Is It Supposed To Work This Way?

The chair of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, was biased against Donald Trump in the primaries. He failed in his bias and Donald Trump won the nomination. Nevertheless, Reince Priebus still has his job as head of the Republican National Committee.

The chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was biased for Hillary Clinton in the primaries. She succeeded in her bias and Hillary Clinton won the nomination. Debbie Wasserman Schultz no longer has her job as head of the Democratic National Committee.


GOP Convention Chaos

Newsflash – lots of chaos at the GOP convention. It is not turning out to be a scripted affair after all.

Duh oh

Donald Trump is riding a winning horse – why would he want to change it?

A huge part of his appeal is that he is unscripted. It works. It gets him tons of free media coverage. It lets regular folks identify with him. He is the guy with FU money that can say whatever he wants whenever he wants. The guy we all wish we were, if only we didn’t have to hold down two jobs to pay the rent/mortgage and have enough left over for a few weeks a year in Florida.

Can you imagine a scripted Donald Trump? One where the media has to manufacture controversy? It is almost impossible – as it should be.

Donald Trump will never win the presidency by playing the sedate statesman. His turf is chaos and spontaneity. And since it is his nomination, that is what the Republican convention and the rest of his campaign will show America.

AR: From ‘How To’ to ‘Can Do’

As anyone who has ever tried to figure something out knows, YouTube is the go-to place for ‘how to’. Want to fix a computer? Scramble eggs? Wire a house? Shoot a ‘how to’ video? You can find instructions on YouTube. They won’t all be very good, but they’ll be there.

What’s next? Once augmented reality (AR) goes mainstream, the whole thing could change massively. Instead of browsing through five videos to find the trick to changing the belt on your vacuum cleaner, you will be able to choose from five people to guide you in real time from ‘how to’ to ‘can do’.

They won’t even have to be in your half of the world. They just have to speak your language well enough for you to understand them.

And how will you find these ‘can do’ consultants? Well, that is where it gets interesting. Consider that:

  • Google owns YouTube, the far away leader in ‘how-to’ videos
  • The leader in the (nascent) AR field right now is Microsoft with its HoloLens product
  • The leader of Microsoft sees the cloud as his company’s future

Why would Microsoft help jump start a can do community, only to send that community over to arch competitor Google? Wouldn’t it be better to start its own cloud-based service integrated with its HoloLens product? And since the can-do consultants would want to charge something for their help, there would also be a natural integration with a cloud based payments system. Microsoft set up “Microsoft Payments” last year.

AR is going to be a major disruptor. More to come.


The Office Tech Paradox

Anyone that has worked in an office environment knows that there are one or two people that everyone turns to if they need technology help. You may be one of those people. If you are, you must also know that it is a crap job.

This is one of those situations where the rewards for being smart and helpful are perversely negative. Perhaps someone in the office needed assistance with a function in Word, Excel, Salesforce, etc.and you, being a helpful newb, volunteered the answer. So instead of trying to find the answer by themselves next time, they just ask you from the get go.

And heaven help you if you fix a jam in the printer. From that day forward, every time something goes wrong you are the first call. Even if the damn thing is simply out of paper. FFS, can’t you gits do anything by yourselves?

So as soon as you change jobs or offices, you resolve to be as unhelpful as possible and not let anyone know that you are computer and equipment savvy. For you, that works out well. For office productivity – not so much.

It is kind of a corollary to the Peter Principle. Let’s call it the Rantastic Rudiment. At least in terms of office tech, the more experienced people are, the less helpful they become. In other words, when it come to office tech, you only get help from your least experienced colleagues.

Elon Musk Robber Baron?

With his company SpaceX, Elon Musk is setting himself up to conquer the space transportation market. Sure, he talks about colonizing Mars but his bread and butter is getting stuff up to space cheaper than the other guys.

If history is any guide then Musk, like the robber barons a century and a half before him, will soon be expanding beyond the transportation business. When the railroads opened up the North American West, they got into tourism and hotels, communications (telegraph lines along their rights of way) and natural resource extraction (timber) among other businesses.

SpaceX has already structured a strategic relationship with Bigleow Aerospace, a provider of space habitats for tourism and industry. SpaceX is also building satellites so it can provide internet services from space – watch out Comcast and Time Warner. Cell/sat phone services will probably be next.

Natural resource extraction is the outlier. The hard part is getting resources into space, not back from there. There are not a lot of resources in space to extract either.

All there is in space is a lot of radiation. Solar radiation. The kind of radiation you can generate electricity from. And beam it down to earth. If only there were a company  that was in the electricity business that SpaceX could team up with. A company that had power storage capability and that already had its tentacles into the power consumption of hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses.

Oh wait. There is such a company. And Musk already owns it. Solar City. How convenient. If I were Consolidated Edison or any other utility I would be playing very close attention.