Todd "Turbo" Watson -- IBM Corporation
After months of build up and market anticipation, the IBM InterConnect event got kick started here at Royal Sentosa Resorts on Sentosa Island in Singapore, and after a quick introduction by IBM growth markets executive, John Dunderdale, IBM senior vice president Steve Mills hit the stage and outlined the core value proposition behind the event [...]
Read more at Turbo’s personal blog[Read More]
The last time Tiger Woods was the number one ranked golfer in the world was October 2010. That’s a grand total of 29 months ago. That all changed this week at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Invitational, which Tiger Woods won running away at -13. That’s Woods’ eighth time to win the same PGA tournament. Justin Rose [...]
Read more at Turbo’s personal blog[Read More]
Turbo debriefs on a new partnership agreement between IBM and Saudi Arabian mobile telecommunications firm Mobily which will use IBM’s Spoken Web solution to create voice sites using the mobile phone network to establish a spoken version of the internet.
Read more at Turbo’s personal blog[Read More]
It's amazing the IBM lore you discover one day stumbling around the Internet, even after 14 years of working here.
I was travelling down some non-linear Internet rat hole this PM, trying to avoid finishing up a presentation that's due later today, when I discovered that the reason it's not easy for Kermit the Frog to be green is because the Cookie Monster started out by being blue.
IBM blue, that is.
Cookie Monster Need Coffee Break
The story goes like this: Way back in 1966, the year yours truly was born, Jim Henson built a puppet called the "Wheel-Stealer." Originally used for a General Moods commercial, Henson pulled it out of his back pocket to use in an IBM training film called "Coffee Break Machine."
In the sketch, the moster apparently devoured a complex talking machine, and later exploded in a puff of smoke. That sketch was later performed on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1967, and it was this very same monster that later evolved into the "Cookie Monster" on "Sesame Street." A show I watched for years, and which helped me learned to read at a very young age.
Which just goes to show that IBM's investment in puppets in the late 1960s proved to be an excellent employee recruiting tool.[Read More]
Now that the Thanksgiving holiday is over with, and considering that this is "Cyber Monday," I figured it would be in order for me to go ahead and send you my Christmas wish list.
Not to be presumptuous or anything...because I've definitely been a bad boy this year (what else is new, right?)
But, I also have been very productive at the Big Blue beehive, and was just thinking perhaps that a little bit of that effort might...and I emphasize the might...you know, circle back my way a little sumpin sumpin, you know what I'm sayin'?
Like the rest of America -- 32 percent of which in a recent survey indicated that they would be shopping online on this wonderful celebration of all things digital e-commerce and the soon-to-be-arriving Kris Kringle (and which will likely contribute to a 1/3 drop in American business productivity for the day) -- I, too, am most interested in electronics...as every year.
(And I want to make sure I'm helping make my own contribution to the $700M US that comScore is projecting will be spent today alone in e-commerce purchases!)
First up on my list is the new Amazon e-reading device, the Kindle.
Yes, Jeff Bezos may, in fact, be using the Kindle as a Trojan horse way into his version of the electronic lock-in of the future reading experience.
But if I get a Kindle, I can charge myself to read my own blog, in which case I can then tell people there are paying customers of said blog.
My mom will be extremely proud. And I know, Santa, you wouldn't want to let my mom down.
Next up, I'd really like to get my own social networking agent. I've been spending more and more time trying to tell all my Facebook friends what I'm up to, and accept all those Plaxo Pulse invites, and write all those LinkedIn business recommendations...but...
Well, Santa, at some point a guy has to get some real work done.
So I was thinking: Perhaps you and the Elves could find it in your hearts to forego the coal and get me some hired help? I promise I'll use them exclusively to help on the social networking front (believe me, there's no shortage of stuff to do).
They won't have to make copies or go get coffee or anything, I swear. And, who knows, it could very well turn into a great permanent position for the right motivated little networker.
Next up...and was there ever really any question about this...I'd like to finally get my chance to get a Nintendo Wii ($579 U.S. at LowestDeal.Com!)
Last I heard, IBM made the "Broadway" 90-nanometer microprocessor used in the Wii, so by buying a Wii, you'll actually be helping to boost IBM's share price, which I just know has to lift your holiday spirits.
Moreover -- and I'm sure word's out around the North Pole on this front -- that Rayman Raving Rabbids game for the Wii is insane fun, Santa!
Santa, let me just ask you this one question: Have you ever thrown a virtual cow ball and hammer style? The elves? How about Rudolph?
Well, you guys have no idea what you're missing, especially after a long day at the office dealing with all the political in-fighting that I'm sure must be going on at the North Pole during this time of year.
I can tell you right now, Rayman Raving Rabbids alone is reason enough to get your own Wii (while you all are hunting through eBay to get mine.)
