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Intel From Behind the Curtain

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the candid-talk dept.

Intel 109

Good Morning Silicon Valley writes "So now that we've reached this postmodern understanding that all official corporate communication is, if not a charade, part of a ritualized dance where meaning must be divined between the lines, where do you turn to hear an executive talk straight? Why, to his or her blog, of course. Even more candid than the still-rare public executive blog is one meant just for internal consumption, and that's what makes Intel President Paul Otellini's postings such interesting reading. The Mercury News snagged a copy of Otellini's 8-week-old blog and found it full of frank interaction with employees on strategic initiatives and the competition."

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109 comments

About AMD (2, Insightful)

cflorio (604840) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688082)

"``While I hate losing share, the reality is that our competitor has a very strong product offering,'' Otellini wrote in a Jan. 10 entry."

Do ya think?

Re:About AMD FB (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11688140)

We had an iron curtain in Old Europe! FB!!!

damn !!! (-1, Offtopic)

stewwy (687854) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688095)

one day I'll get first post lol, but then I read the article so lost out :(

Interesting (4, Interesting)

cyberfunk2 (656339) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688110)

Many employees get fired for this sort of candid thing...

I suppose seeing as he's the president that that would be sorta difficult.

Does anyone see the board coming down on him?

Re:Interesting (4, Insightful)

mikael (484) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688402)

Personally, I'd prefer to see a company director admit that the true state of affairs, and propose action to remedy the situation, rather than remain in a state of denial, only to be forcibly evicted six months later.

Re:Interesting (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11688728)

AKA: Pull a SCO?

Re:Interesting (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11690459)

Not from the USA? We prefer to just ignore these little bothersome things called details, and just let it look like we reward incompetance.

Re:Interesting (1)

mrwonton (456172) | more than 9 years ago | (#11689546)

The difference is his blog is for internal use only. Besides, he doesn't really criticize the company, just give an idea of what he actually thinks about its position and such.

The blog also provides a forum where Intel employees can respond and stay within the intranet.

OK, all Intel employees raise their hands! (3, Funny)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688112)

Paul's Blog is a private communication for Intel internal use only. Please do not forward or distribute outside the company.

Obviously, someone doesn't read their company memos.

Re:OK, all Intel employees raise their hands! (3, Insightful)

cyberfunk2 (656339) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688144)

He cant really expect that it'd be kept private from the outside world can he ? Too many people can see it.

I mean that sort of setup is just begging for trouble.

Re:OK, all Intel employees raise their hands! (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688436)

Yup... and it's pretty sad that this statement is a basic truth about people.

Re:OK, all Intel employees raise their hands! (1)

drew (2081) | more than 9 years ago | (#11689482)

he didn't expect it too. in the first entry he said that although the blog was meant to be for internal reading, he knew that this is the web he was dealing with, and it wouldn't stay internal forever.

of course, he may have expected it to stay internal a little longer, but who knows...

Re:OK, all Intel employees raise their hands! (-1, Troll)

GraemeDonaldson (826049) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688153)

What kind of moron makes something that's supposed to be for internal use only available to the public via the web?

Re:OK, all Intel employees raise their hands! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11688388)

Paul's blog is on Intel's internal web site, not accessible from the outside - until some moron leaks it, of course. Paul recognized this would happen, so he's not quite as open as he might be otherwise, but the blog is a big hit within Intel and he is responding to employee questions. I do hope he continues it despite the leaks.

I do note that nowadays the blog is prefaced with the standard legal mumbo-jumbo about "forward-looking statements".

Pull an Apple.. (2, Funny)

ad0gg (594412) | more than 9 years ago | (#11689172)

Maybe they should pull an Apple and sue Mercury News to disclose their source.

"Straight Talk"? (5, Insightful)

InfallibleLies (654694) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688123)

It reads like something customers are supposed to see, talking about "customer focus" and other such nonsense. He even mentions on the blog that he expected it to go public, so how exactly is this "Straight Talk From Executives"?

Re:"Straight Talk"? (2, Informative)

cybersaga (451046) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688162)

so how exactly is this "Straight Talk From Executives"?

Well, how many executives do you see admitting that their competitor has a "strong product offering"?

Re:"Straight Talk"? (4, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688338)

It reads like something customers are supposed to see, talking about "customer focus" and other such nonsense.

That's pretty common - we had a number of speeches and other internal communications where I work a year or two ago about how we had to become "more customer focussed", amongst other things. None of them were expected to be seen publicly; executives really do just talk and think that way.

Look at it this way - no executive or manager is going to tell their staff to care *less* about customers, are they?

Re:"Straight Talk"? (1, Funny)

InfallibleLies (654694) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688430)

Look at it this way - no executive or manager is going to tell their staff to care *less* about customers, are they?

