Climate of 'fear' prevents experts fro questioning the handling of the pandemic.… // this is super interesting and not at all obvious for a true pandemic in a democracy. 1/
2/ WHO has studied pandemics and worked tirelessly for decades in many countries. They serve in an advisory capacity with varying degrees of involvement depending on country. Lots of history going way back, smallpox, HIV, flu, ebola, SARS, etc.
3/ In 2008 a few years after SARS they published an updated Outbreak Communication and Planning Guide.…
4/ There is a recognition of the complex interdependencies of what is going on and the impacts that go beyond the scientific to include political, social, and economic consequences.
5/ But it is fair to say that the plan did predict a situation that was so devastating as we have now, happening so quickly. The idea of having only the science lead the communication and coordinate "back" to political leaders seems optimistic.
6/ In US, Governors of NY and CA led the daily communication. That was never really how WHO saw the plan going—there was a fear of politicizing information as they routinely saw in developing nations (esp during HIV and Polio). And then we saw that happen in the US.
7/ It is clear that should another pandemic happen, this kind of communications plan needs to be revised. The political (social and economic) choices and implications were as big as medical issues—certainly not in a major developed state (perhaps 2014 Ebola in W Africa). // END

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More from @stevesi

29 Mar
016. Filling the Void Left by IBM …… // Over 5000 have signed up. Please join in, it is great fun. Many stories--history & strategy. Microsoft is transitioning to enterprise products and building "Chicago", oh and the internet.

Also, my first exec offsite.
2/ The offsite was the first time I was at a meeting with a bunch of executives from across the company. There were 9 execs out of the 25 or so worldwide at the company at the time. Attending scored us a wonderful acrylic block. Microsoft loved acrylic blocks. Acrylic block signifying attending the "Microsoft Manag
3/3 Our breakout had to come up with an answer to "Filling the Void Left by the Demise of IBM" which was days away from insolvency and will appoint a new CEO the following week. This was the earliest days of Microsoft's transition to selling enterprise as discussed. Weird slide🤣
Read 4 tweets
24 Mar
Just posted "Every Group Is Screwed Up" in _Hardcore Software_. This is my interview with billg to become his technical assistant. 👇that's the old fountain you could see outside from our office windows. 1/ ……
2/ Check out the post for the adventure (including me humiliating myself). The most interesting thing though was how the previous technical assistant warned me about the job.

Also, he told me to start looking for my next job right away!
3/ He told me that every group is "screwed up" and that becomes readily apparent as you cycle through meeting after meeting. Projects are late, buggy, missing features, and more. I was intrigued by the idea everything was messed up.
Read 5 tweets
16 Mar
1/ Super excited to have completed the second full chapter of "Hardcore Software: Inside the Rise and Fall of the PC Revolution" on substack ……

The most recent post is the end of "16 bit" era c. 1992-3. Join me as I learn about naming a product and reviews.
2/ PC sales had been slow due to global economic stuff, but the Mac had really slowed (you can see why in one of the magazines below). But recently sales had gone vertical with the success of Windows 3.x

At the same time developers all moved to focus on "Win32" the 32bit world. chart of pc v mac sales 1981 to 1994. Mac sales go from 3,80
3/ That's the market we launched Visual C++ into. Talk about tailwinds. We had a Windows-based development environment that was "object oriented" just in time for this massive uptick.

Windows NT was in beta. The successor to 3.x was under development. Momentum built. Screenshot of Visual C++
Read 14 tweets
8 Mar
Ever wonder when and how Microsoft made a big bet on Windows? Today’s Hardcore Software shares what it was like to have a bunch of existing confusion clarified by the CEO in a memo. 1/5 ……
2/ The memo was from Bill Gates and detailed a “A Strategy for the ‘90s Windows”. Seems kind of obvious now. But then the company was deep in a partnership with IBM to develop OS/2, the successor to MS-DOS. Windows was a side project. Infoworld headline from 2/18/91 “‘Advanced Windows’ Ma
3/ But Windows 3.0 was selling super well—sales of Windows 3.0 exceeded that if Macintosh by a huge amount, selling over 4M copies in the first year (2.5M Macs were sold that year). OS/2 was not selling well, nor was it making progress in product development that was needed.
Read 5 tweets
3 Mar
In the most recent Hardcore Software substack post, I shared the "turning point" for learning how to ship software. It was a memo/presentation based on the work of Excel 5 that shipped 11 days late. Let's look at the first "massive" project to ship on exactly time, Office XP. 1/ Bill Gates at Office XP launch.
2/ First a quick excerpt from This is the memo from 1990 on Shipping Software, written by the development manager for Excel (Microsoft legend Chris Peters). Cool Stuff.
3/ The key lesson is the most obvious which is actually having a ship date. It is amazing how many projects have dates that are "1st quarter" or "1st half". That's 90 or 180 dates. Second lesson, shipping is everything. It's all that matters.
Read 12 tweets
21 Feb
If you’re following “Hardcore Software” on substack then we just finished the first chapter w/ Windows 3.0 ship May 1990 …… (pls subscribe it’s fun!)

Just before then Excel for Windows shipped in 1987—the first Windows version. Some fun Excel background 1/
2/ Excel for Mac shipped in 1985 and received very strong reviews and was quite successful. Between Mac Excel and Mac Word, Microsoft “Applications” had grown to be the leading Mac vendor and also about half of Microsoft!
3/ Windows Excel was built by creating a cross-platform layer (what it was called in code) enabling Windows and Mac to share the core engine for calculation/charting/etc. But it still needed Windows...but no one had Windows.
Read 7 tweets

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