Security is a Feature

In our modern age, security is a feature. You can sell it. If you get caught without it your brand and your customers can be hurt. So, why are there so many insecure websites, web applications, and web services? If product managers and product owners had security in mind as a feature would we be in such a sad state of affairs?

Just look at the last short period of time. Social engineering and research were used to get into celebrity data, Home Depot became the latest major retailer in a long line to have credit and debit card information stolen, and HealthCare.gov was even breached. This isn't just for the large and visible. I'm aware of many small sites and applications who've been hacked.

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Review: The HP Way

The HP Way It might surprise you to learn that the birthplace of silicon valley is the birthplace of HP. Hewlett-Packard is where silicon valley began. To get a picture of success in early silicon valley, and see what I could learn about the history of HP, I recently read The HP Way. It's written by David Packard and tells the story of HP, his story, and the philosophies he and Bill Hewlett had in building HP.

The philosophies Hewlett and Packard had for HP were quite different from how business ran in their day and even today. Some elements are quite counter cultural to corporations. Yet, these elements lead HP to success. For example, their desire to be flexible with someones time and their overall care for people. The flexibility was long before the Internet and connected age. People have busy lives from family obligations to hobbies. When you trust people, something that has an entire chapter dedicated to it, you can afford them flexibility.

The big take away for me was a picture of a counter cultural company that had significant success while caring for its customers, employees, and even the share holders. For that, I consider this a useful read.

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Why Companies Exist

In a speech David Packard, co-founder of HP, gave to managers in 1960 he said,

"we inevitably comes to the conclusion that a group of people get together and exist as an institution that we call a company so they are able to accomplish something collectively which they could not accomplish separately. They are able to do something worthwhile - they make a contribution to society (a phrase which sounds trite but is fundamental)."

A significant number of people think of HP as a printer and computer company. Or, as a company focused on the enterprise. Something that is often lost in the conversation is that HP is considered to be the birthplace of Silicon Valley. The garage where HP was founded is a historical landmark. HP was a startup right out of a garage.

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Why OpenStack Matters

Why does OpenStack matter? When I talk with cloud app developers I regularly hear that it doesn't. The cloud conversations center on AWS, Google, Azure, or a platform as a service like Heroku or one based on Docker.

Yet, if you look at current trends you'd see something like:

OpenStack vs EC2 in Google Trends

Or, if you follow the OpenStack community you might see that the US Summit, which happens once per year, went from about 1,800 attendees a year ago to about 4,500 attendees this past May. That's quite a bit of growth year over year.

I don't consider these reasons that OpenStack matters. Rather it matters and these are signs it's worth looking a little deeper into.

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