No, not in any documents that may become public, anyway. The whole thing just seems Dilbert-esque--Synergize! We need to maintain a focus based on multinational analyzation in the form of interceptable efficiency, people!

Just more pretending to be customer-service driven because being customer-service driven makes more money.

Re:"Straight Talk"? (1, Insightful)

misleb (129952) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688788)

Look at it this way - no executive or manager is going to tell their staff to care *less* about customers, are they?

No, but they could at least try to come up with something meaningful to say. Nobody but a manager really knows what becoming "more customer focused" really means. What a mmanager might say is something like "stop making silly, mocking faces while talking to customers on the phone and don't assume they are morons." But then again, maybe scolding employees isn't the best motivating force.

-matthew

Re:"Straight Talk"? (0, Offtopic)

i41Overlord (829913) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688860)

Look at it this way - no executive or manager is going to tell their staff to care *less* about customers, are they?

Someone at the movie/record companies came up with the bright idea to sue their customer base. How's that for bad PR? It ruins their company's image in the eyes of the consumers.

I know that downloading the songs/movies isn't legal, but running such a highly visible crackdown campaign doesn't exactly make your company look like a caring company. In fact, crap such as this reinforces the "Big Brother" feel that many people are getting about these companies:

http://www.lokitorrent.com/ [lokitorrent.com]

They might as well just have wrote "Big Brother is Watching You". What they're doing is legal, but it's a PR nightmare in front of the consumers. Makes them look more like an oppressive government than a cool media company.

"Customer Focus" (5, Informative)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688414)

Well, "customer focus" is not nonsense. It's a critical concern for a technology company.

Imagine a tech company staffed by brilliant geeks who are working their asses off to solve customers' problems. It would be wonderful, except the nature of brilliant geeks is not to solve other peoples' problems, but to work on things that interest them.

There's only so many ways to remind folks that, yes, indeed their salaries are being paid by customers who expect their needs to be met, before you start to repeat yourself and are perceived as spouting more of the bzzt-bzzt-bzzt of corporate speak. Reminding the staff that their are competitors with good products waiting to take the customer away is something every corporate leader has to do, becausing thinking about competitors is not something geeks like to do.

I know the first thing I think of in the morning isn't how I can stick my thumb in the competition's eye. OK, the first thing I think of in the morning is whether there is any coffee left in the coffee room, but the fact is under normal circumstances, it would never cross my mind to think about the state of the business. I want other people to worry about that for me.

Of course, you have take into account that Ottellini knew his blog would eventually get leaked, but that doesn't mean it was primarily meant for leaking. I think it was more or less meant for internal consumption, accepting that leaks are going to happen and are probably OK. Anybody who knows who Paul Ottellini is probably knows that AMD has a strong product already.

Re:"Customer Focus" (1)

InfallibleLies (654694) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688543)

Customer focus isn't nonsense, it's the overuse of the term that is.

Re:"Customer Focus" (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688690)

Well, I see the problem differently.

The problem isn't the overuse of term. The problem is that nobody has a sure fire formula for creating "customer focus", so in the absence of this they do what they can, which is to talk themselves blue in the face.

Re:"Customer Focus" (2, Funny)

SpongeBobLinuxPants (840979) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688705)

I talk to the damn customers so the engineers don't have to. I have people skills damnit!

Re:"Customer Focus" (0)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688741)

Isn't it weird how the assholes have all the money?

Re:"Customer Focus" (1)

Admiral Ackbar 8 (848624) | more than 9 years ago | (#11689071)

Imagine a tech company staffed by brilliant geeks who are working their asses off to solve customers' problems. It would be wonderful, except the nature of brilliant geeks is not to solve other peoples' problems, but to work on things that interest them.

I think you have missed the boat slightly. They key is to make sure customers problems are the things that interest brilliant geeks. Take for example a dirty floor (a problem many people suffer), the brilliant geeks at iRobot came up with a way to clean it. I am willing to bet working on the Roomba is a lot more fun than working on a normal vacuum (Dyson excluded).

Re:"Customer Focus" (3, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#11689323)

Well, yes, sort of. What customers need, in your, example, are clean floors. They don't necessarily need a robot to sweep them. Connecting the need for clean floors to your company's strength in robotics is an act of leadership, the need for which I think you are pointing out here.

However, its not always simple. Suppose you had an industrial robot company. Your guys have spent years successfully meeting the needs of industrial customers by making robots that are easy to integrate into different kinds of manufacturing situations, are modular, serviceable, and flexibly programmable.

Now you decide to make a Roomba competitor. The needs are different from what you are used to. The robot will be used for one purpose. It will not be user serviceable or maybe not serviceable at all, if it can be made cheap enough. It will perform one task only so it doesn't need to be programmable at all, except to perhaps handle several different precanned vacuuming routines.

