Archive for the 'Colleagues' Category

Jan 05 2012

The End of the World as Debunked By My College Roommate

Published by under Colleagues

Professor John Hoopes and I shared a room our senior year at Yale. He is now an archaeology professor at the University of Kansas and the leading expert/debunker of the Mayan 2012 calendar myth.

I found this FAQ he wrote on the whole nonsense. It is remarkably clear and cogent; in keeping with his brilliant research and fine writing style. It may be of use to you when some wingnut starts raving about the end of the world scheduled for Dec. 21, 2012. I found myself in the difficult position of having to try to persuade (unsuccessfully) a friend's frightened sister in 1999 who had quit her job, sold her condo, and moved to the Rockies to survive the end of the world brought on by Y2K.

It's also an interesting critique of the New Age movement and the pseudo-spiritual-science that seized onto some random facts, amplified some distortions, and wound up marketing a very popular niche in terms of books and film. You'll be undoubtedly hearing a lot more from John as the year goes on. He's been waging a quiet battle with the tin-foil turban crowd for a couple years now.

 

 

 

 

2 responses so far

Aug 14 2010

Moving along

Published by under Colleagues,General

Today I'm leaving Lenovo after four and half years as the vice-president of  global digital marketing. I had set myself a two-year timer for the job when I joined in January of 2006, planning on moving on to the next big thing following the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. But the Great Recession intervened in the fall of 2008 and for six months I had a very enjoyable career shift into the development of a fascinating cloud PC called the Skylight.

After the CMO -- Deepak Advani -- who hired me departed in the winter of 2009 and the company restructured itself to weather the recession by focusing on its China base and emerging markets, I found myself  in a marketing organization scaling back from the halycon days leading up to the Olympics. My focus on social media shifted to the formation of a digital marketing organization focused on delivering sales, and for the last six months I've been pushing string inside of the organization to re-focus Lenovo.com and deliver some value to a company in the midst of a profound transition to a new world of handheld mobile internet devices, slates, phones, etc..  This past spring a new CMO was brought in from HP to rebuild the brand.

All combined to make it the right time to move on.

What's next? The cliche that I have irons in the fire is an understatement and I have a book or two I should be writing, I'm looking at cloud services, software and Web 2.0. I miss media, fraught with change as it is, but I won't be rushing back into the hardscrabble margins of the PC hardware business.

Thanks go out to:

  • Deepak Advani, the Chief Marketing Officer who hired me in the fall of 2005  and gave me a huge amount of freedom to launch Lenovo's corporate blogging program, transform web marketing, and in general be as creative as possible.
  • Bill Amelio, Lenovo's former CEO, for emphasizing the new world order of conversational marketing, and seeing the value of a brand that listens and responds to its customers.
  • Glen Gilbert, Craig Merrigan, David Hill for their amazing creativity and willingness to take risks.
  • Gary Milner for being one of the smartest digital marketers I have ever had the pleasure of working with.
  • Ajit Sivadasan for being a partner in web marketing and an amazing force of nature unto himself.
  • Mark Hopkins, Nano Serwich, Matt Kohut for having a passion for blogging, social media and doing the right thing for the customer and the company.
  • Peter Hortensius, Fran O'Sullivan, Peter Gaucher, and Ninis Samuel for giving me the chance to watch a fascinating hardware development project up close.
  • Lenovo's China team. Alice Li, Leon Xie, Elijah Degan, Cissy Yang and countless others for permitting me a glimpse into the most dynamic market in the history of the world.
  • Andrew Flanagan, Mark McNeilly, Jeff Shafer, Ray Gorman, Lisa Sonntag, Kevin Beck and all the great people in Lenovo marketing.
  • Steve Starkey -- for a shared love of the Red Sox and for his friendship, advice, and counsel.
  • And my team: Vivian Young, Maureen Ahmad, Regina Leonard, Nano, Gavin -- Esteban Panzeri (who left in February). We did some great things together.

Thanks to all for the well wishes.

16 responses so far

Jan 19 2010

Birth of a new machine

Published by under Colleagues,Technology

Heading into CES two weeks ago I wrote about the Lenovo Skylight, the first so-called "Smartbook" to run Qualcomm's Snapdragon ARM process, a device explicitly conceived to be a "cloud computer" or social device.

