Lessons from 10 Years of theCUBE

October 5, 2020

When I accepted an offer from Dave Vellante to be an analyst at Wikibon in 2010, it was before John Furrier had shared the idea for theCUBE with us. Ten years later, I’ve personally done thousands of video interviews (most of them broadcast live). I’ve greatly enjoyed talking to a wide spectrum of people on and off camera: from industry luminaries, founders of companies, practitioners, and even some authors and athletes. I’ve learned a lot from the interviews and also steadily worked on the craft of doing video interviews. I’ve received a lot of questions in recent years about how to prepare for video interviews; to help answer that and other questions, I put together a 10-minute video with some of the tips I’ve learned over the years. Spoiler alert: if you’re familiar with the ten-thousand hour rule (here’s the original article by Malcolm Gladwell – an alum of theCUBE – from The New Yorker; I highly recommend reading his book Outliers too), me “being natural” is mostly a result of lots and lots of interviews, while continuing to solicit feedback and get better over time. While I know that saying “practice, practice, practice” isn’t the biggest help, I do hope that some of my other comments are useful.

Everything changed in 2020; it led me to some internal reflection, and I determined that I was ready to make a change. As I noted in the video, I’m leaving SiliconANGLE and will save mention of my next step for another day. TheCUBE has a great bench of hosts that can continue to help extract the signal from the noise. The community interactions over the last 10 years have been amazing; I know that they will continue, just in different ways. If my connections or experiences can be of help, please reach out. A big thank you to Dave Vellante, John Furrier, the SiliconANGLE Media team, and the community of theCUBE. I’m no longer a host, but will always be a CUBE alum.

PS – the analyst “hat” has been an interesting one to wear. I shared many of my thoughts when I was a guest on The Geek Whisperers podcast back in 2014. Being an analyst and researcher allowed me to go deeper than blogging. We helped define and educate the market on many emerging trends. I especially enjoyed an editorial series that I ran this year on “Cloud Native Insights” (see the full series on Wikibon). One of my guests was Forrest Brazeal of A Cloud Guru, who wrote a poem and caricature of me (click it below for a link to his book). I look forward to continuing the industry conversations online.



Storagezilla on Blogging, iPad and Bias

May 26, 2010

Here is an interview with Mark Twomey aka Storagezilla which I filmed at the Blogger’s Lounge at EMC World 2010 in Boston.  The clip is 5 minutes long.

Mark discusses how he began blogging in 1999 thanks to some college connections (he was already an employee at EMC in Cork).  In 2006, Jeremiah Owyang (then working for Hitachi Data Systems) “unveiled” that Mark was the author of the Storagezilla blog.

The clip also gives Mark’s quick hits on Twitter, Apple’s iPad and how there really are no unbiased opinions in the blogosphere.

When Jamie Pappas and I put together a presentation about using Twitter for EMC business purposes, we put a disclaimer in the deck that reminded people that there is only one Storagezilla.

Stuart Miniman


Joe Tucci Joins the Blogging at EMC World 2010

May 10, 2010

Quick video that sums up the first day of EMC World.

The first bit is at the opening night reception where thanks to some coordination over Twitter, we got a large group of bloggers together to chat.  The next clip is in the Blogger’s Lounge – a very large gathering of press, analysts, customers, partners and EMC employees that blog along with some special guests.  He wasn’t on the official video schedule, but Joe Tucci – EMC’s CEO – made a special appearance at the live video session.  Joe brought along newly appointed CEO of Acadia, Michael Capellas.  Joe came off camera and said “I guess I’m a blogger now” – priceless!

All of the video from the live broadcast are available on http://www.justin.tv/nicefishfilms and also at http://siliconANGLE.com.  Below is a photo from the social media rockstar panel including John Troyer of VMware, Len Devanna of EMC (host of the Blogger’s Lounge), Stephen Foskett of Gestalt IT and John Furrier of SiliconANGLE (the guys behind these videos).

Check out some videos, let us know what you think.  Anyone want to name all of the people in the video? If you’re new to my site, please consider subscribing, and also find me on Twitter.  Also be sure to check out the official EMC World 2010 PR Newsroom.

Stuart Miniman



Innovation for more than a day

October 16, 2009

Last week, Steve Todd and I heard Gary Hamel challenge modern companies:

  • How do you build an organization where innovation is everybody’s job?
  • How do you build an organization that INSPIRES extraordinary contributions?