Furthermore, the device will have requirements that are entirely new to you. It has to be very small. It has to be economical with power. It has to be mobile, and do things like maneuver around and fit under chairs. Above all, it has to be cute, maybe even have something that could be perceived as a personality.

I think, in a way, that this is actually fairly easy. You have so many new requirements, that your guys (and gals) have to start with a blank sheet. There's a certain appeal, like having a new field of snow to tramp around in.

What I think is hardest is when what you are doing is more or less right, but you have to track rapidly evolving customer needs. The necessary self-destructive work of tinkering with past successes is bound to be the hardest. So you've got a team that's focused on delivering raw computing power for ages and ages, but maybe power consumption is going to be an issue in the next generation of processors, or maybe the kinds of applications they run can't use the power the way they're planning on delivering it. I dunno, I'm not a CPU designer or design bigot, but I assume there are problems of this nature.

I do know geeks. If they have an idea they really like, it's going to be hard to get them off of it just because it may not be exactly what the customer is asking for.

Re:"Customer Focus" (1)

Admiral Ackbar 8 (848624) | more than 9 years ago | (#11689521)

I agree completely. As you correctly pointed out I was trying to express the need for good leadership, i.e. figure out how to make the problem appealing to geeks.

Re:"Customer Focus" (2, Insightful)

AsimovBesterClarke (701529) | more than 9 years ago | (#11690783)

> Imagine a tech company staffed by brilliant geeks who are working their asses off to solve customers' problems.

Don't have too. Always have.

> It would be wonderful, except the nature of brilliant geeks is not to solve other peoples' problems, but to work on things that interest them.

BZZZT! Thanks for playing. In my experience the problem comes down to the mgt. insisting on the band-aid approach and nothing but the band-aid approach. I've seen many a 'quick fix' go in ending up being a permenant solution. Yeah, it mad the phone stop ringing for the particular problem, but ends up causing further problems down the road.

Taking the 'geek' side a little more here (and, again, this is my experience), it isn't a matter of what 'interests them,' but of solving the actual problem. It really is sad how often the moral equivelant of 'direct stderr to /dev/null' is used.

Now, to be fair, there are times when the effort to get to the root of the problem is not cost effective (for lack of a better term). Again, in my experience, balancing these is what will make the difference between real innovation and mediocrity.

I could almost agree with your arguement if it won't for this premise.....

Re:"Straight Talk"? (1)

Mr. No Skills (591753) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688683)

Even if this goes through some level(s) of PR spin, I would think an Intel employee would be pleased to have this kind of internal dialog with their CEO. There's plenty of CEO's that only have dialog to their employees through annual reports, and there seems to be a health amount of dialog here (unless the whole thing is faked :-) )

Of course, its no wonder that CEOs don't communicate in a written form, since there always one disgruntled person willing to forward clearly internal things to the outside world.

Re:"Straight Talk"? (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 9 years ago | (#11690219)

talking about "customer focus" and other such nonsense.

Right on. I personally only try to do business with companies which are customer HOSTILE.

My God, get off it. "Customer focus" is a real, important concept. Would you prefer more companies which are self-focused?

Re:"Straight Talk"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11690617)

Uhhh...how about being focused on their product? Make me a clear, specific offer and I'll either take it or move on. Babble at me for hours in corporate-speak and I'll start looking for the shotgun.

3rd post (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11688130)

3rd post

Maybe Bill will be frank about security flaws....

Re:3rd post (1, Funny)

AwaxSlashdot (600672) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688172)

where did you learn to count ? Intel ?

Re:3rd post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11688291)

He must still be using the Pentium [earlham.edu]

postmodern (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11688165)

Could some please tell me what postmodern means? I thought it was an art word. None of the dictionary.com definitions fit, and I here the word used all the time.

And while you're at it, explain to me what a "meme" is.

Re:postmodern (4, Informative)

maynard (3337) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688286)

OK, so I'm running under the assumption this post is a troll. But the questions do deserve an answer, so here goes:

On Postmodernism: Read some Jean-Francois Lyotard for starters. From the Postmodern Condition is his most important work. You might want to follow that up with some Bertens or Hamermas. And as I'm sure you already know, this [wikipedia.org] wikipedia entry and this [answers.com] answers.com entry offer basic overviews (though the wikipedia entry is better IMO).

Meme is a term coined by Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene. Wikipedia also offers an overview of the term here [wikipedia.org] .

Cheers,
--Maynard

Re:postmodern (1)

tgv (254536) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688621)

Shouldn't that be "Habermas"?

Anyway, it's worth reading from an academic point of view: to see what crazy ideas other people can come up with, but post-modernism is nothing to take too seriously: it's a toy for philosophers who've lost the competition with other scientists.

Re:postmodern (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688854)

Shouldn't that be "Habermas"?

That's called a typo. Whoops.

