Monday, December 12, 2005

Quoted - twice in interesting places

My tech comments keep showing up in all sorts of neat places. This morning brings news on two fairly large fronts: Forbes and the Globe & Mail. Here's the lowdown:

Forbes: Help Wanted In Silicon Valley. Byline is Rachel Rosemarin. I spoke about current trends in hiring. Here's what I said...
The tech industry is expected to grow by 167,000 new jobs in 2006, according to Economy.com, with high-tech employment rebounding to levels higher than that reached during the tech bubble's peak. But a severe drought of tech talent is imminent.

"The very survival of these companies is at risk," says Carmi Levy, an analyst with Infotech. "If they can't find that talent to keep them innovative, their competitive edge will erode." He points to the fact that two of Google's most popular products--Google News and Gmail--were the brainstorms of individual minds.

Many mid- and small-size companies won't be able to compete at all. Because of this human-resources weakness, Levy believes about half of all existing small and medium-size companies could stagnate and go out of business.

The ones that survive will figure out ways to tempt workers with stock options and guarantees that individuals will have large roles to play in shaping business, he says.

[Snip]

...finding enough quality talent has been challenging.

But what's bad for the big portal companies is worse for startups and midsize enterprises. "[The portals] are skimming the cream off the top and leaving the lesser talents to the companies that can't offer the same salaries and exposure," says Infotech's Levy. "Google's barrier for entry is so high."

Many point to Google as the primary impetus driving the talent war.

[Snip]

Despite the current frenzy surrounding technical talent, experts aren't willing to see this as a sign of a bubble mentality returning to Silicon Valley.

"We've learned our lesson," says Levy. "As a society, there is a lot of tempering going on with these hiring increases. We say, 'Wait a second, let's think our way through this.' In the late '90s, business cases weren't even bothered with."
The Globe and Mail: Downloadable audio books heading to libraries - But electronic collection in public system won't be compatible with popular iPods. Byline is Joe Friesen, and the article appears on page A11 of today's print edition. Here's what I said...
More than three-quarters of the MP3 players sold at the moment are iPods, according to Carmi Levy, a senior research analyst at Info-Tech research group.

"They pretty much own the market right now," Mr. Levy said.

[Snip]

At the moment, iPod-compatible audio books can be bought through Audible.com. Mr. Levy said Apple may be trying to expand the market for audio-book sales before proceeding with any deals for libraries.

Your turn: Does it make sense for Toronto's library - or any library, for that matter - to implement an audio book/reader solution that doesn't support the 800-pound gorilla - Apple's iPod - of the audio player market? Do you think they're smoking crack?

Update: Computing in the U.K. has picked up the Forbes piece here. IT Week (also in the UK) has it here.

3 comments:

Plain Jane said...

Smoking crack can't even explain that insanity!

Sandy said...

I'm such a lemming. When it came to sticking an MP3 player on my wish list, I went iPod. (Shuffle, but still.) So yeah, smoking crack. Darn it, I want a "book on tape" from the library.

Crazy Single Mom said...

I can never figure out what some people or organisations use for brains hee!!!!