This week I’ve returned from a fortnight’s holiday and for what was always considered a ‘quiet period’, there was a lot of news in the technology world:
- Apple’s Steve Jobs stepped down. Earlier this year I read the book ‘From Good to Great’ where one of the requirements of a great company over a good, high performing company, is that the former is able to lose key individuals and still grow successfully. There have been many good companies but when a key person has left, the company has lost it’s way. Apple is currently the best of the good companies, and only time will tell whether it’s one of the greats.
- Eric Schmidt gave a great speech highlighting two key factors – the UK has invented so many high tech products, yet has been unable to commercialise them, and secondly the dwindling number of students studying maths and science. Both are sad positions to be in, and the second one is the worrying trend which needs to be addressed.
- HP have bought Autonomy. I’ve never come across a company that so few people know what they do (Autonomy, not HP). 30,000 people a week probably sit in White Hart Lane wondering what their shirt sponsor does. As for the actual aquisition, I agree with Tech Market View that it’s another sad day for British enterprise, and Eric Schmidt’s words above simply echo our lack of commercialisation – why can’t the UK create companies that buy US companies?
- Google buying Motorola was a complete shock. The cynic in me thinks that Google bought the cheaper company, to spark Microsoft’s interest in buying Nokia, which would eat up a huge amount of Microsoft’s cash reserve and put it in a weaker position. Quite why any company would want to buy a handset provider – customers are extremely fickle and disloyal in the mobile market, and Apple are going from strength to strength. Oh, and there’s the subject of huge investment required to knock the iPad off the top perch.
There was some good news while I was away though, I finished reading Lance Armstrong’s autobiography and whilst I won’t do a full book review like usual, I thoroughly recommend it. I couldn’t put the book down and ended up reading it in four days – not an easy task when you go on holiday with four kids.