Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Charles Araujo, Pat Romanski, Flint Brenton

Related Topics: Mobile IoT, Open Source Cloud

Mobile IoT: Article

Should RIM BlackBerries Be Rented?

Is the U.S. Mindset Fundamentally Different From Europe's?

So I was sitting under the hot lights at SYS-CON Media’s headquarters in Montvale, NJ recently, trying to mind my own business but expecting to get hit with some sort of surprise question by my SYS-CON.TV colleague Jeremy Geelan.

Jeremy, who serves as Publishing Director of SYS-CON, brings a wealth of journalistic and technological experience to the game, backed by the sort of elocution one would expect from a former BBC producer. And as a European, he often speaks from a viewpoint that, simply, can seemingly be designed to rub a solid U.S. citizen the wrong way.

He also likes to spring things on me. He and I were taping a SYS-CON.TV segment and talked of several recent developments in the IT business that particular week. Several minutes into the discussion, I could see by our clock that our time was almost up.

Then it came. “As an American, Rog,” he says, and the rest of his question became a blur. I dislike being characterized as “an American” or any other subset of humanity, be that subset aging bald guys, sports fanatics, or left-handed dog-and-cat owners.

As I tried to listen, I divined that Jeremy was talking about the increasingly popular concept of renting things of everything from bicycles to Blackberries in typically pioneering, savvy Nordic places such as Scandinavia and Finland. “Would such a concept work in the U.S.?” he wanted to know.

Or, listening between the lines, I think he was asking whether I would feel such ideas to be utopian, EuroWeenerish, even Communistic down to the depths of my red-white-and-blue being.

I couldn’t give him a short answer to this question, but did point out that new ideas are often adapted in the U.S. just as quickly as in, say, Finland, but usually in select places. The tiresome blue state/red state stereotype has some merit, and one can find what many Americans consider to be radical ideas being freely adapted in resolutely blue citdadels from Greenwich Village to Madison, Wisconsin to Berkeley.

That doesn’t make the ideas wrong or impractical. The first bans on smoking in San Francisco and Berkeley were considered lunatic fringe at the time, as were countless other issues and trends, some controversial, some not so. This will continue.

But the larger point that I failed to make, being as blessed as anyone with the ability to say the right thing a few days after it should have originally been said, was that the U.S. (and the U.S. market) should never be viewed monolithically.

Big Country
It’s a big country with a very large economy, and one can succeed by appealing to a very small percentage of it.

For example, 5% of the total U.S. market still represents a GDP that would rank in the Top 20 Worldwide, in between Taiwan and Australia. And appealing to only 1.3% of the total U.S. market lands you a GDP the size of Finland’s.

So, surely the idea of rented Blackberries—which despite my non-aversion to rented cars or flying in the same well-warmed airline seats as who knows who—sounds to me a bit like rented bowling shoes (yuck), could very well succeed in the U.S., even if almost 90+ percent of the population thinks it’s a bad idea.

The variety of opinion in the U.S. on all matters is diverse (or divers, as Jeremy would have it spelled), much more so than most people (including many Americans) think. This is due not only to the country’s multicultural stew and capitalistic orientation, but also to its federated nature.

By federated, I don’t mean the federal, unifying aspect of the U.S. government, but the fact that the country is a federated collection of states, which are in turn a collection of townships and counties, which in turn are broken into endless numbers of local and regional governmental and regulatory entities. In other words, an amazing percentage of the country’s laws and regulations are decided at various local-leaning levels.

Try explaining to an international visitor sometime why it may be OK, for example, to possess marijuana according to a city ordinance, sort-of OK by state law, and definitely not OK by federal law, and don’t forget to factor in littering laws that might be in effect if you try to consume said weed in a regional or county park that falls within the jurisdiction of a unified fire protection district and urban sanitation zone, or worse, in a business park patrolled by private security.

