James O'Neill's blog

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Change the world and go home.

Change the world and go home.

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It's been quiet on my blog this week because I have been in Seattle for the twice yearly Geek-fest that is Microsoft Tech-Ready.  Where else could you sell T-Shirts with GEEK encoded in hex and Binary, or with the Caffeine Molecule on them ?  
This event has a different vibe to the July one I blogged about. That had excitement about the launch that was coming, this has a feeling of a knuckling down to work on the new stuff.

Steve and Eileen  have been here too. I got shirts made with the "Blue Monster" cartoon that Hugh Macleod drew. I've mentioned this before and Steve Clayton (our Handbag evangelist)  has been promoting it, so I brought shirts out for his team too.

We've talked about the ambiguity of the statement. Steve told me his take on it, was a form of "Stop whining." - to borrow form Nike, "Just do it". Here's my take.
If you look at Microsoft's Values you find "Taking on big challenges and seeing them through.". The PC - the Windows PC - has changed the world. So now what. Stop ? Or find ways to change the world again ? If we're not prepared to do that what are we doing here ? So Change the world or go home is part mission statement, part call to arms.

Guess who wears Small, Large and XL
Bill Gates With 5000 of us sitting in the general sessions to listen to the great and the good I'm always reminded of the Apple 1984 commercial. The questions that came up in the sessions were interesting. One to Steve Ballmer was one the subject of "Why do Apple always out-Cool us ?" (I mentioned before that I have an RSS feed for the wonderful-if risqué Belle de Jour , who has an interesting take on Dr Who using a PC not a Mac).

 

The defining moment of the show (and a change the world shirt) goes to Michael Kleef. Michael put a question to Steve Ballmer; which in essence is was "Can we do more to look like an international company and less like an American one." His specific issue was with a change Western Australia is making to daylight savings time. Now: something similar is happening and it US (which Eileen blogged about)  and we're on top it. In Western Australia we're not. The audience's reaction was thunderous applause. Steve B's reaction. "OK. We'll sort it". That was Monday....
... On Wednesday we got some idea of the Michael's impact. Bill Gates took to the stage and said "Steve swung by my office on Monday and said 'Bill we need you to start coding again - we've got this problem in Western Australia....' " Michael  with one question, changed the world.

By the way: the picture of Bill has made practical by my new camera. (For those who care, it's ISO 1600, 1/100sec exposure, local length equivalent to 270mm - the chances of getting a sharp image without shake reduction are about 25%. I was standing next to someone with a Canon Image Stabilized lens which costs more than all the camera I've ever owned. With In-body SR I got no visible hand shake in 34 shots of Bill. An early version of the camera's brochure had the slogan challenge light. It seems Pentax too want to change the world,

Eileen's been changing the world too. I don't have the depth of connection with the Unified communications group that I used to, and this week I realized that I miss that. My American colleagues seem to thrive on large does of hyperbole - but it makes me feel a bit queasy. So when I say that what we have in the pipeline for UC is world changing, revolutionary stuff that is after my usual British reserve has been applied. Eileen's been kicking in the doors of the UC product team to get access to some of this stuff for the UK. It does amaze me quite how much she's able to get done - while I'm feeling punch-drunk from the technical sessions, and jet lagged and generally not firing on all cylinders other people are changing the world. In a few minutes I head back to the airport to catch the nerd bird out of here. It will be my last British Airways flight until I start using up the quarter of a million air miles I've built up. And no this isn't because of BA's recent decision to sting anyone who divides their luggage between two bags.   All their  frequent flyer club's page suggests all trips earn status points, they don't credit them on the fares Microsoft book. When I complained BA had gerrymandered my status points in 2005 they wrote back and said they'd rather lose my custom than fix things. And when a flurry of flights with them got me "Silver" status in 2006 I found BA deducted status points after I qualified. So my future flights will be with the lovely people at Scandinavian Would anyone ever do a "BA change the world or go home " shirt. Not very likely.

Comments
  • So Eileen kinda started this already and James continued it and I thought I'd put some context behind

  • And a nicely framed shot of Bill too!! My brother just got a K10D too. He loves it too.

  • James:

    What a great report.

    I'm proud of you guys!

    "Change the world or go home" makes me happy to be a partner every time I hear or see it. When I recently told it to one of my clients, he immedidately stole it for his own motto and he ends every telephone conversation we have with it.

  • The serendipity fairy has been at it again. On Tuesday Eileen posted something about Groove to her blog,

  • The last person I punched was a schoolboy. Before you report me for child cruelty, I should point out

  • I had a mail from the Unified communications team over the weekend. They were happy to announce availably

  • So I said that we'd done a lot while I was away , other gems now sifted from my inbox include. As well

  • One of those Saturday morning serendipitous link chains. Sometime in 1988  I was talking to Mike,

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