine for example, also knows that with enough heat, pressure, and agitation: oil and water can be whipped into a grey goo that takes some time to separate.  Of course the lesson from grade five still stands and the oil and water do separate eventually, but it takes longer than you might think.  With constant heat, pressure and agitation the two incompatible substances can be mixed. 

Thanks to Steve Jobs, this same thing is happening right now in technology marketing.  The incompatible substances are the consumer buyer of technology and the enterprise buyer of technology and the mobile device is the heat, pressure and agitation.  Consumers are bringing mobile devices into the enterprise and disrupting the computing environment significantly. 

Here are some of the differences between Consumer and Enterprise technology buying:

We are currently conducting a One Question Survey of IT decision makers and asking them:  What one technology product changed your business computing the most in 2010?  The number one answer so far is the iPhone.  I thought it would be up there, but I did not think it would be number one.  Number two is VMware’s virtualization suite. 

The survey is still ongoing – so if you want to weigh in on this matter you can do so here.  It will only take one minute to fill out the one question survey.

We will be announcing the final results at our RetroDex events on November 16th.  You can learn more about RetroDex here.

RetroDex Plan D

It seemed like such a simple idea.  Everything Channel decided to bring back Comdex -- but as a virtual event.  I could not imagine Comdex without after hours parties -- even if it was set in a virtual Las Vegas.  Plus I could not wrap my head around a virtual party.  I even joined second life and walked around in there looking for ways to have a party -- my old brain just could not put that together.

So RetroDex was born.  In its current form, RetroDex is two after hours parties in local markets timed to coincide with Comdex Virtual.  

Along the way we had all kinds of ideas and not all kinds of time. We chased our tails a bit.  Built up a team, and today we launched events in Silicon Valley and Seattle.  You can read all about it at the RetroDex site.

If you are one of the many people we talked to while we have been making our plans, thank you.  Your feedback has helped immensely.  If you are one of my amazing team members working tirelessly on this project -- thank you for making this possible.

Here is a list of things that surprised me along the way:


  1. Having a party just to socialize after a day of virtual event going is not compelling enough.  So we added great feature speakers (Robert Scoble and Larry Walsh).
  2. Bringing together like minded channel partners to collaborate on an event is nearly impossible. So we skipped the collaboration and just hosted the thing ourselves.
  3. Riding the media wave created by Comdex did not happen -- because so far there has not been a media wave.  I still think this could change, but I have been very surprised that the media has not picked up on the Comdex big, Comdex explodes, Comdex dormant, Comdex back as virtual, RetroDex as after hours Comdex parties story.  Seems interesting to me.


So here we are on Plan D.  This just would not be fun if we didn't make it to at least plan G before November 16th.

A few months back I wrote a post about how great things happen when they are tied to events -- because events have dates that cannot slide.  How true!



Real Meets Virtual

Yesterday we announced Retrodex, a live event in Seattle to compliment Comdex Virtual in November.  This real world and virtual world story gets more interesting every day and I find new examples regularly.  At what point does the virtual reality GPS display in the car get to be more useful than looking out the real window?  There have been bad weather days on my boat where GPS and Radar became the primary inputs of reality, and pilots have been flying IFR since the 50s.

National Geographic has a short piece running this month on augmented reality - which demonstrates the possibilities of a converged real and virtual experience.  Anyone with a camera equipped Andriod phone can put this type of capability today with Google Goggles.  I for one am looking forward to the day my phone whispers peoples names in my ear as they approach.  

Over the past two years we have virtualized all of our servers at CSG -- cutting the number of physical machines to a tenth of the prior number while increasing availability, uptime, and redundancy.  This very real example of the virtual machine skipping to a place ahead of the real machine in line is yet another example of the many layers of the real meets virtual world.

We all have the opportunity to use these new capabilities to improve our world.  Telemedicine and Distance Learning are just two examples of ways virtualization technologies can be put to practical use improving lives and the world.

We are delighted to be in the middle of this convergence.  In the event you are interested in following this story, you may want to subscribe to the RSS feed of the Retrodex blog, or follow Retrodex on Twitter.