Rants, Raves, Reviews

The Dog Has Caught the Bus - Has the Telstra CEO lost it?

By Gary R, in , posted: 24-May-2006 08:00

Below is the end of the 23 page oddly named speech given recently by Sol Trujillo (CEO of Telstra). All quite bizarre really. Instead of delivering a message about Telstra's strategic direction the main points were lost to a sometimes sexist and patronising point of view on technology and the impact on the 'modern woman's life'.

If you can be bothered you can can get the full transcript Here


Telecommunications companies across the world have done a great job of deploying broadband infrastructure, in spite of some of the regulatory hurdles many of us have faced.

As fixed and wireless broadband functionality hurtles towards ubiquity, the opportunity for developing applications to improve our lives is enormous.

Applications with a future will be the ones that improve our lives by saving us time and connecting us to each other.

Applications in the home that facilitate e-relationships with the tax office; educational institutions; supermarkets; banks; and, health providers can only serve to improve the amount of leisure time we have.

Be it : remote monitoring of the empty summer house; a real-time update from the tradesperson working on your renovations or a wall-sized family scheduler than can be used for video-conferencing; the opportunities are ripe.

Applications with a future in the working world will be those that save time and money. The telecommuting revolution will continue to deliver such benefits as: flexibility for working parents; reduction of pollution by changed commuting patterns; and, a more productive workforce by reduced interruptions.

The ability for: small businesses to return calls using wireless technology whilst commuting; farmers to compare notes between continents on fertiliser, and, scientists to collaborate without distance constraints can only serve to drive innovation and improve productivity.

Those of us that are in the software, hardware or networks part of the industry, we need to create the true next wave of growth.

There is so much growth ahead of us - it is waiting for us - it is energising.

But before the next episode of Back to the Future is scripted, remember that: for every manual you discard for your calendar-based heater; for every time you accidentally set off your car alarm via your key-less remote entry system; for every time you can’t work on how to turn on your digital camera; and, for every time you overcook the peas in your microwave oven, you are not the problem.

Too many buttons, too many menus, too many steps, too many screens, too many choices, too many customers have a sense of it being "all too hard."

So now that the telco dog has caught that elusive bus, and the paradigm shifts that I have described face us all, the challenge now is to develop applications and services that are simple, easy, intuitive and relevant to our customers’ lives - your life, your way.

Other related posts:
The Butler and Butler 5 Point Plan
National to invest in broadband
We Blew our cap again

Comment by Jeff, on 24-May-2006 13:31

I dont know how you got 'sexist' and 'patronising' from that abstract - perhaps I should read the speech. But I think the point he was trying to make was that while telcos were the 'dogs' of the industry in BCG Matrix sense (low growth potential, low market share) they have finally picked up the pace. The strategic direction is quite simple as Sol puts it, one button, one touch, one phonecall. Granted its easier said than done but technology should make our lives easier - not harder. Its all too easy to Telstra bash, but something common sense would tell you that its not all bad. Heck, it might even make ur life easier.

Comment by Stephen, on 25-May-2006 06:00

Can someone show me where the sexist and patronizing remarks are? While the text doesn't read crisply IMHO (but then, I didn't hear the delivery), I could not see where one would conclude that the CEO has "lost it." I got the "telco dog" metaphor, btw. Not one I would have used, but I understand it.

Comment by taniwha, on 12-Jun-2006 17:39

i'm confused - what makes you think he's talking about women?

Comment by taniwha, on 12-Jun-2006 17:41

you can cook peas in a microwave? surely they'd turn yellow or something?

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