my recent reads..

The Tipping Point


The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell is one of those books that you suddenly realise is everywhere - bookshops, airports, being read by people on the bus or train.

It's an easy and engaging read - Gladwell's a compelling story teller - and does a convincing job of exploring and explaining just how social epidemics work. He uses a simple model of three concepts to organise the book:
  • The Law of the Few : Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen

  • The Stickiness Factor

  • The Power of Context
I found myself immediately reflecting on how this all applies to what I am trying to achieve at work. I'm sure every reader will do a similar thing - whether your mission is to nurture an idea, a product or a message.

In one of his case studies, Gladwell even makes a very convincing argument for why public health policy has got it completely wrong in regard to controlling smoking!

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Fellow travellers on the road to Fusion..

At one point, the cynical would have said that Fusion is just a con to placate all the PeopleSoft, Siebel and JD Edwards customers. Others just complained about the con-fusion.

Of course, Fusion Applications are still a way off in the future, and I'm not sure if even Oracle Development really know in full cinematic detail what shipping the products will really entail. Its all still fairly big-picture stuff .. although in classic Oracle style, the user/user experience seems to have got lost along the way. But there's enough pressure and creativity that I think we will see the current Fusion formula grow an additional term at some point. i.e.

Fusion = Grid Computing + SOA + Enterprise Information Architecture
will become
Fusion = Grid Computing + SOA + Enterprise Information Architecture + Web 2.0
In other words, potentially the best darn definition of "Enterprise 2.0" in the market so far!

In the meantime however, some things are coming into clear focus. One is the critical importance of SOA and Security Fusion Middleware components (a.k.a. Oracle Application Server). This struck home for me when listening to the recent AppCast interview with Cliff Godwin who is now heading Oracle's Fusion Upgrade Program Office. What is the world coming to.. Oracle Applications folks selling technology?!!

The true test of fusion will be the extent to which it is embraced by customers and the user community. It was great to see Floyd Teter kick-off a new series on his blog where he will be covering his company's Detailed Roadmap to Fusion Applications. Hats off to Floyd for the courage to do this in the open, and to provide the necessary detail that will actually make this useful for others considering the same path.
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Softwar - An Intimate Portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle


I've been meaning to pick this up for some years, and finally did while killing a few hours at KLIA. And I'm glad I did, devouring it last weekend.

It is a great read, no matter what views you may personally hold about Larry or Oracle itself. So many things about the way you see Oracle operate today are given a rich historical background. Fascinating. And remarkably balanced ... I'd say its still 50/50 whether you'll finish the book with more or less respect for Larry and Oracle.

Since the final touches to the epilogue were made in March 2004 (just on the verge of the PeopleSoft acquisition), it was a bit like watching “Fellowship of the Ring”. The story is unfinished and you can’t wait for the next episode of the saga to come out. But despite it being a few years old, I think it remains a highly recommended read especially if you work in enterprise computing. I do hope Matthew Symonds gets to continue the story in another book (a SQL?).

Favourite quote .. LE writes,

"Okay. Maybe database clustering is not as cool as flight. But it's close."
See also:

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My Brain

From xkcd - A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.


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