CTO Breakfast Report


We had the CTO Breakfast this morning and there was lots of interesting discussion and more people than we've ever had before. Much bigger and we'll need a different room.

Here are some things we talked about:

  • China. This seems to be a topic that comes up a lot at these breakfasts. Interestingly, not much of the discussion is about "outsourcing" but rather about opportunity. Two books that came up: Friedman's "The World is Flat and Fishman's China, Inc.
  • This morphed into a discussion of online games when we discussed an edict by the Chinese government to limit game playing to 3 hours per day.
  • Tom Gregory from the State School Board was here this morning and so we got into a discussion of education and technology in education.
  • Joel Sobrowsky, EVP at Dynamic City, was here and gave us an update on Utopia, the big muni-broadband project in Utah. Utopia is now passing homes and businesses in all six of the Phase I cities--that's about 50,000 homes. Phase II will be another 50,000 homes in those cities. Phase III will complete all of the Utopia cities. Call Sue @ 1.888.FIBER4U to get information on when they'll be in your neighborhood. The most popular product on Utopia so far has been a 10Mb/s symmetric link. Pay attention, that's symmetric. We decided the Utopia ought to run a bandwidth test site inside their network for customers to verify that.
    On Sept 19th-21st, Salt Lake City will host the Broadband Cities Conference. Utopia will be running 100Mb/s links to the booths at the conference to show the power of real broadband.
    Next month we'll invite Utopia's CTO, Jeff Fishburn, and get some maps and get all the details.
  • Willi Donohue, an old friend was most recently with BMC in Houston, was here this morning. He's returned to Utah and is working with Cogito now. I've been worried about Cogito after the management shake-up, but knowing Willi's there gives me some confidence. Ian Stiles, their CTO, who I hadn't met before came today as well.
  • At 9:30 a bunch of people took off, but the group that was left was pretty hard-core hacker/dynamic language guys. We got a report on Damian Conway's talk in Provo a couple of weeks ago. Damian was here to do some consulting with United Online, probably the largest employer of Perl programmers in Utah. I also found out that "why the lucky stiff" is from Utah! Wow and cool. I loved his OSCON presentation and his Guide to Ruby with Cartoon Foxes is a classic.
  • Scott Lemon reported on Firepoll, a Utah company that pays people to answer questions for companies online. He says he makes a couple of bucks a year. (Unfortunately, there's no OS X client--why not just do it online so there's no client?) We concluded that this would be a good IM application, but of course, IM bots have been patented.
  • On that same line of thought we discussed a new business for Google, given their new GTalk launch. Let people sign up to answer questions for people and let them specify their expertise. When people ask questions (as a paid service), the question gets IM'd to anyone in that area online. Everyone who wants to can look at how much the question pays and answer if they want. Google processes the results, returns them to the user and people get paid for their answers based on click-thru.
  • This turned into huge discussion of digital identity. Too much, too fast to keep track of.