| leading the way to the new
by Zsolt Kerekes,
- November 2011|
|How do we know anything? And how
can we be when using that knowledge as the basis to make important decisions?
I'm not talking here "cogito ergo sum"
but the rather more down to earth matter of - how well can anyone today
understand the SSD market? - and give you a reliable answer to a simple
question like - what's the best way of getting to SSD street from wherever
your starting point happens to be right now.
OK - this is the bit where
you think - I ignored many other promising looking links to get to your
mouse infested SSD site - and I hope you've got some good answers.
sometimes say to SSD CEOs - when discussing the SSD market - that if
they don't tell me a better story about what they're doing I'll just have to
invent something more interesting. And I use these occasions to test if
we're seeing the same picture.
Talking about SSDs is my favorite
subject and I learn a lot from these conversations. But as the clock ticks
towards each appointment I get mild panic attacks when I wonder if I will
say something dumb....
It took me years coming to terms with the
idea that I may actually be considered some type of industry expert on the
SSD market who can see things more clearly than others. The trouble is I
don't know what I know until someone asks me the right question. And then I
think - why are they asking that? I thought the answer was obvious. (But the
question was a complete surprise.)
My cousins' children asked me - how
do I manage to earn a living on the web? (They thought it was cool.)
I said - it's the only way I can think of to earn a living as I'm not
employable doing anything else. Unemployability in other directions being due to
old age, unwillingness to travel, lack of the humility needed to engage in
consulting skills (I can tell people how to solve their problems after minutes
and don't need to stretch it out to billable months) and I have the bad
habit of too much independent thinking. Lucky for me I enjoy what I do and
it pays for the cat food.
Seeing how well the cats get fed around
(the neighbors' cats as
well as my own are frequently seen in the 24 hour kitty diner) my
inquisitors naturally asked - would it be just as easy for them to earn a
living by starting a web site as it had been for me?
I said - only
if you can go back in time and start your web site when standards for content
were much lower than they are today and there was less competition so
search-engines put you at the top of their results because no one else could be
bothered to write about the same subject - and then strap yourself to a PC
and type fast.
But seriously... they hadn't given up -
how did I know what to write about subjects like
my explanation started out something like this... A web site is like a village.
you remember that little village where my mother was born, and your grandmother?
course. (They have been there many times.)
Do you remember those old
women who you meet when you're walking up the street - who say - Hello! - they
know who you are even if you haven't been back there for 10 years?
is only one main street - and one shop - even though the village has spread out
along the waterfront in the last 40 years and almost reaches the next village
along. It's got mains water now - which it didn't have when I was a teenager.
The horrible tasting water in my grandmother's well led me and my cousin to
embark one day on a taste test of all our relative's wells to see which water
tasted best. They all said their own water was the coolest and the best. But
to me as a city kid it all tasted unpleasantly warm and sweet. I found in the
end the best water was from my uncle's well - because he drew more every day
to mix cement and feed his pigs. His wine was the best tasting too. It's
surprising how different all the wines were even when the neighbors'
vineyards all ran side by side along the same small stretch of road at the
back of the village.)
I continue... with my story about the old woman
on the main street in the village. And her connection to what I do now with the
web site and the SSDs... (She wore black BTW. They always do.)
know that if you stop and talk to her she'll tell you who's still alive, who
died recently, who's divorced, who's building an extension to their house,
who's getting married, who's going to university, who's just lost their job and
whether those relatives whose houses are back to back and who haven't spoken
to each other for the past 20 years are still maintaining their feud...
(As young kids we always stopped for a few minutes because
we were told to be polite to such old ladies - but then before their stories
really got going - we had to make our excuses and dash off up the hill - before
the fish we'd caught got too warm in the sun - or before the milk from the shop
went sour. Often it was sour - before it ever left the shop. That's what we
said. But really - we had to rush off before we died of boredom - because we
were young and remembering all the people we might be related to was old
people's talk - not ours.)
Yes my young relations nod - of course they
know those old women. They probably think my aunt (their grandmother is one
such - now.)
Every village has them. If you want to know something
like - did what's his name get the planning permit for their new house? or -
where did the neighbors go on vacation - and who's feeding the chickens till
they come back? That's the person you ask.
From outside the village -
if you looked down from a satellite - or had just arrived at the pub in your
hire car - and wanted to know where's the best place to eat - where they don't
just reheat the food from yesterday - or who would be a reliable gardener to
look after your granny's house while she's up in the city? These are the
people you talk to.
It's not that the old ladies in the village are
smart - or nosy - it's just that they've spent a long time walking up and down
this same street - and they can't help but know what's going on. They piece
together the jigsaw from the fragments of a thousand conversations - and unlike
you - who drove up the street at high speed - and didn't even notice the old
church which has stood there since the 13th century - the old ladies walk up
there twice a day and tend the flowers in the graveyard.
In some ways
the SSD market is like that village. It's not so long ago that no one even knew
where it was. But the speculators think that the village will soon be a hot
spot for tourists and the government is giving 90% free grants to builders to
construct new hotels.
I'm already seeing some differences. There are
more streets than I used to know - and there are some places - like
Consumer Alley -
where it's not advisable to walk when it's dark without a torch and a good
stick - because of the many potholes and bad lighting.
Now you can
download a free map on the web which shows you where you can eat on a Sunday
and where you can park your car without getting it towed away. But be careful if
your car is heavy or expensive. I remember there used to be a quarry where the
car park is now - and the out of town contractors only spread a thin layer
of light soil on top before they erected the parking signs.
||I've heard that some enterprising youngsters
have started selling guides to the village which include a
who's who? directory.
What will they think of next?|
||this may sound like a stupid
|The enterprise SSD story...
why's the plot so complicated?
and was there ever a missed
opportunity in the past to simplify it?
|this is the way I
remember it |
|Something I said - in one
of the longest conversations I ever remember having had about enterprise SSDs -
and I've had a few - inspired the person I was talking to - to change his plans
to something quite different. |
conversations like this|
|Can you trust market
reports and the handed down wisdom from analysts, bloggers and so-called "industry
experts" any more than you can trust SSD benchmarks to tell you which
product is best?
|heck no! -
whatever gave you that silly idea?|
|flash care scares?- choosing
an SSD retirement plan |
|Editor:- June 1, 2012 - in a
- I discuss the newest technology marketing trend in industrial and
enterprise SSDs... selling hope and expectations related to SSD operating
This used to be done quietly and rationally - engineer to
engineer via technical papers.
Nowadays because so much money is at
stake these claims are being blasted all over the internet and aimed at people
who don't even understand how the previous generations of (much simpler) SSDs
"Is Lenin dead yet?" - That comes into it too. I
didn't want you to get too depressed. ...read the article
|I was asked by a reader
who is a non technical investor in the SSD market to explain why high volume
semiconductor memory makers get into the situation of oversupply and lossy
pricing. Here's some of what I said.|
guide to memory boom bust cycles|