When the French “culture” intelligentsia scrutinizes its belly button

lobsterI probably made a lot of fresh new enemies this morning. AFDEL and Renaissance Numérique were organizing the “Tokyo Forum” on the digitalization of “culture”. Why the name “Tokyo Forum”? Because the venue was the basement of the Palais de Tokyo, a modern arts museum in the heart of Paris. Why quote marks around “culture”? Because in France, “culture” is an industry, a business, a mindset, which does not translate nor transpose easily in English. Closest I could come up with would be “arts” – but then there would be an “artistic” expectation, and thus a disappointment. So I’ll just use culture here, and drop the quote marks. Continue reading

Advertisements

A high tower could make a difference

WestertorenAmsterdamI am just back from a family vacation in The Netherlands, during which we got to admire (among others) the architectural treasures of Amsterdam – a very active merchant city through the 17th and 18th centuries, at a time where long distance travel and trading was a risky endeavor, and instantaneous means of communication inexistent. So when merchants would expect ships bringing home coffee, spices or silks, all they could do was wait – and pray (for they were devoutly Christian).

It is hard to imagine in today’s times of instantaneous communication, GPS and online real-time tracking, not to know when one’s shipment would arrive, even if it would arrive at all, for enemy fleets, pirates, and just bad weather, were always to be feared on the open seas. But beside the nerve-wracking wait for the families of the sailors, lots of money was in play too. The merchant cities of Northern Europe were then operating as marketplaces, pretty much like today’s commodities exchanges: a fresh supply of coffee or sugar would generate fresh income for the importer, but could also cause wholesale prices to drop, whereas a shortage due to delayed shipments could cause price inflation. Continue reading

When data becomes the business

kevinspaceyThe speaker roaster for IBM Insight 2014 looks impressive, and very “big data” oriented: Terry Jones – founder of Travelocity.com & Kayak.com and ex-CIO of Sabre, Netflix’ big data production House of Cards’s Frank Underwood – I mean, Kevin Spacey – and these are only the keynote speakers. Too bad I am not in Vegas this week… IBM always puts together a very good quality event.

I am however able to grab some sound bites from the event, thanks to the best friend of wannabe conference attendees in the 2010 decade: Twitter. With so many people I follow in attendance, it’s a bit hard to filter the signal from the noise, but I found some interesting thoughts to chew on. Continue reading

The perfect storm

perfect-stormI started toying with the perfect storm idea and how it applies to our space, back at the end of 2013 when I was working on a time-honored exercise: predictions for the coming year (see this article in IT Briefcase: The Perfect Data Storm, Fueled by Big Data & Hybrid Cloud, Looms for 2014).

It takes a blockbuster movie to explain a scientific concept to the public (I’ll probably talk some day about Moneyball). But the meteorological phenomenon known as the perfect storm was revealed by the namesake movie featuring George Clooney. Then a Bostonian, I knew a thing or two about nor’easters, so the movie struck a cord. Continue reading

Turning a page

Page turnAt the end of October, I will be leaving Talend, after more than 7 years leading its marketing charge. It has been quite a ride – thrilling, high octane, wearing at times, but how rewarding.

And indeed, how rewarding it is to have witnessed both the drastic change of open source over the years, and the rise of a true alternative response to integration challenges. Continue reading