My colleague and Lenovo's first official blogger, VP of Design David Hill, has written a riveting account of how the Skylight came to be designed by Richard Sapper, the Milan-based wizard of industrial design who designed the first IBM ThinkPad. Skylight began in the early fall of 2008 when a small team was formed to look into a rapid development project to get Lenovo ahead of the commodity netbook market with a strong, differentiated offering that addressed the rapid shifts in online usage. While we focused on alternative operating systems such as Android, our SVP of Notebooks, Peter Hortensius, urged the team to consider the Qualcomm processor because of its unique architecture, amazing power consumption profile, and integrated wireless communications.

Once the principles were established, Hill recommended we turn to the original master for a concept. His blog post details the remarkable birth of the machine, including a chance meeting at a Gloucester, Massachusetts cocktail party where Sapper was introduced to a luthier (stringed instrument craftsman) with a woodworking shop and the capability to produce a wooden model.

I think the tale is the best thing we've ever published on a corporate blog. I hope you enjoy it.

2 responses so far

Jan 05 2010

What makes a device “social?”: Lenovo Skylight

Coming out of the 2008 Summer Olympics I joined a small team within Lenovo consisting of the company's best engineers and designers to re-invent the netbook category -- those small (sub 11" screen) PCs that have taken the market by storm since their introduction two years ago.

The netbook category has flourished for a couple reasons best explored by a serious PC analyst -- my opinion is that sub $400 PCs in a super-portable form factor were the perfect option for consumers slammed by economic concerns in this Great Recession and who are gradually migrating to a "disposable" device model brought on by a constant upgrade cycle in their phone and other consumer electronics.  Alas, the netbook is still the same operating system, the same computing model, just in a smaller, cheaper package.

Consider the smartphone.  Small. Thin. Long battery life. No patches or updates or viruses. No waiting to boot. It's always connected (almost always). Highly designed. It just works. But it is too small to watch a movie on and is a major pain to compose anything on -- aside from simple SMS or email "grunts."

What happens if you combine the two models -- the connected simplicity of a smartphone with the physical ergonomics of a netbook? Well, you get a "smartbook."

Skylight

Today Lenovo announced the first smartbook -- called Skylight --  in partnership with Qualcomm, the San Diego-based leader in phone chipsets. Using Qualcomm's Snapdragon platform, the Lenovo Skylight is designed with cloud computing and social networking in mind.  It is not a phone per se, but it leverages a 3G or Wifi network connection to present the user with a high definition browser experience that assumes most, if not all of the user's content and activities are up there, in the cloud.

There is no harddrive, just a lot of flash memory.  Productivity applications? Google Docs. Music? Amazon.  This is a device designed for messaging and media.

So what makes it social? The user interface is a proprietary design built around an "app" paradigm. Those apps contain the user's primary accounts -- email, instant messaging, SMS, Facebook, etc. -- and are extensible and customizable.  The device is meant to be constantly on and connected, permitting the user to interact with it on an ad hoc basis, not a formal session where the user needs to power on, connect, then log in.

The design of the system is amazing, delivered by Richard Sapper, the genius behind the original ThinkPad.   The user interface is internally developed on top of a Linux kernel and is pretty intuitive and very browser centric. The software implementation was remarkable, particularly given the challenges of porting a large screen user experience to an ARM platform. The engineering teams lead by Mike Vanover, Jim Hunt, and others pulled off a significant development miracle in building the operating environment.

The name -- Skylight -- is indicative of the device's mission as a hardware portal into the cloud. With persistent and constant 3G and wifi, the device should have no issues living up to its name.

I presented a prototype to some resellers in London last summer and over the course of a few days was able to play with the machine on a wifi only basis. Given the early, pre-pre-beta condition of the build, it was surprisingly stable and provided a great glimpse into what a cloud device would behave like.  My earlier thoughts on stripped down operating systems and cloud centric computing models all emanated from my week with the Skylight prototype. It also was a device that seemed to sell itself. Thin is definitely in and the Skylight is astonishingly thin for a clamshell form factor. Watching the development process and the way the project leader Peter Gaucher was able to keep the device as thin as its initial prototype was remarkable: essentially thinness comes at a price, but Gaucher was able to defend the machine against the forces of thickness and economics.