So as I said, it’s a big country. Lots of jurisdictions. And this "loosely coupled" mindset extends to the business world, with lots of segments, sub-segments, niches, and segmented sub-niches within almost any product or service category. Knock yourself out if you want to start a service to rent out Blackberries. Just don’t expect to take mine unless you pry it from my cold, dead hands!

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
trickster 11/04/05 08:58:23 PM EST

this blackberry idea is a communist plot. who owns the hardware in this scheme? the government? bad idea.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, posited that disruption is inevitable for comp...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
"This all sounds great. But it's just not realistic." This is what a group of five senior IT executives told me during a workshop I held not long ago. We were working through an exercise on the organizational characteristics necessary to successfully execute a digital transformation, and the group was doing their ‘readout.' The executives loved everything we discussed and agreed that if such an environment existed, it would make transformation much easier. They just didn't believe it was reali...
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, provided a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with...
Containers are rapidly finding their way into enterprise data centers, but change is difficult. How do enterprises transform their architecture with technologies like containers without losing the reliable components of their current solutions? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Tony Campbell, Director, Educational Services at CoreOS, will explore the challenges organizations are facing today as they move to containers and go over how Kubernetes applications can deploy with lega...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
Learn how to solve the problem of keeping files in sync between multiple Docker containers. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Aaron Brongersma, Senior Infrastructure Engineer at Modulus, discussed using rsync, GlusterFS, EBS and Bit Torrent Sync. He broke down the tools that are needed to help create a seamless user experience. In the end, can we have an environment where we can easily move Docker containers, servers, and volumes without impacting our applications? He shared his results so yo...
Don’t go chasing waterfall … development, that is. According to a recent post by Madison Moore on Medium featuring insights from several software delivery industry leaders, waterfall is – while still popular – not the best way to win in the marketplace. With methodologies like Agile, DevOps and Continuous Delivery becoming ever more prominent over the past 15 years or so, waterfall is old news. Or, is it? Moore cites a recent study by Gartner: “According to Gartner’s IT Key Metrics Data report, ...
Kubernetes is a new and revolutionary open-sourced system for managing containers across multiple hosts in a cluster. Ansible is a simple IT automation tool for just about any requirement for reproducible environments. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Patrick Galbraith, a principal engineer at HPE, discussed how to build a fully functional Kubernetes cluster on a number of virtual machines or bare-metal hosts. Also included will be a brief demonstration of running a Galera MyS...
Enterprise architects are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies as they seek to utilize existing data center assets, leverage the advantages of cloud computing and avoid cloud vendor lock-in. This requires a globally aware traffic management strategy that can monitor infrastructure health across data centers and end-user experience globally, while responding to control changes and system specification at the speed of today’s DevOps teams. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Gray, Chie...
Many organizations are now looking to DevOps maturity models to gauge their DevOps adoption and compare their maturity to their peers. However, as enterprise organizations rush to adopt DevOps, moving past experimentation to embrace it at scale, they are in danger of falling into the trap that they have fallen into time and time again. Unfortunately, we've seen this movie before, and we know how it ends: badly.
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
"I focus on what we are calling CAST Highlight, which is our SaaS application portfolio analysis tool. It is an extremely lightweight tool that can integrate with pretty much any build process right now," explained Andrew Siegmund, Application Migration Specialist for CAST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
"I will be talking about ChatOps and ChatOps as a way to solve some problems in the DevOps space," explained Himanshu Chhetri, CTO of Addteq, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
When you focus on a journey from up-close, you look at your own technical and cultural history and how you changed it for the benefit of the customer. This was our starting point: too many integration issues, 13 SWP days and very long cycles. It was evident that in this fast-paced industry we could no longer afford this reality. We needed something that would take us beyond reducing the development lifecycles, CI and Agile methodologies. We made a fundamental difference, even changed our culture...
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, discussed how by using ne...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, discussed how to use Kubernetes to set up a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace. H...