I saw a really inspiring Ken Burns documentary about the first coast to coast car trip across the United States in 1903.
The fellow that decided to do it was Horatio Nelson Jackson. Horatio didn’t let the fact that there were no gas stations or roads (there were only 150 total miles of paved roads in the US) deter him from embracing what he knew was the future of transportation. He wanted to experience it even though it was years before it was a well tried and validated method of land travel. He depended on his ingenunity, his wife’s money, stage coach trails and confidence that it could be done. He overcame significant obstacles, reached his goal and proved conventional wisdom wrong.
As people in the technology field, we get opportunities daily to try new things. Back in 2002, some of us at New Age Technologies started using a product called VMWare. We all felt that the idea was category changing if it could prove itself. Fortunately, I work for some Horatio-type people that allows us to drive where there are no roads sometimes. We stayed with virtualization through the years and remember the good old days when you actually needed to know some Linux commands to get ESX up and running completely.
With the global downturn in the economy, companies are going to be more resistant to change, and will want to cut costs everywhere. Hopefully even without gas, roads, or even the wife’s money, we do have a lot of shared ideas that are freely available to inspire us and we can keep progressing through the challenges.
Often these types of constraints uncover opportunities. IT is going to be called upon to cut costs, so I think the work that Intel, Microsoft, HP and other companies are doing regarding air economizers in datacenter cooling are raising legitimate questions on how cold today’s datacenters really need to be. So, don’t be afraid to raise the thermostat a few degrees and save some power and cooling. You might even want to do like Microsoft and put your datacenter in a tent and go camping.
It’s nice to go out for a drive with Horatio every so often.