Cloud service providers in their many forms drive an astonishing 35 percent of server CPU revenues for Intel, and these customers are the first ones to drive the company to offer customized chips. This year, 23 percent of server CPU chips bought by cloud service providers will be custom, and Intel expects it to be more than half of server chips purchased by cloud companies in 2015. Intel has roughly 100 standard Xeon and Atom SKUs at any time, but this year did 35 custom SKUs on top of that, compared to 15 custom chips a year ago.

Our surveys show Cisco has too many people, often takes too long to get things done and has become reactive to changing market dynamics,” Sue wrote. “Big layoffs and restructuring have become routine for the past four years. A more proactive change may kick Cisco’s underperforming stock into gear.

What I mean when I say “fine”

I’ve found myself saying “and that’s fine a lot recently. I have a weird lexicon of words and their corresponding hacked semantics that I often use in more of a way to entertain myself than to inform other people. Having this weird lexicon keeps me entertained and also lets me filter in and out people who know me well or don’t. It’s like people who call me “Mike.” They have no idea who I am.

I’ve had to retire words from time to time. I used to say “exciting!” all the time to pretty much mean “that sounds less than insane; good for you; this is boring; let’s move on to the next topic.” (See what I mean about it being “weird”? Apparently I speak in semi-colons too.)

People at Dell figured this out after two or three hundred meetings with me, and would start using it in that same mocking way. I try to say “exciting!” less now. James was always super-astute at unmasking the real semantics. He’s one of the few people I’ve met who enjoys words qua words as much as I do.

Back to “fine.” As I explained to someone this morning, I have four levels of “goodness”:

  1. Burn the place down – doing so poorly that we should just shut it down. Awful.
  2. Doing poorly – not doing so hot, things need to be fixed.
  3. Fine – all things considered, given the choice, I’d rather be doing this then shooting myself in the nuts.
  4. Great – hey, I actually kind of like this.

Occasionally, other level of excellence are achieved, but they’re off the scale and usually involve booze and friends, not 9 to 5 existence.

As a product manager, you need to be able to balance all the work against all the work. Maybe you don’t have an ops background, that’s fine – you probably didn’t have a [domain] background when you came to work either.  Learn.  A lot of the success of a SaaS product is in the balancing of features against stability/scalability work against compliance work… If you want to take the “I’m the CEO of the product” role, then you need to step up and own all of it, otherwise you’re just that product’s Director of Wishful Thinking.

A very developer sentiment there: “learn.” I don’t think most white collar people think like that. They think of themselves as cogs in a process, not process hackers. Which is fine. As Bourdain says in his first book, he doesn’t want his line chefs being inventive, he wants them to cook the dishes the same way every time, and fast, and 50 of them at once. That’s IRL, not the delightful fantasy land us tech people live in where there is no set menu.

Big data: we’ll get to that real soon, honest!

About 73 percent of organizations in a survey of 302 Gartner partners said they’re investing or planning to invest in big data technologies and services this past June. However, 13 percent have actually deployed those solutions. That figure, for organizations planning to invest in the next two years, is up from 64 percent in 2013 across a survey group of 720.

Big data: we’ll get to that real soon, honest!

…storytelling. Like it or not, that’s exactly what branded content is about: telling great stories about a company in a more intelligent way instead of simply extolling a product’s merits

In the end, journalism is all about access. Beat reporters from a news media will do their best to circumvent the PR fence to get access to sources, while at the same time the PR team will order a bespoke story from its own staff writers.