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David hosts ZDNet Government -- ZDNet's politics and policy coffeehouse -- where civics lessons meet technology, nothing is sacred, and everything is fair game.

Issue: Competitive Strategy and the Financial Crisis

In 1996, David wrote a book called The Flexible Enterprise: How to Reinvent Your Company, Unlock Your Strengths, and Prosper in a Changing World. It was a when the economy was unsettled, a time of change. The Flexible Enterprise helped business owners and senior executives transform their business into better, stronger, more competitive powerhouses.

Fast forward to the present day. The economy is unsettled, it’s a time of great change. Many of the lessons of The Flexible Enterprise are even more valid today than they were back when it was first published. These lessons haven’t been missed by mainstream media. Radio producers and reporters started calling on David once again, asking how businesses can weather the chaos hitting Wall Street and Main Street.

David has just completed How To Save Jobs: Reinventing Business, Reinvigorating Work, and Reawakening the American Dream. We’ve not only seen the rise of the Internet, the fall of the dot-com boomers, but the rise of China as an startlingly competitive economic power, an increasing trend to outsource the IT skills we once thought all our own, and even newer forms of communication beyond email and Web pages.

Through a grant of rights from ZATZ Publishing to the U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute, we are giving away free digital copies of How To Save Jobs to anyone who wants a copy. Just visit to download the book and read all of David’s latest articles.

Below, you can read some of David’s earlier business-related articles. Of particular note is his most recent article on the financial upheaval we’re all experiencing:


Since the Wall Street crash in October, we’ve gotten a bunch of letters from readers asking about how all the economic fuss we’ve been experiencing will affect their jobs, their businesses, and the world of tech. In this important article, David shares with you some background that can help you understand the situation better. He also provides some coping strategies that will help you make it through this thing and come out solid on the other side.

Inside the business of tech

Because the ZATZ magazines are all about technology, most of our coverage over the years has been about the technology business. Of course, the tech business is one subject to tremendous transformation and reinvention on a continual basis.

In the articles shown below, David has selected many of the more interesting articles that combine technology with business. Some are strategy-related. Some provide a particularly interesting insight or tactic into one area of business. And some let you see inside the operations of successful, marginal, and failed businesses – so you can learn lessons they might not have.


Are cable television companies purposely or inadvertently sabotaging their customers’ TiVo installations? This question came to mind a few weeks ago when our local cable company performed an "upgrade" that virtually disabled TiVo personal video recorders. In this article, Editor-in-Chief David Gewirtz explores that question as the basis for a case study on industry flexibility. He also looks at specific solutions for problems being encountered, and possible solutions for the industry as a whole.


On December 23, 1997, we wrote our first news story. We wanted to get in a week of practice and testing before we went live. On January 1, 1998, PalmPower Magazine went live and we published our first issue online. On January 1, 2008, we reached a huge milestone: 10 years of continuous publishing online here at ZATZ.


David has explored Palm, Inc. over the space of more than a decade. In earlier years, Palm seemed the darling of the tech industry. In later years, Palm decisions were more of a curiosity than anything else, and they completely lost their incredible marketshare lead to Apple’s iPhone. In 2007, Palm announced that they’ve cancelled their ill-advised Foleo laptop wannabe before it will ever ship. And we say "about time".


In this important pre-Lotusphere editorial, Editor-in-Chief David Gewirtz refutes the claim that "Lotus is now a forgotten division of IBM".


In this strange, little review, we take a look at a very sweet line of camera bags worthy of a 4-star review. It’s just that you’re probably never going to buy them, even though you should. Sadly, while you and I live in 2006, the company selling these products is pretty much stuck back in 1986. This is an example of a completely inflexible enterprise, and it’s a shame.


In 2006, David had the opportunity to interview Mike Sager, a VP at Kingston Technology, the world’s largest independent memory manufacturer. Mike helped us explore two interesting issues: the future of flash memory and how Kingston supports its flash memory customers.


The DominoPower Interview series has become very popular, in part because it really gives Lotus professionals out there a deep and personal insight into many of the companies (and, more important, the people) that make up the Lotus professional community. Over the years, we’ve gotten to know the team at Teamstudio and in this article, we’re able to learn more about what’s going on with the company and some of the changes that have taken place.


