Search this Site
Index of Posts
37 Signals 5000 Days Project Accenture Acer ACS Adobe Advertising Airbus Al Gore Alaska Airlines All Things Digital Amazon American Express Americas Cup Amway Andrew Mason Andrew Ross Sorkin AOL Apple Apple TV Asus AT&T Atlas Shrugged Audio Books Australia Autodesk Avatar AWS Ayn Rand Bailout Bank of America Baptie Barack Obama Barak Obama BBDO Ben Horowitz BestBuy Big Data Bill Gates Blackwater Blog Box BP Brad Feld Bradley Manning Bread Clip Broadband Bruce Hiilyer Business Insider Businessweek Buzz BYOD Camile McDormand careerbuildier Caste System CEO Channel Insider Channel Marketing Charlie Rose Charter Schools Chase Chasing Ice China Chris Anderson Chris Jordan Chris Paine Cisco Citi Group ClaimID Clay Shirky Clive Thompson Cloud Computing Cluetrain Manifesto Cnet Cognizant Collective Impact Comcast Comdex Compaq CompTIA Computer Operator Consumer Electronics Context Convergence Cookies Copernic Cost CraigsList Cranky Geeks Creative Destruction CSG CyberCrime Dan Pallotta Daniel Ellsberg Daniel Suarez Danny Sullivan Darren Huston Data Portability Dave Winer David Brooks David Carr David Engle David Letterman Deflation Dell Deloitte Delta Airlines Diaspora Dick Leon Digg Direct TV Disney Dr. Kent M. Keith Dreamworks Droid X Dropbox EarthPoint Ebay Economic Development Economies of Scale Economist Ed Snowden Edie Harding EDS Education Edwin Land Electronic Frontier Foundation Elon Musk email Emerald City Rotary Employment Security Department Enterprise Eric Schmidt Ericsson Escape from Las Vegas Euro RSCG Evan Williams Events Evernote Everything Channel Expedia Extreme Ice Survey FAA Facebook Fall of Giants Fax Machine FCC Felix Salmon FFacebook First Look Media Food Inc Ford Foreign Affairs Fortune Fox News Fred Wilson Free Future in Review Game Change Gartner Gas Prices Gatekeeper Gates GBill Gates GDP GE General Electric George Lucas George Soros Glenn Grenwald Gnip GoDaddy Goldman Sachs Google Google App Engine Google Fiber Google Maps Google+ Gordon Moore Government Groupon Gutenberg Halperin Hank Paulson Happiness Harvey Mackay Healthcare Heilemann Hemingway Hollywood Horsemen Hotmail HP HTC I-1240 IBM IEX Immigration Inc. Magazine India inflation Ingram Micro Instagram Insurance Intel Internet of Things Internet Week Intuit IOR iPad iPhone iPod Touch IQPC Ira Glass Iraq iTunes Jack Doresy Jajah James Balog Jaron Lanier Jason Fried Jay C Leon Jay Rosen JC Penney Jeep Jeff Bezos Jeff Jarvis Jeff Orlowski Jeffrey Katzenberg Jen Mueller Jimmy Wales John Dvorak John Edwards John Henry Brown John Mayer John Naughton Johnny Depp Julian Assange Keith Richards Ken Follett Kevin Turner KickStarter Kinect KIPP Kiva KPI Labor Unions Lance Armstrong Larry McMurtry Leadership League of Education Voters Lehman Brothers Lenovo Leo Laporte LeWeb LG Lists Liu Xaiobo Live Lloyd Blankfein Louie Psihoyos Loyalty Programs LTE MacBook Air MagnaGlobal Malcolm Gladwell Malcom McLean Marc Levinson March Madness Marissa Mayer Mark Hurd Mark Zuckerberg MarketWatch Matt Cutts Matt Flannery McAfee McDonalds Measurements Michael Lewis Michael Mandelbaum Michael Moore Microsoft Midway Film MIT Mitt Romney MMicrosoft MMidway Film Monaco Media Forum Moneyball Mortgage Motorola Movember MS Azure Natural Monopoly NBC NCAA Tournament Neal Stephenson Neel Kashkari Neil Barofsky Nest Net Neutrality Netflix Network Effect New Trade Routes New York City New York Times Nobel Prize North Korea Novell NY Review of Books NY Times NYSE Office 365 Ogilvy and Mather Om Malik On The Media One Question Open Book OpenGarden OpenStack OpenWireless Optimist Creed Oracle Osama bin Laden Outcome Outlook 2010 Panasonic Pareto Paul Krugman Paul Simon PBS PC Magazine Perot Systems Peter Byck Pew Pharmaceutical; Military; Wall Street Philippines Photo Sharing Picasa Pierre Omidyar Piracy Podcasts Polaroid Predictions Priceline Privacy ProPublica Public Speaking Quality Quants Race to the Top Rackspace Rahm Emanuel Ray Ozzie Rebooting the News RetroDex Ric Merrifield Richard Stevenson RingCentral RingRevenue Robert Rubin Robert Scoble Rogers Russel Wilson Sailing Sale Sales Process Engineering Sam Palmisano Samsung SAP Sarah Palin Satya Nadella Savings Rate scams Schumpeter Scientific Method Scott Patterson Seahawks Search Sears Sebastian Rupley SEC Security Self Organizing Sharepoint ShowNotes Shutterfly Signage Simon Sinek Siri Skype Slate Small Business Server SMB SMB Nation Smothers Brothers Soccer Social Media Socialtext Solomon Brothers South Korea Spray and Pray Squarespace SSteve Jobs Stand for Children Starbucks Steve Ballmer Steve Jobs StreamInsight Superbowl Supreme Court Surface SVP SVPi SWOT SXSW Sync Synnex Tasar Tech Data TechCrunch techflash TED Telephone Tesla The Advertising Show The Big Short The Box The Gates Foundation The Guardian This American Life Thomas Friedman Time Timothy Geithner Tina Fey Tony Fadell Toshiba Trade Deficit Transparency Trends Trust TSA Twilio Twin Towers TWIT Twitter U of W Umair Hague Uncanny Valley Unemployment UPCon2010 US Bank Vacation Value Vendor Relationship Management Verizon Vic Maui Video Conference Virtualization VMware Vodburner voicemail VolvoOceanRace Waiting for Superman Wall Street Wall Street Journal Walmart Walter Isaacson Warren Buffet Washington State Waste Wave Systems WIFI WikiLeaks Wikipedia Wildfire Wimbledon Windows Windows 8 Wired Won't Back Down World Cup WPC10 Writing wwpc2010 X1 Xbox 360 Xerox Yahoo Zillow Zynga
Search This Site

