Worst. Presentation. Ever.

As you may know I’m a skeptic about “Cloud Computing”. I’m not skeptical about the technology, I’m mostly skeptical about how the concept is being seized by the marketers and bent to define anything and everything. It is as if the term is suddenly a magical spell that can make all your economic woes be cured. Cloud Computing, as it is practiced by Google for example, makes a ton of sense. But it seems as if the entire industry has decided that cloudiness is the next big thing and they have to jump on the bandwagon, even if they have no idea what the bandwagon is, or where it is going.

I saw this presentation posted on Rich Miller’s excellent blog, DatacenterKnowledge, entitled “What the heck is the InterCloud anyway?” (perhaps Rich shares my skepticism?) and I as I generally respect what Cisco does, I watched it.

My first thought: Douglas Adams is in his grave, launched into perpetual rotation.

I have said many times that I’d rather spend an hour in a dentist’s chair being drilled upon than sit through 30 minutes of a PowerPoint presentation. Steaming piles of presentational crap such as this is the reason why. I would hope that an organization with the resources of Cisco could produce something that is not only aesthetically reasonable, but also clearly communicates complex concepts. This presentation appears that its creator swallowed a giant bowl of industry buzzwords & clipart, downed an ipecac chaser, and then barfed them up onto the screen. Just about every rule of thumb concerning effective presentation is broken here, on damn near every slide.

If he’s trying to convince me to lose my skepticism about cloud computing, it isn’t working.

So what about the actual content, not just the poor use of media? I would hope it makes more sense when accompanied by a speaker, who can lay out their ideas verbally to try and make sense of the jumbled mess on-screen. In reality I see a lot of hand-waving, assumptions, and glossing over of details. I guess if you call something a cloud because it runs virtualized in a datacenter, then you can make the logical leap to multi-tenant clouds, and then “InterClouds”. But seriously, why would say a Fortune 500 company, who is subject to all sorts of external scrutiny concerning the integrity of their data, want to have that data just out there drifting about on who knows whose hardware? A virtualized OS with virtualized storage, in a virtualized cloud spread over multiple sites in an Enterprise or InterCloud… sounds great if you are the guy selling the hardware to make it happen [cough]Cisco[/cough] but how about the guy who is writing the Purchase Orders to buy it? To them it should sound terrifying, especially to their auditors, and probably does. There are a whole lot of buzzwords being thrown around here, but very little hard and useful data.

This is yet another product marketer hitching themselves onto a buzzword bandwagon, and creating new buzzwords in the process, while punting the hard work of actually defining, building, and operating buzzword-compliance to others.

4 thoughts on “Worst. Presentation. Ever.”

  1. Speaking of “Intercloud disturbances:” After waiting 10 minutes for the PP presentation to download, I got this message:

    “SlideShare is down for scheduled maintenance.
    It will be back after some time.”

    “after some time?”

    Wuh boy…..ironic, weird, and prophetic, all at once!

  2. I liked the Simpsons.

    I’ve liked them for YEARS.

    I liked “King Of the Hill,” too.

    Because of that, I thought I’d try to give “Family Guy” a look when it first aired.

    The ‘barf-a-thon’ only goes to further reinforce my idea that “FG” is *THE* singular dumbest show ever to come down the TV pike.

    Given the fact it was preceeded by boners like “Lassie,” “Flipper,” and “South Park,” that’s going a looooong way.

    Barf, indeed.


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