The dictionary defines an entr’acte as “an interval between two acts of a play or opera.” For me, it’s a relatively quiet few hours half way through the turmoil of my first month at Huawei. I’m sitting here in a cheesy tourist motel in Santa Barbara, having concluded a two week whirlwind tour of technology partners up and down the west coast of the US. I squeezed in a couple of days at home for the Fourth of July, and I’ve been conducting phone screens and arranging interviews in connection with staffing up my new team. (I’ve actually got two more phone calls coming up over the next couple of hours, which is why “quiet” is relative.)
This morning my colleagues and I went down to the Santa Barbara waterfront and enjoyed the pelicans wheeling overhead as the sun rose over the mountains and burned off the sea haze. That was wonderful. And this evening I’m having dinner with an old friend of my mother’s, a professor at UC Santa Barbara. I’m looking forward to discussing non-work topics!
Tomorrow it all picks up again. I’ll be on a puddle-jumper up to SFO, then on a United 747-400 to Hong Kong, where I’ll arrive on Sunday evening. Then I’ll be spending a couple of weeks at the Huawei HQ in Shenzhen, meeting more people and teams than I will be able to remember, and hopefully extracting a coherent picture from the whole experience.
What have I learned so far? I think the Number One thing is simply this: think bigger. At Amazon we were used to thinking big: customers, transactions, catalog items, suppliers. But telco is bigger. The future is exponential: more bandwidth (Huawei is a leader in LTE), more handset capacity (cycles, pixels), more interactions (classic “network effect” phenomena like social networks, more things interacting with other things). It’s multiplicative. And think globally. At Amazon the “world” was defined by the handful of countries in which we did business, most of which are suffering economically. But telco is REALLY global, with all of the opportunities and challenges that this brings.
This is going to be exciting.