As soon as we have seed units I hope to get some Skylights into the hands of the Lenovo Blogger Advisory Council for their insights into how they use the device and ways to improve it as it evolves. This represents a very interesting exercise in innovation, one I was honored to have witnessed. It represents and embodies a lot of what makes Lenovo such an interesting place to be: a place where risks are taken and old paradigms are challenged. Is this the be-all, end-all social device? No, but it is a start that marks a radical departure from old familiar models to a new one altogether.

I discussed this category at length with my former Forbes.com buddy Om Malik last week in San Francisco. He had tablet fever to some extent, and was more focused on operating systems issues such as the convergence of Android and Chrome or the presence of Jolicloud. The issue, as I see it, is one that Lenovo SVP Peter Hortensius has called the "wasteland" -- the "tweener" space between a smartphone and a netbook -- the space where we all are seeking some device about the size of an airplane ticket. The place where the Apple Newton once lived. And the Sony Vaio P series, and even our own prototype Pocket Yoga. We need a big screen to stream our movies and our YouTubes, yet we want to hold it to our ears so we can talk. We need a device that is persistent, that doesn't need an outlet to survive more than couple hours of constant use, something that we can show off (consumer electronics are fashion statements).

Does Skylight achieve that? We shall see. I know I am ready to move to the category and expect it will, overtime, morph as carrier 3G/4G wireless models change, the cloud becomes more mainstream, and the  category achives ubiquity.

Reviews

Notebookreview.com

Engadget

Gizmodo

5 responses so far

Jan 03 2010

CES 2010

Published by under Colleagues

I am off to Las Vegas on Wednesday for the Consumer Electronics Show. Want to find me? I'll be in the Aquaknox Restaurant in the Venetian running this showblog - Lenovo Live@CES

From my welcome post on the site:

"Welcome to the next best thing to being there — but without the cab lines and the casino buffets — Lenovo Live@CES, where myself and a dozen other Lenovo bloggers will be reporting from the Aquaknox Restaurant, Lenovo’s headquarters at the world’s largest consumer electronics and computer show.

From January 7 through the 10th we’ll use this site and a variety of social services from Flickr to Twitter (the hashtag is #LenovoCES) to publish interviews, insights, and announcements related to our new wave of ThinkPad and IdeaPad PCs, as well as some new categories we’re getting into, and of course the people behind those products:  our designers and engineers.

We will be streaming live from the show on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights at three blogger nights hosted by Mitch Ratcliffe, moderator of the Lenovo Blogger Advisory Council and Chris Heuer of the Social Media Club. Each night will have a different theme, blogging partner, and special guest as well as an ongoing series of new product announcements each night.

Please subscribe to our feed, follow us on Twitter at @lenovosocial, or keep this site bookmarked for updates throughout the week. I look forward to hearing from you in the comments!

One response so far

Dec 01 2009

Best and Worst Tech Gadgets of 2009: Electronics Gift Guide – BusinessWeek

Published by under Colleagues

Best and Worst Tech Gadgets of 2009: Electronics Gift Guide - BusinessWeek.

Lenovo s12 makes the "best" list

"Excellent stereo speakers, a relatively speedy Intel (INTC) Atom processor, and a six-hour battery make the S12 a shoo-in for our favorite netbook of the year."

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Nov 30 2009

ThinkButtPad

Published by under Colleagues,General

Nothing beats a bus when it comes to marketing. Hats off to Ogilvy Frankfurt for this great play:

Via Gawker

2 responses so far

Nov 12 2009

Qualcomm Shows Lenovo Smartbook – PC World

Published by under Colleagues

Qualcomm Shows Lenovo Smartbook - PC World.