Best Buy's Cyber Monday price for Rayman Raving Rabbids 2: $48.99 U.S.
You can't afford not to buy a whole bunch of copies at that price, Santa!
Well, I have to get back to it. I've now done my small part in wasting precious American business productivity on Cyber Monday.
And Santa, just one final reminder: that's Todd "Turbo" Watson, with two 'd's, and a "Turbo" in the middle.
Happy e-shopping!Read More]
The news broke today in the Wall Street Journal that Abby Kohnstamm, IBM's senior vice president of marketing -- in essence, if not title, IBM's "chief marketing officer" -- is leaving Big Blue after a 12-year reign.
If you've worked in the marketing discipline at IBM anytime over the past decade, or even in marketing in the technology industry at large, you know that Abby's name has become virtually synonymous with the dramatic impact in marketing that occurred at IBM under her watch.
It's no secret that, historically, IBM has been a very sales-focused culture, with marketing often an afterthought. But as the Big Blue ship teetered on the abyss in 1991-93, and after Lou Gerstner took the helm, Abby and her collective team -- along with our friends at Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide -- worked virtually around the clock to breath new life into the IBM brand as they helped redefine what we stood for as a company, one committed to helping our customers bring new value to their businesses around the globe, to articulate the key role the Internet would play in that transformation, and even to leverage that new medium as a key channel for delivering our e-business message where our audience lived and breathed.
From those early "Solutions to a Small Planet" commercials (the ones with the nuns and contemplative Frenchmen walking along the Seine?) to the recent "Help Desk" campaign, the ground-breaking advertising that Abby's global marketing team produced was an external reflection of the vast, hard fought organizational work going on behind the scenes to build and refine a professional marketing discipline inside IBM.
For those of us who have practiced in that discipline -- from market intelligence to interactive marketing (my own specialty) -- the instruction and experience that this transformation produced helped formulate not only a career path, but also a great deal of pride among its practitioners. We watched the emergence and evolution of both discipline and message -- ones which would reshape the consciousness of the company inside and out, something any effective marketing effort should aspire to accomplish.
So, Abby, we thank you for all your hard work, persistence, and leadership, and we wish you the very best in your new endeavors. You leave behind a legacy of marketing excellence that any successor would be hard pressed to follow.
More importantly, you leave behind the tools and expertise future marketers at IBM will need for marketing to a much smaller planet than the one you found when you first arrived.[Read More]
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  browser_wars google antitrust microsoft chrome 7 Comments 6,453 Views
But by panel (page) 15, I was lost in the technical gobbledegook and just wanted to get past all the multi-threading stuff to understand why I should switch from Firefox to Chrome.
I'm sure I'll download it and give a test drive nonetheless, but jeez, folks, a little bit can go a long way.
I like Richie Rich as much as the next guy, but I can also really appreciate a 30 second elevator pitch, too.
Comics were meant to be quickly understood and consumed, not dissected like a PhD in computational complexity theory.
Warning: Marketing by Silicon Valley engineers is a danger to consumers everywhere!
To add insult to injury, the Mac version of Chrome was not released concurrently with the Windows version, so we know whose heart this stake was being hammered towards.
Where's vampire Lestat when you need him? Ah, that's right, he was relegated to the land of comic books way back in 1990-91!
It's soooo 1998, when you think about it, this new front in the browser war.
What's next, Microsoft files an antitrust lawsuit claiming Google's new browser is anti-competitive because it's integrally intertwined with the Google cloud operating system?
Whoa, there, cowboy, them browser chickens are finally coming home to roost, and the Google fox is guarding the Microsoft henhouse!
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Me, I think I'm just gonna go take in the latest Opera.Read More]
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  cio information_management media ibm_software 7 Comments 4,302 Views
The feature on this week's ibm.com home page is "The Future of Sports," and as I read through drafts of some of the story's components -- including listening to the excellent future of sports podcast - it dawned on me that there may have never been a better time to be an athlete or a sports fan.
Full disclosure: My name is Todd, and I'm a sportsaholic. I grew up in north Texas, near Dallas, where football was as close to a religion as one could get without going to church, and where Little League baseball diamonds were a fixture permanently etched into the landscape. In my adolescence, I played both baseball and football, and also dabbled in soccer, basketball, cross country, golf, and even rodeo (yes, we do consider rodeo to be a sport...same with NASCAR...but more on that later).
I was never a star player, particularly in team sports, but I relished the opportunity and experience of playing both organized team and individual sports, and my participation taught me no end of lessons: teamwork, collaboration, cooperation, sacrifice, perserverance, how to throw my golf putter into a lake with style and finesse but also with the appropriate amount of anger...all qualities that I would inevitably call upon in later years for my business life.
