Asking the right question

Yesterday was a big day here in NZ, the iPhone 4S was released, whats more the stranglehold that Vodafone had on the iPhone has past.

Predictably there was plenty of hype. And then the carriers put out their plan details (see NBR). Lance Wiggs put it bluntly, “Vodafone’s iPhone 4S plans seem to have forgotten data”. The interesting thing is why.



They’ve had a monopoloy on the coolest device this decade, they must know what this does to ARPU …and yet they do this?

Could it be that in their analysis, they’ve uncovered a nasty fact? That they are killing their network with these devices?


Sounds silly but have a look at this mobile data growth chart

Given growth is nearly flat, prices are flat or falling… maybe it just wasn’t economic? Could they actually want to bleed these data hogging customers.

Remember Telecom and 2Degrees both have shinny new networks, i’m guessing they have uddles of capacity…maybe Vodafone doesn’t…after all they still have 2G in patches

Like is said, almost as interesting as the announcement itself




the sucking mehness….

First up these are my opinions, i mean no disrespect to anyone who values some of my examples here.

I should explain why i’ve been absent online. My hiatus from blogging has been for several reasons, it lost its appeal when work decided I should blog for them, more importantly I was disillusioned by how  trivial most of the topics were. I call it the sucking mehness….

I was attending conferences that were still explaining what cloud computing was, arguing about the definitions of what cloud is, whether it was secure …. All the while the world around us was undergoing such rapid turmoil… it just didn’t feel right.

Compared to the major events like the Arab spring, climate change, the Christchurch and Japanese earthquakes, the absurdity or the US default crisis, the European debt crisis and the social change drive by the occupy movement,  I couldn’t muster the enthusiasm to blog about technology. I was worried, worried about this globe of ours and worried about what world my children will live in…

Coupled with that, I’ve been researching some thought provoking topics. Ken Robinson’s the element, Clayton Christensen, HBR, Dan Pink and several others….They all share similar characteristics. They challenge the status quo, but from a point of view of changing the world….

All of this has been going around in my head for a while, and I can’t help thinking that at its highest level, the system is broken…

That the rich get richer is more than a proverb, it is a proven fact, but the hidden subtext is that the rich are also consolidating power.  The age old societal promises are breaking down, and I hope more people like me are starting to question their role in this process, and ask if there is a different way.

I think we seriously need to question many of our underlying assumptions.

Do we truly live in democracies, or is most of it a charade, more an exercise in mass crowd control… and if we seriously question this would we like what we see scenarios like  the police shooting rubber bullets at peaceful protestors in the US being barely newsworthy, and how is that different to the Arab states?

Is all the time effort and rhetoric of organisations like the WTO, UN etc even worth the effort when clearly they are so politically influenced (or compromised, again and again )…

Should companies focus on profits, what role do I play in the many bad behaviours we see because i’m a shareholder expecting ever higher returns

Why aren’t we seriously tackling the role of advertising on our society? Are we really ok with the subtext that they portray and what it does to our children, women and society

What impact have unions really had over the last 100 years? Apparently nothing, why?

Why do we pay CEO’s so much money based on a promise, and yet marginalise their employees who actually deliver?


I don’t have the answers.  I do have some thoughts

Lets get real. Openly acknowledging political systems for what they are, same is true for the financial systems.

Seriously look at lobbying and the impact of business on politics. This is a form of corruption. End of story.

In fact seriously look at politics FULL STOP. Any system that perversely rewards itself (if i make poor decisions that you like, you will keep me in my high paid important position) should be changed..

If you run a company, having openly states goals wider than profit that you are held accountable too might be a start.. i don’t know for sure. Start it up with equality in mind. Not exploitation

If you own shares, think about what your expectations as an owner are actually driving. You cannot seriously demand increasing profits then moan when another company downsizes, cuts costs at locals expense, takes cheaper inputs with dubious environmental impacts …

Also recognise that if the person in charge of the company tells you that they are going to grow, and most will, they are most probably lying to you (statistically and possibly overtly)… the numbers suggest it will not happen so why demand it?

How about viewing education differently, not the product line that churns out people with the same skills and thought processes who end up competing for the same jobs and coincidently end up creating companies with …you guessed it the same approaches. If you want differentiation, try mixing it up.  Clayton Christensen describes the impact of MBA’s on companies like Sony  in several of his books and articles.

The renaissance drove astounding change, huge culture and societal benefit…and was driven by the arts and most importantly, the diverse thinking the arts provides… yet our policy makers are forcing the education system to eliminate both…. SERIOUSLY is there any wonder that true innovation has slowed and everything is becoming the same.  (hear the sucking now???)

Acknowledge that people are people… they will protect their interests above all else. Why waste your time fighting that?

Put things in perspective. In the scheme of things does arguing about cloud definitions make a monkey’s difference?

Manage your own consumerism… I’m battling this daily. It isn’t easy, but I personally find distinguishing between needs and wants is valuable.

Accept responsibility for your own actions….. Greece borrowed a tonne of money, so has the US and many other nations, apparently feed by consumerism, not assets acquisition…. Why shouldn’t they face hard times fixing their poor decision making?  Smoking kills, its well known… in my country there is government funded insurance / healthcare provided to these people who decided to ignore the overwhelming evidence and still smoke… why?

Question seriously advertising. Not just the above the line message but the deep subtext… it doesn’t feel right that products make people feel insecure or captialise on it…Educate people about what advertising does and how they are impacted on it.

While we at it, how about turning the thing on its head and use advertising to raise self esteem, celebrate those, like teachers who, with the right resources can and do reall make a difference.


I’m sure there is more….