This was my "secret" project from December 2008 to September of this year when I moved off of the project to the Global Digital Marketing role. Previewed today by Qualcomm by their CEO Paul Jacobs. Stay tuned. This is a very interesting product. What is a "Smartbook?" -- take a Netbook and connect it via 3G to the Internet and run it on a super long battery life  ARM processor with HD Flash video and optimize the whole thing for a cloud computing experience. The design on this baby is stunning (but I am biased).

Forbes.com has more details. I'll tell the full insider story at CES in January.

One response so far

Oct 09 2009

A Review of Windows 7 – WSJ.com

Published by under Colleagues

Sorry to turn into a Lenovo-shill, but hey, if Walt Mossberg acknowledges that Win 7 on a Lenovo restarts faster than a Mac -- well I'm just saying ......

"Speed: In my tests, on every machine, Windows 7 ran swiftly and with far fewer of the delays typical in running Vista. All the laptops I tested resumed from sleep quickly and properly, unlike in Vista. Start-up and restart times were also improved. I chose six Windows 7 laptops from different makers to compare with a new MacBook Pro laptop. The Mac still started and restarted faster than most of the Windows 7 PCs. But the speed gap has narrowed considerably, and one of the Lenovos beat the Mac in restart time."


via A Review of Windows 7 - WSJ.com.

One response so far

Oct 01 2009

The Original IBM ThinkPad | A Continuous Lean.

Published by under Colleagues

"This is the notepad (the pencil and paper kind) that in the late 80s / early 90s inspired an IBM researcher to name the company’s new mobile computer the ThinkPad. To me, the IBM ThinkPad was the classic laptop computer to have. At least that was the case until I went full time Apple and the Chinese got a hold of the brand. At any rate, it is interesting to see the little promotional give-away that inspired a massive brand."

Thanks to Simon Anderson for the tip

via The Original IBM ThinkPad | A Continuous Lean..

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Sep 30 2009

Reducing boot times on PCs — Lenovo’s Howard Locker

Published by under Colleagues

Howard Locker carries the wonderful title of Master Inventor at Lenovo and is one of the more engaging and smart people I know inside the company. We recently announced our Enhanced Experience initstive to optimize the upcoming Windows 7 release on our ThinkPads and IdeaPads. I admit I was a little skeptical -- was this "Ammonia D" marketing? -- then I saw Howard quoted in ComputerWorld talking about the actual steps he and his team did over three years to drive every millisecond out of the boot sequence.

Kevin Beck and Kevin Walker in Lenovo Training Solutions pointed a camera at Howard this morning and got him to explain some of what he and his team did to reduce boot times.  Getting wireless drivers down from five seconds to a few milliseconds ..... I love this stuff. Matt Kohut at our Inside the Box blog also delves deep into the boot time issue.

YouTube Preview Image

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Sep 30 2009

Windows 7, Lenovo, and the Death of Crapware

Published by under Colleagues

"Lenovo's additions, by and large, actually increase the value of their PCs to users. This is not usually the case with PC makers, in my experience."

Interesting piece on Crapware -- the software applications, trials, and other non-OS software PC makers put on their PCs to subsidy costs; and the suite of system level utilities Lenovo puts on ThinkPads - ThinkVantage technologies. Win7 puts an new emphasis on our system level tweaks to improve boot and shut down times.  My X200 can take up to five minutes (I need to time it) to fully boot (and longer after than to light up enabling applications such as my VPN) so boot time is a major issue with an "always on" experience.

This time Lenovo is hammering hard on stuff the user will never see, but will experience as drivers are streamlined, and system level tweaks are making a huge difference.

via Windows 7, Lenovo, and the Death of Crapware.

2 responses so far

Jun 23 2009

Shameless ThinkPad promotion

Published by under Colleagues

Okay, so I get grief for talking about fishing and shaving the dog's butt on this blog by people who for some resason think that the guy who does digital marketing for the company that makes ThinkPads is going to blog about ThinkPads. No way! Ok, so sure, I try not to get all spammy and promotional for the company that pays my paychecks, but every so often we do something that reminds me why I here and glad to not be there, and that's my simple love for classic stuff that works, is designed by people who care about what they are making, and carries a kind of craftsmanship that I sure as heck didn't get from my rental car this week.

