Sent: Monday, November 28, 2005 12:02 AM
To: eWEEK readers
Subject: Brandy recognition; Balsilliness; Pez be with you
"Oops, my blackberry!" squealed Spence, as the sound of a small bottle hitting the floor broke the silence at the Harvard Business Schools annual Cyberposium. "It should be fine as long as the LCD didnt break," said a concerned Cantabrigian, thinking the Kitty had actually dropped his wireless handheld device. "Its OK; I always carry a backup," said the ever-ready Rumormonger, producing another small bottle of brandy from his jacket.
Refortified, the Furball focused on keynote speaker Jim Balsillie, an HBS graduate and chairman of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion. During the keynote, an audience member asked Balsillie about the Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Symbian OS and RIM mobile operating systems and how he thought the battle among them would play out. "Its not about the OS," Balsillie said. "People buy service." He added that the RIM operating system is only 200 lines of code. "I dont need a 400-horsepower motor on a bicycle," Balsillie said, laughingly adding, "not to say were a bike."
Balsillie also discussed the clarity of hindsight in the technology business. Whod have imagined the wild success selling ads on a search engine or auctioning Pez dispensers online would bring? "The key to success lies in figuring out your core business before branching out," Balsillie said, adding this pearl of wisdom: "Nail the Pez dispenser first." Spence saw a few students write this down and hoped the youngsters werent too literal-minded.
The Furry One suddenly shook, fearing hed succumbed to delirium tremens, but realized it was a real BlackBerry throbbing in his pocket. It was an IM from a pal who said that former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina may be considering running for lieutenant governor on the Republican ticket in California. "Ha! If she won, shed probably try to orchestrate a Golden State acquisition of Oregon," Spence thumbed back to his pal. Soon, the clarion call of the KattPhone caused the Kitty to leap from his seat and find a tactful place to take the call.
The caller was a crony who claimed CA recently signed a lease for new office space in midtown Manhattan for about $5 million a year. The crony said its puzzling that the Islandia, N.Y., company would need the space, since it already has unused offices downtown near Wall Street. "Maybe theyre getting into the real estate biz," cackled the Kitty. "Hey, dont laugh," said the crony. "Microsoft is getting into the leasing business." It seems Redmond is willing to lease software, complete with finance charges, to businesses low on funds. Bill and Steves money store is also providing a new online tool called MPLA (Microsoft Product Licensing Advisor), to help SMBs determine volume licensing prices. As Spence went back into the keynote, Balsillie was being swarmed by students pitching ideas to him. Spence chuckled when one student told Balsillie hed created a device that wakes you from a light sleep. "Isnt that an alarm clock?" whispered a nearby attendee. "Or a rock," grinned the Grimalkin.