Cisco

A Cloud-Based Disaster for Small and Home-Based Businesses

I'm a great fan of David Pogue - mostly because, even though he's best known for his NY Times technology columns and Missing Manual book series, his first (and also) successful career was as a conductor and musician on Broadway.

(I know. One has nothing to do with the other - but there you have it. I come from a family of musicians - including on Broadway. Deal with it.)

On the tech side, one of the reasons why Pogue is so good is because he's willing to say the things that need to be said - whether it's about Cisco's decision to shut down the Flip Camera, taking on the cell phone carriers about their extra, unfair fees or, today, the future of the cloud.

Pogue didn't go there, but if you're a small business owner - particularly home-based - you were reading a real warning of problems and costs to come.

Because what Pogue wrote about is not how wonderful the cloud is and how you should move everything you do onto it - which is what we keep hearing from Apple, Google, HP and everyone else - but what it's going to cost us as the likes of Comcast, TimeWarner and other broadband providers start capping and controlling access and speed to the internet.  And the cloud.

If you're a member of any small business lobbying or support organization, the Rotary or even your local Chamber of Commerce, it's time to start getting your message ready to your internet service providers.

Left to their own devices, they'll keep increasing your costs while reducing your services. For them, you'll be a blip - at most - on their radar. Probably not even that.

For you, this is fair warning.  It's time to act.

(Originally published on Technorati.)

Staying on Message

Executives who have to face the fire on programs such as CNBC's "Squawk Box" are well trained to stay on message.  That's why they're always worth watching.

Think of it like a free post-doc in how to get your point across in difficult circumstances...no matter what anyone throws at you.

So, whether it's in preparation for your first media appearance or you're going in front of your friendly local VC, C-level executive or Board members - you want to know what your message is and then keep to it.  Through thick and thin.

An excellent example was when Cisco's CEO, John Chambers faced the CNBC fire to give a very different perspective than the one the analysts had chosen to adopt.  Even though, as he was speaking, his company's share value had taken a 12% drop in morning trade.

His key message throughout:  We control our own destiny.

By stating and re-stating that - supported by all sorts of data for all the different markets in which Cisco plays - his purpose was to allay fears that market forces would drive the company's valuation and performance down further.  And then further.

I don't know if it will work over the long term.  After all, it has most recently resulted in the shut-down of the Flip video camera and laying off of 550 people.  But it is a great example of the messaging art.

The resource below will get you to the All Things Digital page with the video.

Resource


John Chambers Plays Defense as Cisco's Shares Tumble (ATD)