For the last year I've had a serious love affair with my ThinkPad X200S -- a bad ass little ultraportable with a 12 inch screen. I love it so much that I just juiced the hard drive to 320 gigs and am tempted to go buy some more memory to make it fly ...

But then this came along. Just another ThinkPad?

This is the T400s. The T-series is our bread and butter ThinkPad -- the one our corporate users roll out to their employees. If you are reading this post on a ThinkPad your IT department gave you then you are probably reading it on a T60 or a T61. It's what I was given at IDG in 2005. If you bought it yourself, or are a big traveller, then you may be on an X200 like me, or an X60-61.

So why am I getting all spammy and in your face about just another black laptop?

Ah ..... This thing took all the glory of our X300 -- the notebook Businessweek called the Perfect PC -- and puts it into a serious heatseeker of a laptop. You can, if you are inclined to spend the big dollars, make this thing behave like a serious workstation. Configure it with a big SSD drive, max the RAM and you're talking one of the most powerful laptops ever conceived. Super thin, and loaded. I could see toting this around for the next two years with never a regret.

I'd dumping the X200 for this. Listening to my buddy David Hill go on about the design enhancements-- the interior design -- not the skin, the bling, the crud that our competitors seem to think makes idiots buy PCs, but the internal genius... in this. I personally love the consistency of our design, I just need to figure out how to show you the inside genius.

Want one? Send me an email for my employee purchase code.  dchurbuck AT lenovo.com. Here's David on the keyboard.

YouTube Preview Image

7 responses so far

Apr 09 2009

Definition of mixed emotions

Published by under Colleagues,Red Sox

ThinkPad tablets have been installed in the player's lockers in the new Yankee Stadium (aka "The New Toilet" to Red Sox fans).

Seeing ThinkPads deployed in an innovative way makes me glad.

Seeing them in Jeter's locker makes me squirrelly.

Check out the video at MLB.com at 2'50" for the sighting in the wild.

Thanks to GottaBeMobile.com for the pointer.

No responses yet

Feb 13 2009

Interactive television and Lenovo — The Advertiser

Two colleagues, one current, the other former in an article about the new interactive model of advertising on the old medium of television. Former PC Week, McKinsey and CMO Magazine colleague Rob O'Regan writes the February cover story for The Advertiser. Nut graph:

After years of fits and starts trying to turn the concept of interactive TV into a broadly based reality, a collection of service providers, technology companies, agencies, and marketers finally seems to be making some legitimate headway in transforming TV into a more addressable, more targetable, and more measurable advertising medium.

Sure, we’ve seen this dance before. For years, we’ve been hearing promises of two-way engagement, better buying and measurement systems, and addressable ads for TV viewers. But real milestones have been elusive in an industry known more for inertia than innovation.

Something feels different now, however.

Rob quotes Gary Milner from Lenovo who ran our trial on GoogleTV last year with great success. Gary, as noted earlier, is blogging at The Digital Difference.


No responses yet

Feb 11 2009

Esteban Panzeri – Ten Ways to Be a Titan

Published by under Colleagues

There's an award inside of Lenovo known as the Prometheus Award which is bestowed by the global marketing teams on one of their own -- any one from headquarters, geographies or countries -- who goes above and beyond, exemplifies the personality of the Lenovo brand, and in general achieves super-hero status as a global colleague and marketer. This isn't an award made from the top down -- but a true recognition by one's peers. I had nothing to do with this, but I was delighted to be asked this morning  to present the award (I made no remarks about Prometheus' ultimate fate, which involved the daily removal of his liver by an eagle in retribution by the Gods for giving fire to man) to Esteban Agustin Panzeri via teleconference in an all-hands meeting. I figured I'd publicly call him out because he's a retiring sort of person and needs to blush more:

  1. Esteban is a blogger. And a good one at that. http://blog.estebanglas.com.ar/
  2. He built and administers Lenovo's corporate blogging platform http://www.lenovoblogs.com
  3. He built our Olympic athlete blogging program: http://summergames.lenovo.com
  4. He was our primary person working with Google to build our Olympic sponsorship portal on top of iGoogle
  5. He knows web metrics like few others
  6. He runs our main Twitter account -- @lenovosocial
  7. He is our primary Web 2.0/Cloud strategist
  8. He is recognized as a major authority on social media marketing and cloud strategy in South America
  9. He cares about his work and get things done like few other people I have met in my career. Not since John Moschetto at Forbes.com in 1995, or Mark Cahill at Reel-Time have I met a geek with such a profound, innate sense of what the right thing is in the digital world.
  10. He tells me when I am full of $hit. Which is frequently.