Sporting Solutions for a Small Planet
In my travels for and work experiences on behalf of IBM, I've been most fortunate to have escaped the boundaries of my own geography and culture, and witnessed what sports means around the world, both virtually and up close.
Instant replay: On one of my international business trips, to Munich, I watched in fascination at the complete preoccupation of my European colleagues with the 1998 World Cup, and realized that no matter where in the world you are, football is football...except in Europe, where soccer is football, which my European colleagues were quick to point out...but my real point in mentioning it was this: sport is sport around the globe, certainly even as one man's sport is another man's bore.
I also learned that sport, like politics, is mostly local, even as it plays a crucial and necessary role in shaping national and even state identity...but it's mostly local. My tribe...err, I mean my team, is always better than your team, except when my team loses, in which case it's time to elect a new president...err, I mean hire a new coach.
Yet with the dramatic changes in technology over the past decade, what was once local has become instantaneously global.
Just this past weekend, by way of example, I watched as Tiger Woods played (and eventually won) the Dubai Desert Classic, a golf tournament halfway around the world -- sometimes in real-time and at others in instant replay. I had no end of options to read about or follow it closely, including the IBM-sponsored PGATour.Com But the best part was that I had any option at all, something avid sports fans didn't have when growing up with Jim McKay and ABC's "The Wide World of Sports."
The agony of victory and thrill of defeat was all well and good in the wide world of sports, up until about the time the shackles of broadcast commercial TV delayed replays or blackouts and forced you to miss the one game you really wanted to see in that not-very-wide-world-after-all. Call it the agony of oligopoly, where the channels of opportunity were limited by the scarcity of broadcast spectrum and, in turn, the limited number of sports media outlets. The endless capacity of the Internet precludes that from being an issue for the virtual world of sports.
IBM: Helping Fans Get Closer to the Action
Sport has always been very much an "on demand"-oriented endeavor, especially in terms of the need for instantaneous information and results. Thus, the global and individual accessibility of the Internet pairs nicely with the required immediacy of sports.
IBM's innovation in bringing technology to sports occurred early on in the Internet game, beginning with our early IT sponsorships of the U.S. Open, the Masters and PGA Tour, the Olympics, and others. In those experiences, we learned a great deal about the utility and applicability of our technology and the unique power of the Internet to address some very time-sensitive business problems, the lessons of which informed and shaped our product development.
These efforts helped us more effectively address other customers' problems through the lessons we learned from these sports sponsorships, some harder than others. Like the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, when IBM stumbled onto the javelin after being unable to deliver a critical scoring results feed to the news media, who were using the timely information in that feed to inform the rest of the planet. Lesson learned.
That very same year, IBM delivered live results of Tiger Woods' historic and relentless march up the fairways of Augusta to take his first green jacket. The Java-based Internet scorecard developed expressly for the Masters was the first of many innovations in our sports coverage efforts (read my account of a more recent one about the "Point Tracker" from last September's U.S. Open).
And from what I can surmise as I scan the fast-changing digital media landscape, this game is just getting rolling. IP-based digital media online is probably the most recent and important evolution for sports coverage in recent years, and is opening up whole new opportunities for athlete and fan interaction. You've also got fantasy sports leagues, online and console gaming, IPTV...all putting fans closer and closer to the action, and sometimes even directly into the driver's seat.
Gentlemen, Turn On Your Remotes
Take NASCAR, as an example. Just recently, Time Warner Cable sent me an invitation to subscribe to its new "NASCAR In Car" digital cable offering, which will allow me to watch "6 drivers on 6 in-car camera channels with live team audio and real-time in car-data." Does that mean I also get to experience driving into the wall of the Texas Motor Speedway at 180 MPH??? (Read a recent story in CIO magazine to learn how technology is changing NASCAR and helping it build its booming business.) Without the ability to provide multiple feeds through an IP-based broadband pipe, such a feat would have been impossible even just a few short years ago.
The point is this: Moving forward, no matter where in the world you may be, technology is going to allow you to follow your favorite team or athlete no matter where in the world they may be at the moment of, at - and even after -- the event, and increasingly via the device of your choice (Anyone see those ESPN Mobile TV ads in the Super Bowl last night? You thought people talking on the phone at the movies or restaurants was an etiquette issue? Just you wait until you can watch them jump up and down cheering at your cousin's wedding when the Steelers go for two and make it.)
People's behavior and the technology opportunity will certainly have to catch up with one another and make some adjustments, but the best news of all is that fans are going to be able to become a more integral partner in the experience, making the convergence of technology and sports the new team to watch.
I'm personally very much looking forward to the day when I can play in a virtual 3-D foresome with Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger. Until that time, I'll keep practicing my course management on the X-Box.[Read More]