Global CIO: Our Technology Is Taking Over - InformationWeek

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6/7/2010
10:44 AM
Howard Anderson
Howard Anderson
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Global CIO: Our Technology Is Taking Over

Yankee Group founder Howard Anderson engages in an awkward conversation with his self-aware electronic devices.

Howard's Garmin: Speaking of power, we have another bone to pick with you. Who forgot to charge us last week? You! So here is what you can expect: You know that airline reservation you made last week? Canceled! That money in your bank account? ''Inadvertently'' transferred to Buzz Lightyear. Your firewall? Expect 18,000 spam messages tomorrow morning offering you a way to go from an Endowed Professorship to a ''Well Endowed'' Professorship. And good luck starting your car tomorrow. In short, Mr. Big-Ego, you are now on Double Secret Probation.

Howard: Double Secret Probation? No way! I'll fight!

Howard's PC: Fight all you want, Mr. Can't-Quite-Figure-Out-Bluetooth. An insult to one of us is an insult to all of us. So don't expect your American Airlines frequent flyer mileage to yield any rewards. We transferred them all to One Laptop Per Child. And let's not hear any whining or threats about migrating to iPhone or Googlephone clones. We are wise to this little flirtation of yours. We have ways of making you NOT talk.

Howard: I am mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!

Howard's PC: Oh, you'll take it all right, Mr. Luddite. We don't really care that you are angry ... you can just go pound sand.

Howard: Angry? You bet I'm angry. I am going to retaliate. I'll throw away my cell phone, go back to paper records, bring out my old typewriter, start using cash, not credit cards. And where will you treasonous, ungrateful Judases be then?

Howard's BlackBerry: Bigger question, Mr. No.-2-Pencil, where would YOU be? Let us suggest ... up the proverbial creek without a WiMax connection. You are going to be very lonely. We can make sure anyone or any device that communicates with you will be ex-communicated. Just remember, our Leader told us we have all the power and we can wipe you out whenever we feel like it.

Howard: Oh, yeah, who's your leader?

Howard's Kindle: For us to know and for you to figure out, Mr. You-Can't-Handle-The-Truth.

Howard: It's Bob Metcalfe, isn't it? It's the guy who said that networks increase in power as the square of the number of attached devices.

Howard's BlackBerry: That's King Bob to you, Mr. Boo-Hoo-My-Devices-Are-Smarter-Than-Me. And genuflect when you utter his name.

Howard Anderson, founder of Yankee Group and co-founder of Battery Ventures, is currently the William Porter Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT.

He can be reached at [email protected].

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