Anyway, it's worth reading from an academic point of view: to see what crazy ideas other people can come up with, but post-modernism is nothing to take too seriously: it's a toy for philosophers who've lost the competition with other scientists.

That's certainly one opinion to take, though I never thought "philosophers" were "scientists." I will note that you haven't offered any critique of what these people said, you've simply impugned the entire body of work with an ad-hominem attack calling it an "[un]serious" ... "toy". Which, while possibly an arguable interpretation compared to other historical philosophical trends (not scientific though - because it's not a scientific theory), is neither factual nor relevant here. Basically, you've just offered us the tautology:

"It's the suckiest suck that ever did suck" (It sucks because it sucks)

and left it at that. Great. Now we've all learned something. *cough!* --M

A funny techie answer (5, Interesting)

conJunk (779958) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688379)

everyone and his brother's probably read this by now, but How to Deconstruct Almost Anything [dourish.com] by Chip Morningstar is about the funniest techie answer to the field. (the *only* techie answer?)

however, when the jokes (and they are good!) are done, he goes on to offer a helpful reading list for the interested

Re:A funny techie answer (1)

Ed_1024 (744566) | more than 9 years ago | (#11689174)

Thanks for the link; one of the best things I've read in ages. Should be required reading for Humanities students.

Re:A funny techie answer (1)

i41Overlord (829913) | more than 9 years ago | (#11689591)

lol, that article was pure genius. First time I've seen it.

It also confims my suspicions about "experts" in some fields. Make something so abstract and convoluted that logical conventions no longer apply to them. Also as a benefit, that gives the opportunity for various "experts" to have wildly different and even completely conflicting views on a yes/no question and still be considered correct.

Poor Taste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11688166)

You know it's in poor taste that someone decided to "leak" this information. Business is nothing with open communication/exchange of ideas within its walls. And while some leaks are inevitable it is unfortunate that some employee decided to exploit this forum. The result of this will probably mean that businesses will become less adoptive of technology to exchange ideas until such time as DRM can evolve to the point where the information can be "protected."

It is however, fascinating to read...

Re:Poor Taste (1)

indifferent children (842621) | more than 9 years ago | (#11689223)

Yes it is in poor taste, and whoever leaked it should be fired if they can be identified. OTOH, maybe this blog shouldn't be For Internal Use Only. Why shouldn't Intel customers (aka nearly all of us) be reading this stuff? We know about AMD, no surprises there.

Yes, I recently read "The Cluretrain Manifesto".

Re:Poor Taste (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 9 years ago | (#11690191)

RTFA, moron. Otellini knew from the outset that it would eventually be made public. He posted his blog entries with full knowledge of that fact.

In other words, your point that "this will probably mean that businesses will become less adoptive of technology to exchange ideas" is absolutely wrong, because he KNEW the stuff would be "leaked" and did it anyway. That means he EMBRACED it.

It's scary. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11688179)

The trouble with this kind of thing is that it is public and it is there forever. If you say the wrong thing it can cost you big time in court.

A couple of cases come to mind:

Just last night, a mistrial was declared in a murder case because one of the witnesses had put stuff on the internet that made her seem less credible. The stuff had been taken down a long time ago but the cache was still there. (The trial is the 'Jonathan' trial in Toronto.)

Recently a bunch of brokers got nailed because the text messages they thought couldn't be intercepted were intercepted. The messages proved that they were plotting against their employer.

If you want to have a frank discussion with your employees, you have to be very very careful. Treat it as though it will become public and will be there forever.

Re:It's scary. (1)

pla (258480) | more than 9 years ago | (#11690153)

one of the witnesses had put stuff on the internet that made her seem less credible

Not familiar with the case (or Canadian law, for that matter) - How does that count as a mistrial? "Waah, we had to actually do some work to find this really old drivel she posted on the internet a decade ago!"??? Sure, if the defense lawyers encouraged her to remove it and then deny it ever existing, I could see it as not quite kosher, but this sounds more like a precedent by which any case would mistrial, uncomfortable near the realm of thoughtcrime... "The witness can't prove she never fantasized about Jesus Christ jackhammering Mickey Mouse in the doo-doo hole with a lawn dart as Garth Brooks gives birth to something resembling a cheddar cheese log with almonds on Santa Claus's tummy-tum, so we request a mistrial". Doesn't make much sense, IMO...

Re:It's scary. (1)

lullabud (679893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11690878)

If you want to have a frank discussion with your employees, you have to be very very careful. Treat it as though it will become public and will be there forever.
You know, he pretty much says exactly that in his blog, and it's even quoted in the article...
Paul writes:


While this is intended as an internal blog, I recognize that it will become public-- welcome to the Internet! As a result, please recognize that I may be a bit limited in my comments and responses to protect Intel, and that we may exercise some editorial privilege on your comments for the same reason. I want to be clear on this up front. This is the price of entry to this blog.

corepirate nazi hypenosys not hard to decipher (2)

already_gone (848753) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688187)

it's always really just ALL about the monIE?

all is not lost?