My Other Links
Sites I Like
Index of Posts

Entries in Future in Review (3)


Google Reads Your Email, and Facebook is Jealous

Gmail is free – provided you don’t assign any cost to Google reading your email.  It is a simple case of risk and reward.  Gmail users have accepted this trade off because the utility (reward) of the service eclipses the perception of the risks associated with the lack of security.  Facebook aspires to be the owner of identity management for the purpose of selling personal information to marketers and cannot imagine being left out of the email reading business.  So this week Facebook will announce their own free email service.

It will be interesting to see how long users accept this lack of security.  Clearly Google crossed the line earlier this year when they pushed Buzz too close to gmail and got big blowback – so users are not completely ambivalent about security.  There have been a few cases (This American Life; Gizmodo) where federal officials have pursued people because of posts on Facebook.  A few more of these and law abiding citizens could start to fear Facebook, Google and other free/unsecure services.

Yes  it is legal for Google and Facebook to read your email because of the agreement you accept when signing up.  Of course no one reads those agreements, and most people know that their employers can legally read their email too – so adding Google or Facebook probably doesn’t really register.  If there is a tipping point on the horizon where security becomes as big or bigger than convenience, what will the users do? 

Last week I was at Mark Anderson’s Fire Global conference in Seattle where Steven Sprague (Wave Systems) proposed this idea:  “What if I could encrypt my data before sending it to Facebook and only my friends could decrypt it.”  Could this be the next Facebook:  a system that would manage connections and encryption keys?  There would have to be a different monetization model, and it is highly unlikely that Facebook itself would go this route.  Maybe someone is out there right now building such a system.

On the email front, someone could easily emerge as the secure provider.  ISPs offer email service along with their bandwidth subscriptions, so they would be in prime position to play up the security angle.  AOL is a trusted brand and their un-hipness may even be an asset.  Apple could capitalize with its mobileme service. And last but not least is Microsoft.  Sure the Hotmail people are reading your mail, but the new Office365 paid service could be better positioned than any of the others to take advantage of this shift.

This will be an interesting one to watch.


LATER (11/14):  Just noticed that AOL launched an email revamp today.  Read about it on ZDnet here.  I don't see any mention of security, so it does not look like they are playing up the angle I thought.



