I interviewed my friend and long-time colleague Mary Jo Foley about her book Microsoft 2.0. It appeared recently in Shukan Daiyamondo. To find out why she thinks Ray Ozzie needs to step up, why Steve Ballmer is the guy to run Microsoft, and why the company has a bright future even without Bill Gates, read the interview. Mary Jo Foley
Archive for the 'World Voice' Category
I talked with Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan in New York this summer, and put together this kris.doc“>Q&A for Shukan Daiyamondo. This one was published in late September, so I am not as tardy in posting as in my last two interviews.
At the time, before the crash, he was optimistic about the prospects for Infosys and the whole Indian outsourcing sector. I suspect he’s more so now, since the U.S. dollar has stabilized, lessening its inflationary impact on the cost of outsourcing to India.At the end of our interview, I asked him if it were true that he got a cell phone a week and took them apart. He looked at me guiltily and said it was true, and he should stop, because it was a bad habit. I can think of worse.
My interview with Nick Carr, author and techno-thinker, as submitted to Shukan Daiyamondo. This one has also been sitting there for a while, but only since mid-August, as I try to overcome the slight aversion I have to linking to my Word file.
After we talked, I asked him what he was working on next. He’s still thinking about his next book, but from what he said, he’s going to continue in the direction he went in part two of “The Big Switch.” He’s likely not going to look at technology per se, but its intersection with and impact on humanity.
Here’s a long overdue post: Clyde Prestowitz talked with me earlier this year (in, um, March; I thought I had posted this months ago) about the currency crisis. He was right about how it would likely fall enough to help the U.S. manufacturing sector — exports were up strongly until the not-yet-officially-a-recession took hold, thanks in large part to the weakness of the dollar. It was even becoming possible to move light manufacturing back to the U.S., or at least the NAFTA zone, as the dollar depreciated. I’ll be interested to see if an ‘Asian Plaza Accord’ emerges as a policy point after the November elections.
Clyde is engaging and not self-absorbed. After our interview he stuck around when he didn’t have to and asked me some questions about me. We chatted about what were at the time the primary competitions, and why he liked Obama. He even said his mother, a life-long Republican, planned to vote for Obama.
Here’s the World Voice interview as I submitted it to Shukan Daiyamondo.
Shukan Daiyamondo has just run my interview with Michael Stallard about his concept of the connected culture. Stallard argues that U.S. productivity would be substantially higher if businesses would develop such a culture, one in which
People are motivated by the mission or they’re united by the values…everyone in the organization appreciates their colleagues’ positive unique contributions, and they help each other achieve their potential…. (and) people seek the ideas of others intentionally, they share their ideas and opinions honestly.
It might sound smarmy, but then again, if it would really make a company more profitable, shouldn’t it be worth a try?
Here’s my World Voice with Stallard.
This recession will be short and mild, says Mark Zandi of economy.com. He told me so in February for an interview I did with him for Shukan Daiyamondo, and he still maintains that view, as this article and others show.
But longer term, he thinks we’re going to go through a major lifestyle change. Forget the rising cost of oil: we might be going back to households with one TV (gasp).
Consumers are going to have to match their spending with their income, something that we haven’t done for 25 years. Saving rates will rise. U.S. consumers are not going to be able to borrow as aggressively as they have in the past. They’re not going to have the benefit of declining interest rates. Asset values – stocks, bonds, and real estate – aren’t going to appreciate as quickly in the next 25 years as they did in the past 25 years
I’ve gotten behind in posting things to this blog; this should’ve gone up in February. I’ll try to be better.
Here’s the full World Voice with Mark Zandi.
World Voice: Zandi
David Weinberger is one of the seers of the digital age. I spoke with him earlier this year, after his latest book, “Everything Is Miscellaneous,” had been out for about six months.
As he noted when we talked, the ideas in his book, which focus on a third, digital order of information, one that is far more flexible and open than information can be in the physical world.
