First Coffee for November 1, 2005

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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First Coffee for November 1, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Fairport Convention’s great sing-along “Meet On the Ledge:”

Nortel Networks Corporation has announced that Mike Zafirovski, Motorola, Inc. and Nortel have reached a settlement regarding the lawsuit filed October 18, 2005 against incoming Nortel President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Zafirovski.

“We worked in good faith to resolve this issue with Motorola and we are very pleased with the successful outcome,” said Harry Pearce, chairman, Nortel Board of Directors.

Zafirovski will begin his tenure as Nortel president and CEO, and director of the Boards of the Company and Nortel Networks Limited, on November 15, 2005, as originally planned and announced.

The crux of the problem was that when Zafirovski resigned earlier this year as Motorola’s president and chief operating officer, he was given millions of dollars in cash, stock and stock options to agree not to work for a Motorola competitor for two years after leaving the company.

So when he agreed to work for Nortel, Motorola’s lawsuit alleges, he violated various noncompete agreements, since his work with Nortel would “inevitably” result in the use or disclosure of Motorola’s trade secrets.

The lawsuit sought among other relief, an injunction to enjoin Zafirovski from rendering services to Nortel for two years, from soliciting or hiring Motorola employees, and from using or disclosing Motorola’s confidential information.

Zafirovski left Motorola at the beginning of the year after being passed over for promotion to the top job there.

Under the terms of the settlement, which is subject to confidentiality restrictions, there are no admissions by Zafirovski, Nortel or Motorola of any violations of law, breaches of any agreements, or any other improper conduct, which all parties deny.

The terms of the settlement provide that Zafirovski cannot disclose Motorola trade secrets or confidential information, and Zafirovski and Nortel have agreed for a specified period to refrain from hiring or recruiting Motorola employees under certain circumstances.

The settlement also includes restrictions, until July 1, 2006, on Zafirovski’s communications with certain specified companies, some of which are Nortel customers, and limitations on his ability to advise Nortel on competitive strategy or analysis relative to Motorola for a defined period.

Zafirovski will also repay Motorola $11.5 million, which is part of his separation payment from Motorola, and Nortel has agreed to fully reimburse Zafirovski for this repayment. When this sort of thing happens in European soccer it’s called a “transfer fee.”

Calypso Wireless, Inc., a vendor of wireless telecommunications technology is announcing a purchase order for $16.2 million from South American distributor Inversiones CCS SA, for the delivery of the Calypso C1250i Dual Mode WiFi-GSM-GPRS VoIP cellular phone, which runs on Intel PXA series application processor and Microsoft WinCE 5.0 operating system.

The cellular GSM service will be provided by Telefonica Moviles Movistar mobile networks, a Telefonica subsidiary. Mobile carriers will offer new functionalities and value added services to the mobile subscribers when using the Calypso C1250i WiFi-GSM VoIP cellular phone and interconnecting with the WLL/WiFi networks.

Cambridge, England-based TTP Communications plc has announced that its subsidiary, TTPCom Ltd has entered into a partnership with Skyworks Solutions, Inc., a provider of analogue, mixed signal and digital semiconductors for mobile communications applications. Skyworks has licensed TTPCom’s digital cellular silicon intellectual property and EDGE protocol software to develop its Lynx EDGE cellular system product line, which delivers enhanced multimedia capabilities suitable for mid to high tier handsets.

Skyworks has been offering complete handset systems since 1996. Building upon its Helios RF and PA technologies, Skyworks offers system products that provide all of the major hardware and software necessary to build a complete wireless terminal. Skyworks delivers a pre-integrated protocol stack and advanced multimedia framework on a GCF-compliant reference design that minimizes development cycles for handset manufacturers.

AMD’s technology alliance with IBM’s gone so well they’re extending it. AMD has announced it has broadened the scope of its technology alliance with IBM to include early exploratory research of new transistor, interconnect, lithography, and die-to-package connection technologies through 2011.

The agreement, according to AMD officials, “marks the first time a member of a technology development alliance will work directly with IBM’s Research Division on R&D, electronic materials, and basic feasibility studies three-to-five years before commercialization.”

The extended duration of the alliance makes it one of the longest IBM currently has with any of its semiconductor alliance associates.

Like most every business writer First CoffeeSM is an aspiring novelist. Unfortunately most of us get caught in the sand trap of being a “one day novelist,” as in “one day, I’ll write a novel.” And of course we never do, as such activity doesn’t provide the steady paychecks work like this does.

Enter NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. For the past few Novembers, Chris Baty has supplied would-be novelists with the one thing they’re usually missing to get a novel written: A deadline.

Face it, much in this world wouldn’t happen without deadlines. Novel writing is, as First CoffeeSM has found, one of those things. His solution is simple yet effective: From November 1st to November 30th, you’ll simply promise to produce 50,000 words of fiction. It might very well suck, if it’s a first draft it will almost certainly suck, as noted marksman Ernest Hemingway once said “The first draft of anything is shaving cream.”

Baty’s idea is hey, you’ll have it done, then you can revise and improve to your heart’s content. Hard to revise and polish and perfect a rough draft that doesn’t exist in the first place. So November is the month to be ruthless to your life and Just Get It Done. Let goods and kindred go – as Baty advises, “empower your kids to drive themselves to school. Nothing instills character in a child like operating a piece of heavy machinery.”

First CoffeeSM found out about it in San Francisco a few weeks ago to attend Dreamforce ‘05. He met up with PR whiz Andrew Pray, who over a beer or two said a friend worked at the San Francisco Chronicle, and somehow mentioned, briefly and in passing, that she’d worked on a book on how to write a novel in a month. First CoffeeSM’s ears perked up, there was a Chronicle book store near the hotel, and exactly one copy of Baty’s book No Plot? No Problem! left.

First CoffeeSM bought it, read it on the plane back to Turkey, the light went on, and now there’s a 1,667 word quota to fill each November day with novelizing. 1,667 x 30 = 50,010.

What kind of novel is 50,000 words? It’s not War And Peace, but it is The Great Gatsby, Of Mice And Men, The Catcher In The Rye, Brave New World, The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer and The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Not embarrassing company.

The silly deadline and ridiculous emphasis on speed and production derives from a solid human truth Baty’s hit on: The less time you have to sit and obsess over details, the more chance you have of getting them right. Or, as he says, you’ll be surprised how creative you can be when you stop worrying about being creative.

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