This week, EMC held its third annual global Innovation Conference.  For some background on the event and the contest, check out my previous posts.  It has been amazing to watch the growth and reach of the conference.  The first year was a single site, the second year was a single site with some remote participation, and the third year was over a dozen “globally local” conferences: two one-hour segments broadcast from India and the rest of the day was different at each site.  Not only are dozens of hours of material be posted internally (EMCers can find the Innovation Café here), but some information is being shared externally through blogs, photos, videos and soon on the ECN site.

Contest Winners

One of the primary components of the conference is to celebrate the teams of innovators and their submissions, and to choose the winners.  As a conclusion to the selection process, all three top winners this year were ideas that the selection committee, rather than the community, moved into the semi-finals.  The second place winner was a combination of two similar ideas (one of which was popular in the community voting).  The “People’s Choice” award was a tie between an idea from India and an idea from Cork, Ireland; not surprisingly, both of these ideas reached the semifinals through community voting.  Beyond the winners, I know that many people were inspired either by having feedback on their ideas, or even by being able to review ideas from others. The community involvement in voting greatly broadened the visibility of the contest and conference around the globe.

Day of Innovation

We had a stacked day which, thanks to much help from many people, went very well.  The innovation contests have helped to move towards Hamel’s goal of engaging everyone in innovation.  This can’t be done without strong support from senior management.  Here is a short video from some of our executives discussing innovation and the innovation conference (we were especially pleased to get a few words from new EMCers Pat Gelsinger and Frank Slootman):

The day was anchored solidly at the beginning (Vice Chairman Bill Teuber) and end (EMC RSA Division’s president Art Coviello) with live EMC executive presentations.  Polly Pearson spoke about how innovation is a brand value and key piece of EMC’s culture.  Our keynote speaker was Dave Ritter of InnoCentive whose presentation on open innovation resonated strongly with us.  Completing the rest of the day was not one, not two, but three panels (as my esteemed colleague and this year’s third place winner, Dr. Dave Reiner would say: two’s company, three’s a cloud).  The first panel was on how we are innovating locally (which includes how we connect globally); see panelist Jamie Pappas’ blog for more on this.  The other two panels were on cloud computing from the business and technical points-of-view.  Judith Hurwitz (consultant, analyst and author) and Wayne Pauley (EMC) did a great job of moderating panels which covered a lot of ground and went beyond some of the hype and blue-sky thinking of cloud.  Even though this was an internal event, we invited Judith Hurwitz and Christofer Hoff (Cisco) to give additional perspectives and to help keep us from talking in an echo chamber.

After the conference, about eighty of us got together to discuss the ideas of the day.  Gina Minks took some video for me, capturing some of the discussion.  For me, the highlight of the conference was that there was so much passionate support to put on this event.  “Innovation” related activities can brings out the creativity, passion and initiative of people for more than a day.

As a final note – a special thanks to Mary Henderson who took my offer to help out with this year’s conference and turned that into an amazing (if exhausting) journey of putting together the local event (with lots of help from her and some of our events experts) and help out the global team.  I know that I learned a lot and made new—and strengthened old—connections.

If you are interested in continuing the discussion on innovation, please consider subscribing to this blog.

Stuart Miniman


World Business Forum Blogger Dinner

October 7, 2009

The first day of the World Business Forum was great.  I am going to take a little time to process my thoughts and notes (see my Twitter feed for some of my initial thoughts).  The barrage of speakers was a fire hose of information.  I am very impressed at how many blog posts have already been written by some of the bloggers that are in attendance.  Here is a shot of the Blogger’s Hub – we were in the 3rd mezzanine which is a great view.

World Business Forum Bloggers Hub

30 of us went out for dinner at the Beacon Restaurant.  As I hoped, we had a fantastic meal and wonderful conversations.  Despite having a very full day, every time I looked around the room, people were deep in conversations on everything from analyzing the day to discussing the latest FTC rules on disclosure.  [My full disclosure: HSM gave show passes to all of the bloggers, but we are free to write about everything; the Beacon Restaurant provided great service – we all paid for our own dinners; I MET GEORGE LUCAS]

Since I coordinated the dinner, I did ask that everyone say hi on video.  The light in the restaurant was dim, so the footage is a little dark.

For more of my coverage of the World Business Forum, see https://blogstu.wordpress.com/tag/wbf09/

For an aggregation of most of the blogs and Twitter activity from the conference, see the FriendFeed room which I set up: http://friendfeed.com/world-business-forum-wbf09

Comments are questions are always welcome and please consider subscribing to this blog.

Stuart Miniman

FCoE Ecosystem

October 5, 2009

Here is the 3rd video in a series to help educate on Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE):

For a full list of EMC FCoE resources, see my previous post The current state of FCoE.

