October 14, 2014
Like many of you, I’m not just a data center enthusiast but a football fan as well. Saturday mornings will find me ensconced in the Crosby family media center (also known as the family room) watching the early morning assessments of the day’s slate of college football games by the ESPN Gameday crew. You know the show that I’m talking about. It’s the one where they go to the college campus of the school deemed to be hosting that week’s top game to prove that, yes, the average collegian is capable of downing a case of beer before 10am, and that most of us could probably make better use of our time cutting the lawn—but isn’t that what our kids are for—then breathlessly waiting to see who the guys think is going to win this week’s battle between Enormous U. and Gimongous State. For those of you who fall into the there-are-more-constructive-ways-to-use-your-time camp—Mrs. Crosby is a founding member—let me just say that this past week’s exercise in yard work avoidance resulted in an epiphany that I think can benefit all of us.
As many of you know, every week the guys are joined by a “celebrity”—usually a former player returning to his alma mater—to help them pick the winners of the day’s most important gridiron matchups. Normally, I’m only mildly interested at this point of the show since the school from which I matriculated hasn’t been deemed worthy of a prognostication for the past few seasons, but, just as I was about to check to see if my son had finished pulling weeds, who do I see sitting next to Chris Fowler but Katy Perry? Clad in a fuzzy purple and black football jersey and inexplicably lobbing corn dogs at the seething mass of intoxicated male undergraduates that make up the bulk of the live audience. The aforementioned Ms. Perry was being asked to provide her predictions on things like the outcome Mississippi-Alabama game just like the rest of the show’s panel of experts. While she didn’t seem to know much about football, which I figured kind of equaled things out since I don’t know any of her songs, I found her inclusion on the show to be a nice change of pace. Naturally, it occurred to me that using celebrities to predict future data center trends might not be a bad idea for the industry to adopt.
This is not meant as a slap in the face of the current crop of folks who help chart the course of the data center business—the ones that I’ve met have all been very nice people—but don’t we all think that a little celebrity cachet never hurts? Be it a Katy Perry, or that guy from the show you can’t stand but your wife loves—since there’s no reason to be sexist about this—wouldn’t each of us be just a little bit more interested on the fate of hybrid cloud adoption if some famous person was giving it the thumbs up (or down)? I know that I would. Sure, we’d all know that they have no idea what they’re talking about, but since some of our industry’s brightest minds are still trying to explain to us that if we wait long enough we’ll finally hit 50kW/rack, predictive accuracy isn’t a make or break attribute here. And, I should note, Katy did correctly predict that Mississippi State would beat Texas A&M, so the element of all of us being pleasantly surprised is always there.
I don’t think that I’m alone in thinking that Jay Z’s, or even one of the Kardashians’ if money is an issue, thoughts on Big Data is going to be a little bigger draw at the next Data Center World than another free air cooling session. This inclusion of celebrity opinion would by no means lead to an exodus of experienced analysts at Gartner or Forrester with their replacements being those guys from One Direction that my daughter likes, since the industry is always going to need the insights from those who really understand the ramifications of their assessments (and I don’t think the folks at Gartner or Forrester could afford them anyway). I guess what I’m really saying is that although we all want to know the about the latest doings within our industry, would it kill Data Center Knowledge to run a Katy Perry guest column every once in a while?