[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Lucent president McGinn on Inferno

See <http://www.upside.com/people/qa1.html>! It is the middle part 
of an Upsidwe magazine interview <http://www.upside.com/people/qa.html> of
Richard McGinn, president and COO of Lucent. It discusses Inferno, too:

U = Upside columnist Eric Nee
M = McGinn

U: The Inferno [a network OS] and elemedia business ventures
are new. How did you settle on that model as a way to
encourage new ideas to come out of research and become
products and groups?

M: The same way you were just talking about
the Internet industry. We decided to take a chance and go with this
model: Let's see if we can spawn five of these, 10 of these a year.
Let's see what we can do to get them up, get visibility, and get
them out and going. It's trial and error rather than refinement,
refinement, refinement, and then miss the opportunity. We believe
there's a lot more value in speed than in the notion of perfection,
which is elusive at best. 

U: How are those ventures doing?

Elemedia is off to a very good start. 
Inferno, as good as it is, faces a real battle in terms of
mindshare. We think it will find its way, but it's a longer gestation
period. It's an elegant product, with portability and very, very small
memories, very small kernel to go onto a settop box, a 64-bit
Jaguar game machine or Sony PlayStations, or to be able to run on
an NT environment. It is an exceptional product, but we've got a lot
more work to do, and we need to get it very much focused on the
way in which people are going to communicate in this Net-speed
world. I think that's where its essential value is going forward. 


U: What have you learned from that experience that you apply
within the company, about how to market differently, how to
brand, how to get a product out there, and different models
of distribution and pricing?

M: I'd like to touch on those, but on this
particular one, my only wish is that I knew about (Inferno) earlier. I
didn't find out about it until later on. We were consumed with
creating a business. And in this world, if you know six months in
advance, you can make your moves in a way that takes a jump on
Java, as an example, and then that lets you have a distribution
strategy, mindshare and a market scheme that positions it very
differently. So I go back to the speed again.