danbricklin.com/log

Starting September 6, 2000
More press tour, Press tour in California, Globalization conference report, Speech over, Cell towers and "techno-blight", Thanks for the help with my speech!, Day One of the conference
6-14Sep00
2000_09_06.htm
Thursday, September 14, 2000
More press tour
This press tour was interesting. I haven't been to California in quite a while. The people of ZDTV (being renamed to "TechTV") have been asking me to appear on their "Big Thinkers" show for some time now. "Just drop by when you're in town," they say. But I haven't been in town -- I've been helping get our new server-based editing tool off the ground. Well, the tool is deployed, and we're starting to roll it out as the private labeled web authoring tool of lots of community web sites. Time to tell the world, hence a press tour, hence a trip to visit some of the San Francisco press, hence time to do ZDTV.

Yesterday morning I went to the ZDTV studio for the taping. The host is John Dvorak, whom I've known and seen over the years. It's nice having an interviewer who lived through all the old days. (Of course, he's not the only one -- for example, Stewart Alsop wrote an article about the PC software industry that included pictures of unknowns like Bill Gates and Paul Allen back in early 1981 for Inc. Magazine. He helped get a picture of me and Bob Frankston on the cover showing us in regular clothes, launching my jeans and flannel shirt career. I have a video of Larry Magid at Spring Comdex 1985, etc.)

Makeup being applied to Dan by a professional  Teleprompter screen saying Welcome...  John and Dan in chairs talking with plant etc in the background
Makeup time, introduction on a teleprompter, John and me
Patrick Rafter, the Trellix "emperor of enlightenment" (i.e., director of PR), was with me. He got to check some of the scripted introduction. The stuff about "documents" -- the old Trellix business mentioned in an old bio -- was out. In goes "regular people creating web sites". That's what this trip is about for Trellix: Getting across the message that we don't just have a great PC tool (the one I use to make this log), but we're now a major force in private labeled server-based editing that you access with just a browser.

One reason I'm on the tour is that some of the press also want to hear my opinions about other topics: P2P, wireless, etc. As you can see from reading this log, as Chief Technology officer I get to think about lots of current topics. Discussing those views, and adding my historical perspective, can sometimes give new "content" to the press, which is their job.

Scott smiling in a white hat  Rafe smiling
I ran into Scott Briggs during lunch with Rafe Needleman of Red Herring
For me, living on the East Coast, these press tours give me an opportunity to see old friends from the media, and make new ones.

I had time on the plane back to write this up (as you can see) and since it's during a work day, I figured I should mention Trellix a little more than normal. :) -- smile!

Wednesday, September 13, 2000
Press tour in California
I've been spending a few days in the San Jose/San Francisco area on a press tour for Trellix. Among others, we visited Dan Gillmor at the San Jose Mercury News. Dan took a picture of me and posted it in a mention of our visit on his eJournal. Here's my picture of him in return (taken at lunch before he took his):

Head shot of Dan Gillmor  Me and Don sitting in front of SJ Mercury sign
Dan Gillmor of the SJ Mercury News; Trellix CEO Don Bulens and me in front of the building, taken by Patrick Rafter of Trellix
One night we had dinner with Larry Magid of the LA Times, etc. After dinner we went to Larry's office to show him the latest from Trellix (since we had no good Internet connections from the restaurant table...). He recorded a couple of radio interviews for his various shows.

Larry showing Don a picture on a digital camera  Larry with headphones and mike speaking to me
Larry Magid and Don; Larry interviewing me for radio, taken by Don
Another night we had dinner with Stewart Alsop, the venture capitalist and Fortune columnist. He's an old friend from the old Boston Computer Society days.

Stewart and me smiling
Stewart Alsop and me, taken by Patrick
Overall, it's been a good press tour.