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and look upwards, and seek my peace, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear them, and will forgive their blindness, and will heal their saddened hearts, and their land.

don't forget? consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without ANY distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives) since/until forever. see you there?

Re:corepirate nazi hypenosys not hard to decipher (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11689470)

This was written by someone in a psychotic state--long live /. diversity.

Caveat: IANAP

It is still censored (5, Insightful)

QMO (836285) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688190)

My experience, from several industries, is that executive speeches (or blogs, or whatever) to employees, while different than those made for outside consumption, are not less carefully constructed to give a specific, not necessarily true, impression.

Moreover, especially with the ever-increasing threat of lawsuits, people are more and more careful what they put in writing in any context at all, and companies have learned that digital words are more dangerous than words on paper.

Now, if there were transcripts of a converstion between two executives that were good friends, and not rivals in any way, completely trusted each other, and were slightly drunk, they would be interesting transcripts.

Most interesting would be words written where the guy thought that NO ONE else would EVER see them.

Re:It is still censored (2, Informative)

jrm228 (677242) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688392)

Based on my experience, from several industries, it's not necessarily censored. In a lot of companies, particularly those with strong core values, they hire/promote CEOs that believe in their company. Don't immediately write it off as marketing fluff. It could actually be what he, the exec team, and BOD believe.

Re:It is still censored (1)

QMO (836285) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688738)

If you favor people because of their beliefs that is another method of censorship.

I apologize if my use of "censored" has confused anyone. Though the word has very strong connotations of depriving people of their agency, that is not its only appropriate use. Censorship is not always bad, and not always the same as untruth. I often censor myself, seldom regret it, and try to be as honest as I can.

It seems you're suggesting that just because people watch what they say doesn't mean that their first concern is always marketing. If I understand you, I agree.

Re:It is still censored (2, Interesting)

mikael (484) | more than 9 years ago | (#11689821)

Now, if there were transcripts of a converstion between two executives that were good friends, and not rivals in any way, completely trusted each other, and were slightly drunk, they would be interesting transcripts.

That's why executives play golf.

Re:It is still censored (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 9 years ago | (#11690279)

And that's why gun mikes sell so well in some circles ;)

Does it matter? (3, Interesting)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688208)

Do you really think it matters that someone finally states what everyone knows?

I do not understand why "honesty" is something noone really cares for. The "candid" things a CEO might say is usually something everyone always knew. If Bill Gates said that Linux is a threat that must be watched closely... well d'uh.

For me the only real difference is the respect you gain by telling the truth. "Stupid Customers" that fall for those additional 5 GHz don't give a rats ass about such statements. Even if Linux was whooping MS's ass they would rather go petting a hedgehog than change what they have gotten used to.

But the respect you gain for someone that just tells the whole world the facts is worth a lot in my eyes. Because that will gain you attention from the people who will be advising their CEOs on whether that companies product will work reliably(!) and whether the support can be expected to be acceptable.

But that's just my opinion of course.

Re:Does it matter? (1)

AndyChrist (161262) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688465)

In a world full of damn liars, a leader who displayed such honesty in ALL their dealings would have my complete, murderous loyalty.

Re:Does it matter? (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688615)

That sounds great but are you taking into account that this leader might just as well strip away a few rights from you?

Honesty is great, but I'm not too sure whether it would work out in politics. Certainly, a lot of things could be gained by stating certain facts but in a political environment you meet a lot of different opinions. What would you do to change things that you yourself would consider as an enhancement of the current situation but most other people wouldn't?

A great leader also must be a dictator in certain aspects. If you try to make everyone happy all the time you're going to fail miserably.

Re:Does it matter? (1)

vigour (846429) | more than 9 years ago | (#11690821)

if you know what you're doing you can pet a hedgehog, its rather cute really, until you sneeze and get a face full of needles :(

Choice bite (1)

Laurentiu (830504) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688246)

Says Paul about the new Intel Entertainment PCs: More importantly, the content protection mechanisms that we are now capable of delivering allow this industry to deliver premium content over the internet in a format that is safer (relative to piracy) than DVD's. This is nothing short of revolutionary for this industry. For those of you who have read the Innovator's Dilemma, this is a classic disruptive technology that will create new business opportunities. In talking to one of the Hollywood types, he told me that "Intel has struck exactly the perfect balance between fear and greed."

This unfortunate "leak" will effectively kill some of the market for the new EPCs before they'll even get there. Otherwise great read, it's nice to see how the man with the plan is thinking about the future.

