Monday, December 26, 2016

Is the Internet the Garden of Eden or God?

For decades, the internet has provided everyone from professor to trivia experts instant access to information.

What once was,

The internet is molded in our likeness...
The internet flows with falsehoods...
The internet is nebulas a formless ghost of past, present and future...

In the beginning, there was darkness -

...and then there was light...

Connecting the worlds computers offered us access to just about any 'fact' we could imagine - in theory anyone could connect with the source of research, witness news as it happened, or form opinion based on available information.

In the days before 'shells', the internet was free-form - we connected at the prompt, bumping around in MiRC rooms, and searching with tools like InfoSeek, AltaVista and WebCrawler. Bulletin boards offered asynchronous, yet informative, relationships.

Then came Prodigy, Compuserve, Delphi and finally, America On Line. These communities helped technological neophytes engage the bold, new world. Over night, the sparsely populated playground of nerds flooded with teenager angst and desperate housewives: "Cyber-sex" and "troll" hit the lexicon.

It was great.

From oil changes to Russian political history, if you have a question, the answer was out there on the 'net. Raw. Unedited and sometimes, difficult to find. It was a treasure hunt.

Move forward 20 years and there are 60 trillion webpages using an index 95 of petabytes - nearly twice the size of data mankind created, ever.  But what in the world can 60 trillion webpages tell us?

The internet is full of gossip...
The internet is full of dogma...
The internet is filtered...

Generations of adults have grown up with the internet and google. But now the raunchy and raucous cyber-land is settled and gentrified.  Today, proper search engines find what the "collective" wants, not necessarily what we, individually, are searching.  Indeed, even when the "powers that be" utilize "my" unique internet wonderings as my personal baseline, I want what I want right now, not 30 days back.

I am reminded of the time I took a few inner city(Los Angeles) kids for an off-road trip in the San Bernardino mountains.

Every year, a group of young city-dwellers would venture "up the hill" for an all volunteer sponsored trail ride in the forest.  It was our chance to show off the woods and their opportunity to get out of the concrete jungle.

The little girl in my truck was wide eyed.  It was her first time in the mountains.  Her head on a swivel, she innocently asked, "Where do all those trees come from?"

"What do you mean?" I responded.

"Who planted all those trees!?"

I was stunned.

Every tree, bush, or swath of grass this little girl had ever seen was designed, planned, and planted - her environment was completely man-made.

And that's the point - I fear the internet has an overcrowded and hollow wonderland between what we know, and what we strive to understand.  Seductive in design, the results are not organic.

She lived in somebody else's world.

So it is with the newly connected, brave new world.  The masses do not question the virtual until they have the eyes to see the real.  The internet is WestWorld -  fooling us into believing somebody else's vision of reality.

We have willingly removed the distinction between 'virtual reality' and 'reality'. All of our things will be digitally connected.  Someday, we will all be connected through the 'inter webs'.

Is google, God?

The escape, if there is one, resides in the 'old ways'.  The way of the printed, read and repeated word.  Searching for answers in the real world, along the Path.


Don't get me wrong, the internet is a wild and entertaining place.

It's a shame we'll need to be connected via technology only to discover we've been connected all along.

Friday, December 23, 2016

"What's the biggest change in Managed Print Services since 2009?"

During the past seven years, I've attended dozens of speaking events, helped hundreds of clients, worked thousands of hours and generated an incalculable number or words about managed print services.

When Nathan Dube approached me with a few quick questions about "then versus now", Clone Wars, and the best things sales reps can do in 2017, I tripped into the Time Tunnel.  What seems like yesterday is now nostalgic.

In the beginning, few were talking about, let alone selling, MpS.  In the 'good ole days, those of us in, made it up as we went along.

HP(Edgeline) and Xerox(Page Pack) had MpS programs.  So did Synnex and a few other organizations.

Customers were clueless when it came to DCA's, assessments, QBR's and proactive service.  Nobody heard of "Print Policies".(not print rules)

Below is our first podcast.  Thirty minutes of two veterans of the industry shooting the breeze.  I'd like to do more of these in a more relaxed format - with libation.

I guess the theme for this podcast could "The Song Remains the Same."


The number one song in 2009:

Click to email me.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Merry Christmas, 2016

From Detroit to SoCali to Davidson, NC to Oconomowoc, WI (Yes, it is a real town) it's been a heck of a tour with no sign of letting up.

I started DOTC in 2008 and I've tried to mark each Christmas with pithy prose and cute, snowy pictures.

Over the years and miles, much has changed - not only in our little niche, but in the world of business, technology, and society.

The world is just as violent, but we Americans appear to be more afraid than ever before.  

Business moves faster as Moore's law stretches us beyond compare. Issues come and go with every condensing news cycle.

I've lived through the personal computer age, moved from the C prompt to the mouse, from pink notes to voicemail, pagers to cell phones, typewriters to printers, printers to copiers, copiers to the cloud - MiRC, Prodigy, AoL, MySpace, LinkedIn, Facebook - yup, done em all.

But from my vantage point, with so much change, the core remains the same.  I guess it comes from getting on in years, one begins to recognize patterns in life.

For instance, we're currently making a big deal over millennials and how different 'they' act and how they have strange expectations from the world.

Sounds a bit like the Generation Gap of the '60's.

Also, we're witnessing the disintegration of an industry we, they US, created - printers and copiers.  It  is likely that one of the most prolific and recognized American brands will fade away to nothing in the next five years.  Xerox.  Lexmark is now a Chinese firm leaving Mother Blue(HP, Inc.) in the dubious position of carrying Old Glory into the paper-less abyss.

Much like the computer age of the 80's and 90's - will Xerox be the next Digital Equipment Company?

Indeed, can a parallel be drawn between Lexmark and AMC; between HP and IBM?

But I digress.

The future looks bright - it always does, it always has - it is my intention to journey forth and boldly go, into whatever the next Christmas has in store.

Merry Christmas, dear reader.