Microsoft v General Motors

Sadly, this is probably apocryphal but as a Mac user I loved it.

At a recent computer expo, Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, “If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.”

In response to Bill’s comments, General Motors issued a press release stating: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics (and you’ll love this part):

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash now and then.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it and open the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and much easier to drive – but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water, temperature, and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single “This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation!” warning light.

7 . The airbag system would ask “Are you sure?” before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You’d have to press the “Start” button to turn the engine off.

The Weekend Read – Tribes by Seth Godin

I have little to say about this book by the author of Purple Cow, The Dip & Meatball Sundae, except – buy / borrow /steal it, read it and then read it again next week.

Get it from Amazon here.

Free download of his book “Unleashing The Ideavirus” from his blogsite here.

The Ten “Traits of Excellence” Tom Peters

From Tom Peters

The Ten “Traits of Excellence”: 

True to Himself. 
Story Teller. 
Thrive Past Failure. 
Politician Extraordinaire. 


This is wonderful. I saw it on Chris Barrow’s blog do take the time to sit and enjoy it, please – the world will feel like a better place.

Because I haven’t worked out how to embed YouTube videos (another thing on the list) you’ll have to press the link.

It’s here



The Monday Morning Quote #24

“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker.

Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end.

Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”

I am not sure who wrote this originally but I read it on Paul Newton’s website. Paul had a very ‘challenging’ 2008, he was in Belfast for the Connaught v Ulster rugby match last Spring and was seriously assaulted. Thankfully he is now close to full recovery.

His website is here.

Microsoft offers Vista replacement. Servers fall over.

I am a happy Mac user, they do what they are supposed to do simply and without fuss, they are beautiful to look at and Apple continue to innovate. My experiences with Microsoft have been repeatedly frustrating. If Microsoft made cars you would see motorways clogged with autos that had tried to use their indictors or windscreen wipers but then had to stop due to a fatal error, turn their engines off and restart them before they could proceed with the journey.

Why do I need to know what’s going on “under the bonnet” in order to drive?

John Naughton is of similar mind this is from John Naughton’s Memex 1.1

Microsoft surely anticipated a crowd when it announced this week that 2.5 million current users of Windows Vista SP1 would be allowed to download a free beta of the upcoming Windows 7 starting at noon Pacific today (see “Microsoft offers Vista users something beta“), but it apparently wasn’t ready for the Wal-Mart-on-Black-Friday kind of mob that gathered outside its virtual doors and collectively clicked its servers into whimpering submission. With the Web site faltering under the load, Microsoft called a timeout and said it needed to add “some additional infrastructure support to the properties before we post the public beta.” No ETA was given, and prospective downloaders have been left to mill about aimlessly, checking their favorite tech news sites for a new go signal and talking among themselves about the benefits of BitTorrent.

The (hundred and) first

For the 101st posting I am returning to my first “professional” blog entry from July 1st 2007 when I was part of the Dental Business School set up. Happy days. My opinions haven’t changed.

It’s great to put the words “The first time” into a search engine and watch what appears. In this case I wanted, and got the lyrics to “The first time ever I saw your face” a wonderful song written in 1963 by Ewan McColl for his lover Peggy Seeger.

The first time ever I lay with you
And felt your heart beat close to mine
I thought our joy would fill the earth
And would last till the end of time my love
And would last till the end of time”

For more stuff on this fascinating man who refused to be classified as anything other than himself go to:

As for myself here’s a brief summary that I wrote for GDP-UK

“I practice very little clinical dentistry, not because I am not good at it, not because I was not successful at it, basically because I no longer enjoyed it, had I been given the options of honesty and the choice of following a different path at a “half-way” point in my studies I probably would have taken it. As it is I was involved in a “vocational” degree and at the end of five years (Newcastle 1978) that is all you can do unless you have infinitely more moral courage than I or any of my contemporaries had.”

It took me a quarter of a century of practicing in hospital dentistry, general practice as an associate and as an owner of two practices to realise that, to use one of Stephen Covey’s analogies, my ladder was beautiful, it was well constructed, it worked well BUT (and it’s a bloody big but) it was leaning against the wrong wall.

Here we have a culture of “Ignore the ideals you may have felt and been taught, get in, get on with it, burn out, blame someone else, anyone else. Well here are some folks you can blame: the principal, the patients, the NHS, the BDA, the GDC, Barry Cockcroft, Ben Bradshaw, Gordon Brown, Maggie Thatcher & Nye Bevan, and yes some or all of them may have done something that influences the totally artificial structure that is imposed upon the relationship between you, the clinician, and your patient.

Every time that you do something that isn’t the best that you can possibly do for that patient, because you have VOLUNTARILY accepted a third party’s rules, then just acknowledge the gremlin that sits on your shoulder that controls the little squirts of adrenaline into your blood stream that will ultimately take their toll on your health.

One of my coaching gurus, Steve Black, asks the sportsmen he works with to imagine that they are being filmed when they are training and playing and then to visualise that they will have to sit and watch the film with their families and colleagues. Mike Wise says something similar “it’s doing the right thing when nobody’s looking that’s important.”

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