So, ordinarily I don't like to get all Lenovo in this blog, but this is one time I needed to acknowledge a colleague and friend who has taught me a ton, driven some huge changes, and, well, is just a great guy to be around.


10 responses so far

Feb 02 2009

Riddle me this … TweetJacking or Citizen Branding?

I use TweetDeck to follow mentions of ThinkPad and Lenovo on Twitter.  For the past few weeks a new phenomenon has popped up, one that confuses me to no end.

So we have a user @moon, who tweets, fairly frequently, variations on the following message:

" On Monday Groundhog Day I'm giving away a Lenovo IdeaPad S10 RT @moon 3 times and be the first to RT a selected Tweet on GHD"

Then he posts variations of that promotion by inserting the name of a well known "A-list" blogger or Twitterer -- like @chrisbrogan or @scoble.

1. I don't know what GHD is. [duh: GHD=Ground Hog Day]

2. I have no clue who Paul Mooney is. He has a website http://www.neuronspark.com but I can't figure out what the business is. There are tons of affiliate marketing links on the right sidebar.

3. Why would he give away a $400 netbook? Is this an example of a grassroots promotion and by running his own contest he hopes to get more attention to his twitter ID and hence more followers?

4. Why is he inserting the names of @twitter celebrities?

It is very effective -- @moon has dominated the Lenovo brand name in Twitter for a month, has induced tons of people to "RT" his giveaway, and in the end, got my attention, for I am writing this blog post, and sent him a direct ping asking "what is compelling you to give away the S10" and observing:  "moon: Why do you retweet your giveaway to every social media person like chrisheuer, jowyang, etc? Seems like spam at this point"

He replied: "I know chrisheuer and jowyang so I was hoping they would reTweet the giveaway."

And I said:  "moon: just concerned because of Dec. KMART incident with XXXXXX and Izea/Payperpost people. Don't want lenovo associated with that"

To which he replied he wanted to do the promo with Lenovo.

So here's the observation. If you manage a brand online, get ready for people to leverage it -- both professional and personal -- for their own gain.The big question is whether to grease the skids and enable it, stand by and watch it happen, or send in the clowns and get all legal.

The question is this: should I be giving product to bloggers and twitter users to activate this sort of self-managed promotion/contest or am I on shaky legal/ethical ground? I did rip into the "Blog Slut" phenomenon and don't want to demean the Lenovo brand name by getting into any kind of payola arrangements. That aside, @moon has pounded the word Lenovo and gotten other people to Tweet it far more than the usual organic flow of the conversation would have. So should I shut up and be happy for the free branding?

Brands run into this with affiliate marketing programs all the time. If you give people an incentive to market on your behalf you may not be happy with their techniques they use to do it. This one just has me perplexed.

As one twitter user just said to my ardeht Lenovo promoter: "@moon This is a very clever promotion you're running. Bet you'll get lots of new followers and interest in what you do."





10 responses so far

Feb 01 2009

My new gig

Published by under Colleagues

I have a new job at Lenovo and figured since a few partners, customers, and suppliers read this blog, it might be efficient to take a crack here in public at describing what it is that I do.

Some background. Every year the executive ranks at the company are presented to the CEO and senior vice president of human resources in a process known as the "OHRP. " I don't know what that acronym means exactly, but it is the one time a year I get  asked "what does Dave want to do next?"  I get talked about but I am not in the room.

The OHRP form -- an Excel template -- first gets filled out by me.  I first did the onanistic-assessment thing to myself at McKinsey where evaluation and feedback is the backbone of the Firm.