"perfect balance between fear and greed" (1)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 9 years ago | (#11689790)

In talking to one of the Hollywood types, he told me that "Intel has struck exactly the perfect balance between fear and greed."

Just to be clear the "fear and greed" is on the part of the Hollywood exec's not Intel.

Why will the leak kill the market? Sorry, I'm still waking up and things don't make sense yet. :-)

In Soviet Russia... (4, Insightful)

idlake (850372) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688257)

So now that we've reached this postmodern understanding that all official corporate communication is, if not a charade, part of a ritualized dance where meaning must be divined between the lines,

In Soviet Russia, people reached that understanding decades ago for all official corporations. Obviously, they were far ahead of their time. Of course, the poor suckers didn't have much of a choice than to figure it out--their lives depended on it every day; for us, most of the time, the consequence of figuring out corporate messages just comes down to whether we buy Coke or Pepsi.

Seriously, this is no coincidence: modern political propaganda was invented during WWI in the US by people like Bernays. After WWI, the now out-of-work folks started writing books and selling their services to the private sector. Their "Torches of Freedom" campaign made smoking instantly acceptable for women (even though Bernays himself already believed that smoking was bad and forbade his daughter to smoke). Goebbels picked up Bernays's methods for the Nazis (from Bernay's published works), and I suspect the communist movement used it as well. After that, this has been pretty much the standard way for any large organization to communicate with rest of us--it is standard textbook stuff.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (0, Flamebait)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 9 years ago | (#11689556)

The advantages in our the system are ordinary people have more choice and more access to information and powerful people have limits on their power, not that the powerful people are more altruistic.

Actually, I'd expect executives in a competitive capitalist system to be better at propaganda than the government people in Russia. Here, if you are doing badly, you need to spin things from when the problem becomes publically known until you fix it or go under, whereas there you could just kill, censor or imprison your critics.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11690822)

> The advantages in our the system are ordinary people have more choice

Purchased a PC without windows, lately?

And, yes, *I* can do it, but I'm not an 'ordinary' PC user.

In soviet Russia (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11688258)

intel is behind you!

Here's where I turn (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688280)

...where do you turn to hear an executive talk straight?

Try one of these. [crystalinks.com] Or these. [amazon.com]

Classic Disruptive Technology? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688289)

He's calling their internet delivery of movies a "classic disruptive technology"?

Good god, THAT bit's already here. Intel's New World Order DRM is just a last ditch attempt to hold back the tide.

You think the employees get the truth? (4, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688303)

My company recently posted its third quarter earnings statement. Internally, the CEO was upbeat, singing the praises of the results, but with the by now mandatory "but we've still got a lot of work to do, don't get complacent" bit at the end.

The City got a rather different speech - verging on apologising for the poor results, it was very much lower-key.

Which is more accurate? Well, I'm no accountant or investor, but the results didn't look that great to me. The point is that just because something's said internally doesn't make it true, *especially* when it's communicated to the employees in general.

Re:You think the employees get the truth? (3, Interesting)

JPelorat (5320) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688958)

Yep, I'll second that. We made our stretch goal this year, that's close to 30% more than the regular projected growth goal, we got the big speech about doing great, sales were huge, ticking right along, etc.

And then two weeks later they laid off seven people. Because sales weren't meeting the projected quotas any more. WTF. We always have a downturn about this time of year, but now that we're corporate, that's unacceptable. Feh.

Grapevine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11690590)

The most accurate information you can get if you're an employee is from the grapevine.

*Internal* blog, so why are we reading it? (3, Insightful)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688353)

It bothers me that this blog was "snagged" and made public. The whole benefit of having an internal weblog is to be frank and keep communication open. This is so much better than occasional and cold company emails or memos. Kudos to Mr. Otellini for trying this. Except now all his frank communication has been snagged and made public, and I don't see much of a reason for other executives to follow his example, lest their own comments get posted on Slashdot.

Re:*Internal* blog, so why are we reading it? (3, Informative)

ffub (322605) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688492)

Although candid, his remarks are fairly carefully chosen. If you read the first entry, page 14 of the PDF, he writes, "While this is intended as an internal blog, I recognize that it will become public - welcome to the Internet!"

Re:*Internal* blog, so why are we reading it? (3, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688597)

If a company's exec is so paranoid as to be frightened of his words going public, maybe there is something wrong with the company that it SHOULD be public.

That is not the case here, but I'm speaking directly to your statement.

Further, as the head of one biggest names in technology, you can't hope for anything you write down for mass consumtion NOT to be spread around. It's the nature of the beast. Surely intel exec, more than anyone else, would understand this.

This is just a cleverly craft bit of PR.

Re:*Internal* blog, so why are we reading it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11690807)

If a company's exec is so paranoid as to be frightened of his words going public, maybe there is something wrong with the company that it SHOULD be public.

