From Seagate to SAP

My Silicon Valley education continues with a visit to the boardroom at Seagate today. Hey, my show needs hard drives. Big drives. So, seemed like I should go see one of the valley’s most famous disk drive manufacturers. Met with Julie Still, Vice President of Corporate Communications along with Brian Ziel, Senior Director, Gina Katz, Manager. Great group of folks and very passionate about disk drives! Anyway, what caught my eye was the headquarters’ address: 900 Disc Drive. Cute!

You rarely think about drives or storage media until they fail. Speaking of which I’m in the market for a 750GB drive. Which one is the best? Seagate’s at the top of my list. I like doing business with friendly people.

Anyway, on Monday I’m off to the SAP conference in Las Vegas to film stuff for my show (will only be there on Monday, John is sticking around for a few more days). Mark Finnern there writes about the day on his blog. Looking forward to meeting the SAP’ers, make sure to say hi if you’re there.

Thanks to Beet.tv’s Andy Plesser for the kind wishes on my show.

In the meantime, there’s another interview I did (with the guys who run the Microsoft Exchange team) at Microsoft that got published today over on Channel 9 (I did quite a few in the weeks before I quit that are still being processed and run).

HP has major ethical problem, day 3

Let’s check in with Google News. Nope, ethical problem still there.

John Furrier, my new boss, used to work at Hewlett Packard. Last night he was telling me how much he loved Hewlett Packard (he hates the new name, which was shortened to “HP”. Yeah, all the employees used to call it “HP” in the old days too, but that was a friendly shortening). He told me how he walked into the founder’s offices once (it wasn’t guarded or closed off separate from the employees) and walked up and said hi. It was an experience that he’ll never forget. He spent a bit telling me about “the Hewlett Packard way” and how it was such an important part of his upbringing as an entrepreneur.

He gave me a little bit of heck for dragging HP into this since it looks like it was just the chairwoman (although the rest of the board is sort of tainted because they didn’t walk out instantly when they found out what was going on). He stood up for the regular employees of HP. “Imagine you’re working in sales at HP, does this affect them?”

I’ve been thinking about that one all night. On one level, obviously no. But, on another? Yes. If your leaders are willing to break the law and spy on not just themselves but on outside parties, how comfortable will people be in dealing with Hewlett Packard?

Anyway, he told me that the Hewlett Packard way is important (the old way, the one before they changed their name, before they started doing this crud) and he wondered if there’s something we can do to bring the Hewlett Packard way back?

Yes. Get rid of Patricia Dunn. Then let’s work together to talk about the cool stuff those engineers are building so the salespeople can feel proud again.

If you let a cancer hang out in your body (the body here being a company) it just gets worse. It’s surgery time. Who has the knife?

Oh, I worked a summer at Hewlett Packard when I was in high school on an assembly line. I agree that the people there were awesome. Just wanted to make it clear that this isn’t about them. Just about one board member who thought that the ends justified the means. If she’s allowed to stay, though, she’ll spread her cancer throughout HP and stain the entire organization. So, it’s time for the good people of Hewlett Packard to stand up and do the right thing. Get rid of the stain on the Hewlett Packard way.

Amazon, the new Google?

Back when I worked at Microsoft I was always looking at Google and asking myself “what if they shipped this” or “what if they shipped that?”

Well, I should have been worrying about Amazon instead. They’ve shipped a bunch of stuff that I expected Google to do first (like S3, and now Unbox).

What’s the Unbox video store? Dave Taylor answers the question. Oh, and a few other people on TechMeme too.

If I didn’t have such a busy day today, I’d go play too. Here’s a recap:

8 a.m., breakfast with Francine Hardaway and Buzz Bruggeman.
10 a.m. interview with Mike Cannon-Brookes, founder and CEO of Atlassian (cool software company in Australia) along with Jon Silvers. You can see Mike on this video (not mine).
1:30 p.m. interviewed Jonathan Schwartz. That went very well, can’t wait to show you the video (my show probably will start the week of the 18th).
3 p.m. meeting with Ryanne and Jay, who are editing and encoding my show. They just got engaged, by the way, congrats!
5 p.m. Buzz and I head to David Hornick’s VC firm for a little shindig (nice Vox blog, are all the cool kids going to get those now? I have one too, but it’s lame so far. I am trying to get Maryam to switch to Vox, though). Met lots of famous geeks and entrepreneurs including Rick Smolan, the guy who did the “Day in the Life” series of photo books and Heidi Roizen (former executive at Apple, among other places). She told me she updated her own Wikipedia entry to correct some factual errors. It’ll be interesting to see if that’ll get her in trouble. Oh, I also met Ross Mayfield, founder of Social Text, who, in jest, told me a good business tip: “Pornotube is the future.”
8 p.m. Interview Sabeer Bhatia, co-founder of Hotmail. He’s in India and is planning out a new city. Now THAT isn’t something you hear every day.
9:30 p.m. Buzz picks me up and we head to Valerie Cunningham’s birthday party where I meet up with a bunch of PodTech’ers, including my boss, John Furrier, who tells me about working at Hewlett Packard and how much he loved that company. Said “it was the best company in the world.”
11 p.m. head home.
Midnight. Read blogs, email (72 still to be answered just from yesterday) and write this blog post.

Well, hope you all get some sleep. But it looks like half the Internet is playing with Amazon stuff right now.