Random thought this morning: lots of people in the blogoverse are speculating on Microsoft’s next CEO and a few of them are asking “Who’s Microsoft’s Marissa?” On my drive this morning, seemed to me that the obvious analog here is Scott Forstall, formerly head of products at Apple.
I don’t really know Scott or the Microsoft leadership at all, so this is really just wild speculation, and there are zillions of reasons it doesn’t make sense.
But to answer the “Who’s their Marissa?” question, I don’t think there’s a better answer. Both deep product people. Both at the helm (but maybe not quite in charge of) products that have dominated the decade, and possibly the next. Superficially, both Stanford Symbolic Systems. And both would be coming from the dominant company to the company that they had overtaken and overthrown previously.
Lots and lots of differences for sure — Apple is a simpler & more straightforward company than Microsoft; I think you’d argue that Yahoo has weird complexity, but at a high level it’s smaller & less complicated than Google.
And the rivalry between Google and Yahoo, while intense, never had any of the decades long white hot hatred, not to mention disdain, of Apple & Microsoft.
Anyway, I don’t really think that this would happen in any universe we live in, but interesting to think about the parallels this morning.
From the new Tumblog of the US Director of National Intelligence:
“In Congress and across the nation, Americans are engaged in a discussion about the value and appropriateness of the foreign surveillance authorities granted to the Intelligence Community. The discussion will ultimately lead us, as a nation, to make decisions about the future of some foreign surveillance-related laws and practices.
As we make those decisions, it is imperative that we do so with a full understanding of what the existing foreign surveillance authorities allow, what the oversight mechanisms are, and most important of all how they contribute to our safety and security.”
As a starting point, it’s amazing & remarkable that they’ve launched on Tumblr - I can’t help but be excited about that.
But, it’s missing the point a little bit, obviously intentionally. It’s great to have a discussion on the merits of the “lawful foreign surveillance activities” — but that’s obviously not what the real problem is — most Americans can live with (if not be in love with) foreign surveillance.
But it’s a different matter to surveil citizens. Lawfully or not — and I think there is mounting evidence that there have been clear over-reaches (sooner or later with technology, it’s always about what you *can* do, not really you’re *allowed* to do.) With secret programs. That we know officials have lied about, repeatedly. And the way our government has reacted to those facts & lies coming to light.
It’s damaging, and not how a democracy (or any government) should behave. It diminishes us and our society.
So while it’s great that DNI has a blog, it’s just lipstick on a pig for now.
Reading Fast Company on my flight. Tons of good stuff, including stories about Baratunde and Systrom. But my favorite is about how the Doritos Taco Bell taco came to exist.
My favorite quote, from a Morgan Stanley analyst: “it’s the type of platform that could come back year after year. It doesn’t just have to be a taco. There’s already a burrito with Fritos in it. Could you do Doritos nachos? A Doritos taco salad?”
Could you, indeed. Much to ponder. USA!!