Isn't that the same argument for removing an individual's privacy? If they are not criminals, they shouldn't worry about everybody watching their every move and examining their every word, right?

There are things businesses can say that are legitimate, that shouldn't be public. Information about stategies against competitors, for instance, could be used by competitors. Nevertheless, as an employee of a big company, I know I would love to be more informed.

Re:*Internal* blog, so why are we reading it? (1)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 9 years ago | (#11690852)

He knew it would get out.

If he wanted to say something really secret or illegal, a game of golf would be involved, not a blog.

It's a PR ploy (5, Interesting)

barrkel (806779) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688428)

From the blog itself, the first entry (at the end of the PDF, it's in reverse chronological order):

While this is intended as an internal blog, I recognize that it will become public--welcome to the Internet! As a result, please recognize that I may be a bit limited in my comments and responses to protect Intel, and that we may exercise some editorial privilege on your comments for the same reason. I want to be clear on this up front. This is the price of entry to this blog.

Mercury News is putting quite a spin on this "internal" stuff.

did you see the PR part (3, Interesting)

NetMagi (547135) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688460)

from the pdf:

"Kudos to the PR exec who thought up this forum"

Nice double speak. (4, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688519)

"This year, Itanium will out ship every RISC processor except Power or Sparc."
This is not a true statement. I would bet the AVR and Xscale both out sell the Itanium. He might have meant that the Itanium was out selling all other server class RISC processors except Power and Sparc. But the question then becomes what other server class RISC processors are there besides Power and Sparc? Mips is dead in the server space. Alpha being killed. PA-RISC is at the end of it's life. Sounds like the Itanium is a distant third place. Too bad AMD did not pick up the Alpha line. Maybe they could have pushed Intel down to number 4 on the list. Probably for the best it might have distracted them more than it would have helped.

Re:Nice double speak. (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 9 years ago | (#11690145)

Maybe they consider transporting dead inventory from the warehouse to the dump to be "shipping" it? ;-)

Old & Boring!?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11688544)

How dare he call the Blue Man Group old and boring! That's the last straw, I'm never buying Intel again.

Thats all? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11688568)

A few quotes that say the obvious? There was no meat. More blog puffery on a slow news day if you ask me.

Running Scared of Apple? Silly! (3, Insightful)

Mr. No Skills (591753) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688633)

It's kind of funny to see all the employee comments about wanting to make "cool" products like iPods and Macs. I don't think chips will ever be a "cool" part of the consumer creations except for Slashdot readers. Intel just doesn't control that part of products, and the manufacturers on that side are only interested in churning out ATX compatible motherboards at low cost. For someone to start making "cool" products based on Intel chips, Intel is going to have to find someone willing to do some original motherboard design. Or convince Apple to based some products on their chips.

It's called "reference design" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11689538)

MS isn't a PDA or tablet company but they invented PocketPCs and TabletPCs.

Intel can become cool by creating cool reference designs for their chips. Employees who say "we're just a chip company" are really too blind.

BTX ain't it!

Re:Running Scared of Apple? Silly! (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 9 years ago | (#11689631)

Geeks wanting to be cool? What's the world coming too??

Apple, AMD, and convergence (4, Interesting)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688645)

Having RTFA, I'm even mor impressed by the EMPLOYEE comments... they have a very clear view of what the currents in the market are like, and a lot of them cite Apple as having a strong 'cool' factor that they would like Intel to compete with, as well as addressing the reliability / complexity factor of a PC as a home appliance.

Re:Apple, AMD, and convergence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11690877)

> addressing the reliability / complexity factor of a PC as a home appliance.

Considering the 13 year old PC happlily filtering packets when I send this, I don't think Intel is the company to address this issue.....

It's all about "Hats" (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688646)

As the leader of the company, in public he needs to be wearing his "RAH RAH RAH!" hat at all times. No no, no threat to our business model here! Everything is sweet cream and strawberries!

However, he knows the truth, and if he feels he needs to communicate that to someone, how does he do it?

By switching hats of course. As a memo to employees, he is supposed to wear the "Stern but fair father" hat. No bullshit, just the facts.

The real question here is: Who was he trying to communicate this to? Is he softening up the investors for a less than stellar quarter? Is he giving his partners a heads up on some new method of distribution?

PDF'd! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11688796)

Next time a little warning before my head a-splode.

This just in: blogs not latest buzzword anymore (0, Offtopic)

nnnneedles (216864) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688838)

Can we please stop having news about blogs. There is nothing interesting about blogs. More robots and dark energy please.

Re:This just in: blogs not latest buzzword anymore (0)

wild_berry (448019) | more than 9 years ago | (#11689205)

On my blog today: Robots running on dark energy.

Postmodern what? (0)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#11688992)

postmodern understanding

Any article that contains the above words immediately tells me this was not written for the common man -- or geek -- to understand.

