Growth Ingredients (No Steroids!)

My grandfather was a doctor in the coal-mining region of Pennsylvania until the mid 1940s. That's part of his office card -- note the 3-digit phone number. Not an area code, not an exchange -- the whole phone number was was a trio of digits. Any call outside the local exchange needed the operator do to the equivalent of a DNS lookup for you.

We're adding area codes to New Jersey today at an average of about one a year. In AT&T-ville, where we used to enjoy the "first" area code (201), we now have four area codes to cover a 40-mile radius of the Garden State. But that's not the growth vehicle - I have more IP addresses than phone numbers in my house at any time, and that's likely to increase over time. Anyone who bets on saturation or believes that a given communications technology has reached its full potential need only look at Dr. Peril's card.

One of the drivers of exponential growth is socialization of the technology. I'm betting on continued demand for IT infrastructure because of the growth in instant messaging, email, cell phones, video messaging, digital music and video distribution, on-line photographic print services, and the continued evolution of the content consumer as an equal content creator - even if "creation" involves editing out an ex-friend from a photo before sharing it. This view is taken to an extreme in the Museum of Media History's future of newsmedia.

The direct IT consumers in this world are those who create the content consumption and distribution markets; the end user or consumer is an indirect Sun customer. One example is our "powered by" partnership with Major League Baseball and the mlb.com site. Our existing customers and channels don't go away or shrink, but the manner in which they consume and deliver IT assets evolves as Sun hardware, software, services, and operational knowledge become ingredients in the media-rich network.

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Hal Stern's thoughts on software, services, cloud computing, security, privacy, and data management

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