One of the fields on the OHRP is essentially the question I dread: "What do you want to do with your life?"  I dunno. This year's OHRP, with me coming down and back from the Beijing Olympics,  I wrote: "Work in China" and "Focus more on blogging and social media marketing."

I got my wish. Coming into this new year, Lenovo did a reorganization of marketing with the result that I now divide my time pretty much between two things:

  • Social media marketing: think blogs, monitoring, word of mouth, conversational, digital branding and content publishing ... stuff aimed at defining the Lenovo brand online, staving off unhappy customer experiences, and persuading the world that it is better to be an owner of a Lenovo than any other PC or device on the market.
  • Project Mayhem: my Fight Club code name for the project that shall not be named. This is the thing I took on in September, but am now engaged with as the marketing guy since early December. This is the coolest thing, the holy-moly thing. The change-the-world and sit-down-and-shut-up thing.

I give up a few things and the following things no longer apply but I remain an interested party and bystander to the following former responsibilities:

  • Web marketing: paid search, display/banners, affiliate, email ... anything direct and focused on CPC, CPM, CTR, etc. etc. .... that moves to a new global direct marketing function headed up by my esteemed colleague and fellow Red Sox fan, Steve Starkey.
  • Web metrics: those stay with Jim Hazen, but no longer are a direct part of my day-to-day, at least not ecomm metrics. Blog and social metrics I do care about.

There it is. I move from the bottom to the top of the marketing "funnel" and I get to do somethingwith people with titles like "Distinguished Engineer" and "Visionary."

New year, new challenges, some regrets, but a lot of excitement.

14 responses so far

Dec 08 2008

Rob Enderle on the “perfect” laptop: Lenovo X301

Published by under Colleagues

Rob Enderle writes some strong praise for the Lenovo X301 -- arguably the "perfect" notebook PC. I personally favor the X200 as I have no need for a touchpad, but Rob offers up a strong comparison of where Lenovo stands vis the competition. A tough, but fair critic, Rob's assessment is great validation for Lenovo:

"I started using the new Lenovo ThinkPad X301 early last week, and Forbes had branded its predecessor the "Perfect Laptop." What is fascinating is that Apple has on its board Al Gore, the most powerful "green" politician in the world, and Lenovo originated in China, a place that has a very poor environmental record. However, it is Lenovo that is the Greenpeace poster child and Apple its apparent enemy.

"Apple came out with the MacBook Air -- an incredibly thin, sexy and largely impractical notebook, while Lenovo brought out the ThinkPad X300, which shared the Air's size but otherwise was almost the polar opposite. The X300 wasn't anywhere near as attractive but was a product you could truly live on, being vastly more practical. The X301 improves on the X300, having more performance and the option of an amazingly fast 128-GB hard drive. I'm a huge fan of these solid state drives; they are dead quiet, use little power and have blindingly fast read rates. Unfortunately, they are also very expensive, but darned if they aren't worth it.

"If you replace the optical drive with a bay battery, battery life jumps from a marginal 3+ hours to 7+ hours, and if you carry a spare battery, as I have been doing, you jump to 10 hours or more. This helps make the product vastly more practical, and it contains built-in AT&T (NYSE: T) Latest News about AT&T or Verizon Latest News about Verizon WAN capability as well, so you can assure connectivity.

"The MacBook Air is arguably the most attractive notebook in the market, while the X301 is the closest to overall perfection. The market tends to favor appearance over practicality at the moment, but the true perfect laptop would be one that was as good looking as the Air and as practical as the X301. We'll see if Apple or Lenovo gets there first.

E-Commerce News: Tech Buzz: Apple vs. Dell vs. Lenovo: Got to Love Choices.

3 responses so far

Nov 26 2008

Cool Lenovo stuff

Published by under Colleagues

Two things that are really cool about Lenovo this week.

First: we announce a very cool way to disable a stolen or lost laptop by sending it a text message that will disable it. I think we should put a big dye bomb under the keyboard so when the text message is sent the machine dyes the thief a nice shade of indelible orange.

Second, we announce this external hard drive with a high security numeric keypad thing going on. Master designer and Lenovo blogger David Hill posted this most excellent photo of the rejected ideas last night. I like working at a company that has great designers.

6 responses so far

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