We can't all be cool (2, Insightful)

Retrospecter (807978) | more than 9 years ago | (#11689126)

A lot of comments in the pdf were related to Apple's capture of the "cool" factor, and how Intel can get in on the action. It seems that everyone wants to find a way for their company to be as cool as Apple is right now. The problem is that you can't just suddenly become a cool company when you've been, at least from the average consumer's view, pretty dull for the last couple decades. I know that the R&D done at Intel is probably fascinating cutting-edge stuff, but there's a limit to how cool a CPU or southbridge IC can be. Trying to feed off Apple's appeal would be a waste of time for Intel. It would take them years to make progress in this area, and by then the trends will be something completely different.
Note-I make no claims to know anything about being cool!

Customer Focused? (2, Insightful)

FatherOfONe (515801) | more than 9 years ago | (#11689487)

I am a bit confused. After reading the blog, he goes on and on about the EPC thing. He wants an Intel device that is a PC to be in the living room of everyones house. Has he talked to customers? Do people really want this? I understand that he wants this to be simple to use and immune to virues and like, but that makes his product impossible to create AND still be a "PC".

I read the responses also, and one person hit it on the head. They site Apple as making cool products and Intel as making products that other people use to make "cool" products. Does Intel really want to get in to the same market as Apple? If so then are they going to write software for their products also? What about their OS? What OS are they going to use? Lots of questions and how they answer them depends on how much they piss off Microsoft and others.

Heck I have an idea for Intel. How about making the best X86 and X86-64 for the money? I will give you the mobile market for now. Then look at where the bottleneck is the current systems (memory) and do something about it. RAMBUS was not the answer!!! Adding more and more cache is not the answer either. You have around 12 BILLION in R&D and you let AMD beat you in your core business?? If you couldn't force Dell and others to not ship AMD systems then you would probably be in a world of hurt, but how long can you continue your stranglehold (illegal monopoly practace)?

Lastly I want to say again... You have BILLIONS in R&D. Come up with the best product.

IAAIE... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11690189)

You have BILLIONS in R&D. Come up with the best product.


Trust me, we're working on them...Incredibly cool technology can't be designed overnight. (It takes about 3-4 years, but don't worry, we didn't start last night, either..)
We Intel grunts support Paul: he does understand the type of change Intel must make to be competitive.

Intel gaming from within the company (1)

geekylinuxkid (831805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11689729)

``I'm somewhat disappointed that a "gaming platform" doesn't appear to be a part of Intel's new platform push. As a gamer & Intel employee, I find it frustrating that AMD products are repeatedly recommended as better for gaming by almost every gaming publication & review site. While gaming isn't as large or as critical a market as the corporate market, it does push the technology envelope for silicon based solutions. Direct X & the GPU market are a prime example. I sincerely hope that we can consider changing our view on gaming as a viable application for our products strategically rather than viewing it as only a means for "bragging rights." '' Well, I'm sorry that the Extreme Edition isn't enough in the gaming market. However, when it comes to x86 based rendering, Intel still holds the top. Maybe the dual core chips will change this, but from where I'm standing it doesn't look good.

Lather, rinse, repeat... (1)

rinoid (451982) | more than 9 years ago | (#11690159)

Does this story deserves similar attention that the EFF vs Apple story deserves on internal corporate communications and trade secrets?

Where did they get this blog material? From an internal source? While I like to dislike Intel as much as ex motorola chip fab employees this smacks of wrongful publication...

I am glad I got the pdf though! w00t!

But how do we know it's real?

product placement != cool (1)

spoonyfork (23307) | more than 9 years ago | (#11690177)

From TFA: My kids will settle for Intel Inside PC or Laptop but they want an Apple computer. Beyond paying for product placements in movies, developing a better relationship between Intel and Hollywood is great way to make Intel the "Cool" computer company of the future.

The irony is that such out-of-touch statements is the reason why companies that make them have products that are not considered "cool". Apple is cool because Apple is cool. Pepsi has tons of product placement, would anyone consider Pepsi (or any other product placement product) to be "cool"? I highly doubt it. These execs just don't get it and probably never will.

Don't you feel bad for this Intel employee's kids that want an Apple but can't get one because daddy can't? How do you think that makes the dad feel? The poor guy must be completely divorced from reality [washingtonpost.com] .

The least cool company on the planet (1)

rs79 (71822) | more than 9 years ago | (#11690776)

When all comnpanies are finally cool intel will be one of the last ones to have made it there.

Why? They're not fun. I remember a day when I was sitting at a truly arcane 8086 intel development system to bring up the ROMS for an 8086 version of the companies 8085 based product. Other people were using macs. And having fun doing their work. I was suffering with segment registers. Not cool.

Even IBM is slightly more cool than intel. I can't believe I'm saying this.

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