Sunday, September 10, 2000
Globalization conference report
I've posted a web site covering what I saw at the Foreign Policy Association's World Leadership Forum 2000 conference last week. Since the topic of the conference was globalization, the site is all about that. If you are into technology and don't know much about the current thinking about globalization, you should take a look.

It was very strange to write up a conference about a topic in which I am not at least a little bit an expert. I'm used to computer industry conferences. I wonder what globalization geeks would think of my thoughts.


Friday, September 8, 2000
Speech over
I gave my speech yesterday and finally came home from NYC. The whole panel went very well. I've started putting my notes together from the conference and will try to post a writeup Monday.

Man at mike as seen from the back
Jim Dougherty introducing our panel
The two parts of my speech that seemed to get the most mention afterwards were (1) showing the "toys" -- Palm VII, Stowaway keyboard, RIM, digital camera, MiniDisc recorder, and Fast-Lane/EZPass -- and most importantly (2) pointing out how much of the use of the Internet and technology will be for personal and mundane things. The second point is based on my essay "What will people pay for?".

Cell towers and "techno-blight"
Lawrence Lee, editor of Tomalak's Realm, sent me an email pointing out an article in yesterday's New York Times entitled "A Spreading Techno-blight of Wires". A mention of cell towers:

"...And camouflaging is becoming more popular for the sites. Some cell phone companies have made cell phone towers look like pine trees, and in Arizona and California, cell sites that look like giant saguaro cactuses rise 35 feet above the desert. "
- Lisa Guernsey, NY Times 9/7/00

There are pictures.

Wednesday, September 6, 2000
Thanks for the help with my speech!
Thank you everybody who sent comments! I turned Draft #3 into the final draft and plan to deliver something close to it tomorrow. I changed the Speech Home Page into a form for reading after I give it rather than a form for asking for help.

Day One of the conference
I just got back from attending the first day of the Foreign Policy Association's World Leadership Forum 2000 conference. It was quite an experience since I mainly only attend computer conferences. The details of globalization (the main topic) is new to me.

First of all, it's in New York City during the UN meeting, so there are limos, police, and traffic everywhere. That's an experience.

Long limo at curb  Police standing in a group filling out forms
Limos, many police about to go off duty
But more importantly, it was very interesting to see the impact our industry has had on the world, playing a major part in the process of globalization. The world is quite different in many ways. I'll try to get some time to write it up soon, but if not, here are a few observations:

Technology and the Internet are very important and taken very seriously by everybody, including world leaders in politics and finance. We used to be a side show, but now we are part of the main show. It's scary and humbling to see the effects of what we (the computer and technology industry) have done.
Countries are acting much more like companies. They treat the global finance markets like companies treat venture capitalists, asking for understanding, doing road shows, etc. This is not the image I had in my head.
People running countries care about people. They must because the people now have more information about what's going on.
The countries seem to have a camaraderie around the common condition of globalization and international finance, much as regular people do around the weather good or bad. They have to help each other, or else they all go down. Globalization is here whether we like it or not, and the good outweighs the bad, but there is bad.

Men sitting in chairs  Men sitting in chairs
Prime Minister of Australia, Minister of Foreign Affair of Indonesia, President Banco Central Do Brazil, President Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and Chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell (l. to r.)
Thomas Friedman, author of "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" gave the first day's lunch talk. One of his many points:

"How is the globalization system different from the Cold War system? The Cold War system was based on...division... The world was a divided place... The central logic of globalization exactly mirrors the logic of the Internet. We are all increasingly connected but nobody's quite in charge."

For us techies who don't follow what's going on in the international sphere, Friedman's book, especially the newer paperback edition, is a good introduction to much of what went on the first day. His book reports discussions he had with people like those who spoke. It's worth reading, even if you don't like some of the United States-centric stuff. World leaders seem to make a lot of the same points from what I heard.

Cover of the book  Standing behind lecturn  Hand writing on book page
The book cover, Friedman speaking, autographing copies
Well, we'll see what tomorrow brings.

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