Additionally, on the question of “end-to-end Ethernet”, see the discussion on Scott Lowe’s Why No Multi-Hop FCoE? blog post.

Both Cisco and Brocade have made announcements about new products for expanding the FCoE ecosystem.  Cisco’s Nexus 4000 provides the blade switch functionality that I discuss in the video.  They also have a whitepaper on FIP (FCoE initialization protocol) and FIP snooping which is part of what is needed for a multi-hop environment.  Brocade announced an FCoE blade for the DCX FC director product line.

Let me know if there are any related topics that you would like to see covered.

Comments are questions are always welcome and please consider subscribing to this blog.

Stuart Miniman


Getting started with Flip Ultra HD

August 21, 2009

I got a new toy last week, the latest Flip video camera – the Ultra HD and wanted to share my thoughts on the camera and the software.  I’ve seen a lot of Flips (especially since Cisco bought them) and the simplicity and portability put it on the top of my birthday list. Overall, I love the camera and the software is good, but could use some enhancements (if anyone has any corrections or tips on what I list, please let me know).


In choosing the model, the Mino line is smaller than the Ultra, but the new Ultra HD had two features that made me choose it: 1) 2 hours of capacity with the same HD quality as the Mino HD and 2) it comes with a rechargeable battery which is removable and 2 AA batteries can be used if needed.  Using the camera is very simple – there is an on/off button, a big red button to start/stop recording and you can zoom +/- while filming.  There is a USB plug on the camera which flips open and you can plug straight into a computer (having a USB extension cable can be useful).


FlipShare Software comes pre-loaded on the camera, so you can load it onto the computer.  I had read that there was a way to privately share videos on “Flip Channels” – I found the site http://www.flipshare.com, but at first couldn’t figure out how to get videos to the site.  It turns out that the camera came with the 4.2 FlipShare software which did not have the Flip channel functions.  There was no details as to how to add channels; after poking around on the Product page, I saw that there was an update of the FlipShare software to 4.5 version.  When I updated the software, the Channels options became available.  If possible, they should look to either automatically search for updates, or at least to have an option on the FlipShare menus to look for updates.  Also note that by default, the camera will create a “FlipShare Data” folder in the “My Videos” folder, you can change this at Edit>Preferences>Library tab.

The software allows for easy sharing via email, to the private channel, or to online sites.  From the desktop, you can post to MySpace, YouTube or “other” – this last choice simply compresses the video and saves it to your desktop.  For the Channels, a limitation that I ran into is that the largest file that you can upload to a channel is 450MB.  This is not listed in the documentation or on the site, I found it in the forum Q&A on their site.  If you try to send a larger file to the channel, it simply hangs when the bar reaches the end.  What you can do to get around this limitation is to first compress the video file (using the Share>Online>Other), but once you compress the video, you will need to re-import the file to the FlipShare by using Help>Import other FlipShare files.  Hopefully in future versions of the software, this will be easier.  From the FlipShare website (your channel, not the desktop application), you can share on Facebook.  It would be nice if you could share to Facebook or YouTube from both the desktop or web channel pages.

There is a basic editing, snapshot and movie making software on the FlipShare desktop softare – these are great considering that they are free.  On the editing, note that it will only actually cut the trimmed pieces of the video while the files are on the camera; once on the desktop it will mark your preferred beginning and end, but not trim.  The snapshots are nice – probably good enough quality for 4×6 prints and since the Flip is so portable and fast, it’s a decent camera while on the go (better than my Blackberry photos).  The movie making is also nice, very simple and allows for layering of music.  Flip also offers to make professional DVDs, I have a DVD creations software package, so I haven’t this.

Here’s a sample movie that I created at a monthly social media gathering that we have at EMC.

Comments are questions are always welcome and please consider subscribing to this blog.

Stuart Miniman


UPDATE: FlipShare 5.0 now makes it much easier to share HD videos directly to sites like YouTube and Facebook [Dec ’09]

Moral Roots of Thinking

July 8, 2009

One of the challenges with the internet is that there is such a vast volume of material, that you could never hope to read or watch even a fraction of what is out there.  With so much information out there, you can often find that whatever topic you are interested in, that there is much material out there already out there that can be used for research or as reference for articles that you would write.

Here is a video from TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) that I finally got around to watching which I thought dovetailed nicely with my first blog post.  It is 19 minutes long and discusses the conservative and liberal points of view and how they can be seen as complementary, rather than competing viewpoints.

Are there only those that are open to debate and those that are certain that they are correct?