Back to the Future

Mar 15
2011

“Imagine, being able to store the content of an entire encyclopedia…”

Back in 1976, microprocessors had a maximum of 8.5K transistors for 64bits of memory. The Queen of England sent her first email, and Steve Wozniak designed the Apple I.
And a post-Star Trek but pre-TJ Hooker William Shatner made this film for AT&T about the future of microprocessors.
The chips were tiny at that time, to be sure, but paltry in terms of memory by today’s standards. Yet Moore’s Law had already been in effect for 11 years by this point, enough time to see that the future was going to be full of miniscule, powerful machines, even they weren’t the predicted picturephones. Today’s “microworld” is still getting smaller all the time.
This version of the film was slightly revised in 1980.
An Owen Murphy Production
Directed by Paul Cohen
Footage courtesy of AT&T Archives and History Center, Warren, NJ

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Politics @ work

Apr 05
2010

As your career progresses into higher management, one of the drawbacks (for some) is dealing with team/office/corporate politics in order to push through your agenda as well as enable your team to function.

While politics is different within each company, the “politics” become more apparent when a company has more than 100 employees. That’s, according to me, when a structure needs to be put in place in order to control the work and different disciplines.

This little “write up” is not about how to avoid politics or where one can find a politic-less workplace. This one is about how to recognize when politics takes over your job and in-fact, prevents you from doing your job:

– I like the 80/20 rule. Spending about 20% of your time to handle the “politics” sounds about right to me.

– We all have people we don’t like to work with or report to. However, when someone is promoted to a position they are not qualified for (objectively not qualified for) you might want to give the inner-politic a second look.

– It’s very easy to get into the rhythm of things… make sure to stop and ask the right questions. Arguments and conflicts are a very good thing for growth as long as its not personal.

– My last point is that business decisions need to make sense for the business. If these decisions are being driven by other motives, just make sure that there is someone who can explain it to you. It doesn’t mean you have to agree or that they need your permission, but at least there is a valid explanation.

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