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Business Intelligence Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Dana Gardner, Pat Romanski, William Schmarzo

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Blog Post

My Heart's Not Into SOA Marketing

But I Think I'll Stick With It, Anyway

I've been debating this post with myself for a long time. All the voices in my head have contributed to the dialog. It has to do with my health, with my future, and with my relevance.

I'm not famous enough, even to my friends, to think I'm making a public statement here. But I plow on with it.

I wrote the headline for this post with google in mind. Gotta get "SOA" in there for it to be picked up. The head is also a pun, as it relates to my health, which is the real topic of this post.

I've been fighting with this asinine coronary artery disease, or CAD, for about 15 years now. The semi-crippling chest pains first hit when I was mowing the lawn during the years we spent in Wisconsin, when I 38 years old.

For some reason, the disease was never diagnosed there, in the buckle of the Heart Bypass Belt of this country. But upon my return to Silicon Valley in the late 90s, the pains grew increasingly worse and frequent, and in 2000 I had a complex triple bypass that revealed what was termed "severe" and "extensive" disease.

Two more relatively minor angioplasty procedures and several scares later, I have a 1-in-3 chance of making it another nine years; after that, the prognosis gets grim.

This is not exactly the sort of bad news about, say, newly diagnosed cancer that a few thousand people in the US get every day, let alone the tragic news that comes to too many about dread disease or accidents taking another life before its time.

But it has focused my mind wonderfully, in the words of the good Dr. Johnson.

As we say, we can get hit by a bus at any time, an expression that resonates profoundly if you spend any time in San Francisco and its infamous Muni buses.

So living life to its fullest, seizing the day, addressing challenges head-on every day, and all that should already be part of living one's life the right way. Doesn't always happen.

I've spent so many years covering the wondrous machines (and software) that are almost routinely cranked out of Silicon Valley and from like-minded people throughout the world.

We in Northern California like to think we live in the world's most splendiforous region with the most innovative technological culture by far.

This may be true, because all great technology companies did and do come from here--with the minor exceptions of IBM, Microsoft, Novell, DEC, Compaq, Dell, Motorola, Nokia, Sony, and Nintendo. Oh, and the creators of most programming and scripting languages, Linux, the Internet, the World Wide Web, the browser, and the Blackberry.

The weather is great here, though. There have been a few breakthroughs and insanely great companies here as well. So I've enjoyed my time, writing, editing, launching magazines and events, meeting many great and eccentric people, and feeling lucky on a daily basis that a failed piano player and erstwhile sportswriter could hack out a living in this hypercompetitive industry.

But now it is time to get serious.

So many of the 10 million or so words I've written over the decades have been workmanlike, as just another writer/editor guy bangs out another feature on local-area networking or asynchronous data flows, or touches up a press release about the next great thing, or asks another executive not to bullshit too much when he or she is telling me how excited he or she is about his or her job and his or her company's new strategy.

I was amused from the time of my first writing job out of college how so many writers wanted to be the next Hemingway and just hated the idea of "selling out" by making money for craftwork, whether journalistic, propagandistic, or somewhere in between. Maybe because my limitations were so apparent to me, I never felt this urge to write The Great American Novel or any anger because I couldn't.

Besides, the short forms served me better. Less work, you know. The onset of Twitter is a godsend to me.

Back to the thought of getting serious, maybe there is some sort of great writing inside of me, waiting patiently all these years to get out, corrupt people's minds, and bring down society in general and Western Civilization in particular as we know it.

So that's what I'll pursue. Oh, but first, I have unfinished business with SOA marketing. What first lured me to this industry and has kept me here unapologetically all these years is the notion that information technology is the most important business in the world, that it will continue to bring enormous change to the world, lift people out of starvation, remove the scales from their eyes, and lead to a better world. I really believe this.

So before I finish that novel, I'm going to refocus on SOA, which I believe to be the profound computing breakthrough of my lifetime. I love this business. I love almost all of the people I've met in it. And I love the precious time I have left to write about it, live in it, and enjoy it.

Thanks for reading.


More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.