As Weinberger said, businesses see this as a way of enabling customers to find more of what they want. It is accomplishing the most basic task of marketing, which is to connect customers with the products that they want. There is, of course, confusion, because this is an area that we together are inventing. There’s a lot that’s already been invented, but we’re nowhere near done figuring out how to make the massive information that we have useful to people.
Here is the full interview, as submitted to Shukan Daiyamondo:
David Weinberger World Voice
The prolific and provocative Henry Jenkins has plenty to say on new media and old and their impact on culture.
“The difference between someone who’s got 24/7 broadband access at home and on the road compared to someone who got ten minutes of access a day in a school or public library…is going to have real effects on our society, which is why I’m concerned about new media literacy. It also has consequences globally, if Americans are regularly in correspondence with people around the world online, but only hearing from those who have access to these technologies. ”
We also talked about the idea of personalized media and whether it represents the future.
“Personalized media . . .would be any media that I could customize to my own particular needs. I’m increasingly interested not in personalized media but in socialized media, that is in a network society it’s our ability to use these tools in concert with others to mobilize large numbers of people toward a common cause or tackle a problem that the individuals couldn’t solve by themselves.”
He also thinks that media companies have lost control of their brand and content, with ongoing repercussions.
I talked with him for Shukan Daiyamondo in Japan.
Here’s the full text as I submitted it.
Henry Jenkins world voice
I talked with Howard Herzog about the prospects of carbon sequestration, burying carbon dioxide in what amount to carbon landfills. He’s one of many people who are excited by this idea as part of the answer to global warming.
It was clear from talking to him that beating global warming does not mesh well with the short-term perspective we have in our market economy. Herzog wants a billion dollars for research into carbon sequestration, “so in the 2020s and 2030s carbon sequestration can start being a major player, along with some other technologies.”
Nor does it proffer ‘the answer’ for global warming. Said Herzog:
No technology’s going to do everything for you. The more options you have for your portfolio, the better you’ll do. So we feel that there hasn’t been enough R&D money to go around for all the technologies. The case that I would make for carbon capture and storage is the United States has a lot of coal and carbon capture and storage is a way for us to use this coal cleanly as opposed to letting it sit in the ground.
Here’s the Q&A as I submitted it to Shukan Daiyamondo. It was published in the November 17 issue.
Andrew Mellon, for one. While not entirely forgotten, few people likely remember that he was in his day probably even more important than Alan Greenspan (the line goes that three presidents served under Mellon while he was Treasury Secretary). he also was quite probably the original venture capitalist, and one today’s VCs might want to emulate a little more closely. His originality and his ability to bet long with great success at a time of huge economic and social change — electrification and the emergence of broadcast media as well as the airplane were all a frenzy – make him particularly worth remembering. In addition, Shlaes shows him as behaving magnanimously towards those who tried to crush his name towards the end of his life.
For another, she attempts to pull discussion of the Great Depression away from just a focus on monetary policy. The standard line is that if the Federal Reserve hadn’t bungled by tightening credit, things would’ve been fine. But Shlaes argues that the Depression lasted far longer than it should have if monetary policy had been the only culprit. In fact, she starts her book with the forgotten Black Tuesday, the one in 1937, which showed that the New Deal was not succeeding. She instead makes a case that between Hoover and Roosevelt, government became so involved in trying to direct the economy that it in fact made it worse.
The forgotten man of her title is one who can do things without need for a government. Traditional federalists and modern libertarians will particularly like this book.
Of course, most people alive today have no memory of what small government is really like. It’s unlikely that we’ll be able to get back to it, either – the historian William McNeill argued in “The Rise of the West” that ‘the managerial elite’ tend to manage more and more things over time, becoming a self-perpetuating force not unlike the Borg. But Shlaes isn’t just being nostalgic – she’s trying to seed a new way of thinking.
The interview I did with her ran recently in Shukan Daiyamondo. Here’s how it looked as I submitted it.
Amity Shlaes Q&A
Some reviews of the book.
“A Raw Deal” in Foreign Affairs, September/October 2007
“Meddling Through” in Commentary, September 2007
“No Free Lunch” New York Times, August 26, 2007