Know Your Place and Your Responsibilities

A few years ago I took a trip to India.  I was fortunate to meet many of the leaders of the business community in the capital city of New Delhi.  Like many people from the US I found myself in surrounded by people educated much better than I was, and I was prepared for that.  

I was not prepared for the widespread accepance by the elites that the good of the nation was more important than the good of any individual family dynasty.  Sure, they may have just been saying this, but there was some evidence to support it.  You may recall that just a couple of decades ago there were state protected monopolies in India for oil, cars, and just about every other major market.  These were owned by families and as we learned in Econ 101, protected monopolies are not efficient.  Somehow these powerful individual interests were put asside at what must have been an unnerving threat of financial risk to the people in power in exchange for an uncertain payoff as the Indian economy entered the open  world markets.

Now surely these families were seeking any advantage they could secure as they crossed the chasm.  But even so it was a show of defference to the greater good that we could learn from.  While in India the evidence of the caste system is one of the things that you just cannot avoid thinking about.  Being from the US, I do not believe the caste system will bring benefits to India.  I cannot help but marvel at the way the worlds largest democracy incorporates this complex history in a way that may just work.  

This past week I was fortunate to be part of a conversation at Mark Anderson's Fire conference about alternative energy.  Mark has done an amazing job with Fire and he continues to push the people attending to think of new things about how the future could be.  A few years ago he started the CTO challenge.  He assembles the CTOs at the conference into a team and challenges them to think hard about a big problem.  Not unlike a code-a-thon, this 48 hour effort is not expected to solve everything, but to apply a burst of creativity and concentrated energy with the hope of advancing the ball down field a bit.

This year the challenge was to think deeply about how to scale alternative energy.  Many ideas were presented, and along the way it was just assumed that any viable ideas must steer around the vested interests of coal and oil because those elites would never give up their singular pursuit of their best interests (or give up their lobbiests).  

At that moment it struck me that just maybe the responsibility the elites in India feel a for the best interest of their nation comes from the caste system.  Could it be that a horrible construct that condemns people to their place for generations also conveys a responsibility to the people at the top to do the right thing?  


Clouds on the Horizon

Today I am in Los Angeles attending Mark Anderson's Future in Review conference - aka "FiRe".  I have attended this conference several times and it is always my favorite conference of the year.  Like many conferences is it a great way to meet new and interesting people.  This conference is different however because the subject of the future is quite broad and Mark does an amazing job of packing the agenda with a wide variety of subjects -- and all expertly presented in a No PowerPoint zone.  

We are half way through the event and I have a good ten pages of notes. It will take a while for me to distill all of this thinking into blog posts, but until then here are some initial thoughts:

There has been a good deal of discussion about how Cloud Computing will impact the world and how cloudy our future looks when considering the dislocating effects of energy and climate issues.

Energy:  Half the world does not have electricity.  Right now the worldwide production of electricity is 13 trillion watts -- most electricity is created from coal, and we have 2,000 years of coal reserves on hand. Do we make electricity more expensive (to discourage use and reduce carbon footprint) and in the process deny even more of the world population the benefits of electrification, or do we reduce the cost of electricity, deliver it to more people, but figure out how to produce it without such a large impact on the environment.  We need 28 trillion watts of innovation by 2050.  

Ray Ozzie:  It was around the tech world in 45 minutes in a conversation between Mark Anderson and Ray Ozzie that hit at least 20 topics.  Some of the points were:  

On creative destruction:  The amount of money in the system may just drop in the near term. The consumer will pay less, new revenues will be created (later).

  • On the shift to consumer (from enterprise): The more there is a consumer buyer of technology the more costly it will be for the enterprise.  This is both in terms of exception management and security. Any CIO should have a very clear view of threat model.  The insider threat included.
  • On the Cloud: The cloud = developer sit down, worry about coding - that is it!
  • On Privacy and Facebook: Facebook has a lot of momentum.  We as a society have never had to deal with privacy issues on the scale that we have.  We have business models that are fundamentally attached to intent and matching that with advertising.  It is very difficult to cope with.  Facebook is doing us a great service by pushing the envelope so much.

People, Learning and the Role of the Institution:  The core of most organizations is failing and the value is at the edge.  Return on Assets is trending to zero (because we do not know how to value the right things).  The cloud provides power tools for the edge. The edges collide and become centers with power tools and social tools. The edge pulls the core to the edge. There is deep thought going into how these networks are put together. The greatest innovation into how these communities are structured is happening in India and China. How can it be governed?  It is not always about technology.

I will be sending out updates on Twitter @jcleon.  Or follow the tag: #Fire2010.