Thursday, September 27, 2007

John Patrick at MIT

Last week internet pioneer John Patrick came to speak to my Technology Driven Business Change class. John worked at IBM for over 30 years and helped guide IBM through the internet revolution. In addition, the class is taught by Irving Wladawsky-Berger who headed IBM's internet division. Together John & Irving have some great experiences and stories about the challenges IBM faced. Rather than relay them all I'll just say that you should check out Lou Gerstner's book "Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?" Also, John's slides are posted on his blog.

Check out John's blog and post about his experience at MIT and Irving's technology leadership blog.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Grand Central

I just got my invite to beta test Grand Central. I stumbled upon this company when I was doing research this summer and about a week later they were purchased by Google. The technology aggregates up to six phone numbers. When a contact calls, Grand Central can be set to ring to specific numbers. Additionally, each contact can receive a custom greeting, voicemail can be checked online, and calls can be blocked. This service is great for people who are constantly checking multiple voicemail boxes. If you have a desk phone, mobile phone, home phone, etc this is worth checking out. Now that they are owned by Google I'm sure we can expect some exciting new features. Also, check out the recent Wall Street Journal article for another review.

Back to School - Week 4

This semester has been unbelievably busy. I thought second year would be fairly relaxing but as it turns out I'm working just as hard as my first semester of business school. Although, this year most of my workload is self-induced.

One of my classes this semester is through the MediaLab at MIT. The class is called Digital Innovations and we are researching how cell phones can be used to spark economic development in Costa Rica. In the coming weeks you'll probably see lots of mobile tech postings from me. My group is especially interested in how cell phones can be used to enable carpooling. We believe that a good, cell phone enabled system could significantly increase productivity and quality of life by reducing daily travel times. The BTIS system in India has a great start on solving this problem as well as the related traffic issues. In addition, today's Wall Street Journal had an interesting article on phones in India.