Andre Durand

Discovering life, one mistake at a time.

Archive for July, 2009

Failing one Tweet at a Time

July 27, 2009 By: Andre Category: Life

Several years back I was talking with Perry Evans (founder of MapQuest) as he described the scramble they had to go through to effectively re-architect their entire service in a weekend because usage was going through the roof.

I reflect on my experience of other major consumer sites as they reacted to ballooning consumer demand and can’t help but think that Twitter is a service destined to fail if they can’t get their act together.


Lance Armstrong Strategy

July 16, 2009 By: Andre Category: Life

I asked Nate Llerandi, a world-class cyclist what he felt was Lance Armstrong’s strategy in the Tour this year. We’ll see how his prediction plays out.

His teammate, Alberto Contador is 2sec ahead of Lance in the overall standings right now. The rest of the stages through Saturday probably won’t determine much. Tomorrow and Saturday are basically flat stages for the sprinters. Friday’s stage is considered “low mountains”, but there are 2 Category 1 climbs (2nd hardest categorization) with the 2nd one coming 20km (12.5mi) before the finish line.

I would expect some overall contenders (GC contenders; ‘GC’ being General Classification) who need to make up time to try something on Friday’s stage on the last Cat 1 climb, the Col du Firstplan. These folks will need to start trying to gain back the time they lost in the first week due to the opening time trial, the stage where the wind split the field and in the team time trial – folks like Carlos Sastre (who won last year’s Tour), Andy Schlek and Cadel Evans. Expect Lance and Alberto to follow these guys if any of them attack.

I predict that Sunday is the day Alberto will gain the yellow jersey. It is the 2nd mountain top finish of 3. Expect him to attack everyone and expect Lance to follow. Lance is 2sec behind Alberto and will be content to stay there and let Alberto shoulder the burden of wearing the jersey. Lance will then help pace Alberto and protect him in subsequent stages. His goal will be to limit any more time gaps and keep his deficit to a matter of seconds.

Then, in the final time trial on the 23rd, expect all hell to break loose. Lance will look to bury Alberto and take over yellow. If he succeeds, then Alberto will be forced to work for him on the penultimate stage which finishes atop Mont Ventoux.

So, that’s how I think this will all play out. If Lance has the legs to win, this is the only way I see victory unfolding for him unless Alberto has a bad day, which could happen.


July 14, 2009 By: Andre Category: Life


Proactive Commoditization

July 13, 2009 By: Andre Category: Life

Microsoft deserves a lot of props for how they’ve managed through some tight, tricky spots over the years. They are definitely disciplined in how they approach new markets, ensuring that they squeeze every penny out of a dying technology before moving onto the next big thing.

That said, timing markets and competitive chess moves is always tricky. Move too early, you may undermine your existing product sales too quickly. Move too slow, and you may lose an emerging market opportunity to a competitor.

Microsoft announced today that they are going to offer the online version of it’s MS Office 2010 (due next summer) for free. In no doubt a reaction to the threat of Google Docs.

But I can’t help but think that the announcement, which is no doubt in reaction to Google’s disruption, isn’t indicative of a culture that’s not as balanced as it might need to be to capture major potential threats before they are too late?