PR people often get a bad rap. To many editors, the folks pitching stories are annoyances, constantly trying to get an editor’s attention for some useless story idea or another. But here at ZATZ, we’ve found that public relations professionals are, in the most part, key assets, helping us bring you the most complete and rounded stories possible. It would be far harder doing our jobs without the regular help we get from the great folks in PR.

And so, knowing we truly value PR people, we bring you this article. It’s not intended to poke fun at boneheaded PR mistakes. It’s honestly actually intended to help our favorite PR professionals be more successful in using email as a communication vehicle.


David’s article, "10 bonehead mistakes PR people make when they send email" apparently awakened deep feelings among certain readers. In this installment of our Letters to the Editor column, we publish two letters from readers who found the material helpful and one really fun letter who found the article "deeply offensive". Seriously. You gotta stick around and read this one!


The photo industry is undergoing a radical transformation. Much of what was old school will be gone within a few years. Those who are still trying, desperately, to hang on to the good old days are getting more and more annoyed by those of us celebrating this brave new world of personal empowerment through photography. In this very interesting report, David discusses what he learned at this year’s photo industry tradeshow.


We recently had the opportunity to meet Wade Callison. Wade is bringing a new wireless router product to market and we thought it’d be interesting to go inside a new company and learn what goes into developing a product like a home network router.

DominoPower Magazine | December 2005

We continue our series of interviews with Lotus Business Partners. We continue our series of interviews with Lotus Business Partners. This week, Editor-in-Chief David Gewirtz had the opportunity to interview Nigel Cheshire, CEO of Teamstudio, a company that specializes in developer tools for Lotus Notes and Domino.

DominoPower Magazine | December 2005

In the interests of the holidays, where cookies and cakes stuff us all, we’re excited to be able to interview Greg Samuels of Interbake Foods and Mark Ramos of Granite Software. Interbake’s interesting not only because the yummy products they produce, but because they’ve managed to interconnect Notes and Domino servers with Microsoft messaging systems. In this interview, David explored that connection.


In 2005, Palm made some major changes, many we weren’t sure were for the best. One of the biggest issues, of course, is how the Palm developer community will fare after all the dust settles. We asked five developers five key questions. Will there be new Palm OS software? The answers are in this article.


So, Palm is going to produce what is essentially a Pocket PC phone. Palm also sold off the Palm OS, which was its primary differentiating factor. Does that mean the Palm OS is dead? Should you stop buying Palm PDAs? Should you stop developing software for the Palm OS? Read Editor-in-Chief David Gewirtz’ analysis to learn what we think.


Tapwave is (or was) a company that created an interesting if flawed Palm OS handheld aimed at gamers. We reviewed the Zodiac back in August of 2004 and originally gave it four stars. However, we did a Six Months Later review in January of this year and we then dropped our rating down to three stars due to the widely prevalent problems with the product’s reliability and support. Even from the beginning, Tapwave was plagued with problems. Unfortunately, most of them seemed to be strategic.

OutlookPower Magazine | July 2005

We like to bring you information straight from leading experts on various unplugged topics. David had the opportunity to interview James Wong, co-founder and president of Avidian Technologies, a company that makes Prophet 2004, an interesting contact and sales management product for Outlook.

DominoPower Magazine | June 2005

In this question and answer session, Editor-in-Chief David Gewirtz speaks with David Marshak, IBM Lotus’ Senior Product Manager for Real-time Collaboration. The two Davids discuss real-time and mobile collaboration, so read on to learn more.

DominoPower Magazine | April 2005

In this question and answer session, David speaks with Akiba Saeedi, Manager of Workplace Collaboration products at IBM. Akiba gives us an introduction to the Workplace Collaboration Services and details how it might be able to help your organization, so read on to learn more.

PalmPower Magazine | September 2002

David Gewirtz compares his long-standing morbid fascination with Apple to his more recent morbid fascination with the mystery that is Palm, Inc.

PalmPower Magazine Enterprise Edition | September 2001

When making a purchasing decision, especially on a company-wide basis, you must evaluate your Return on Investment. In this article, David explores the entire ROI issue as it pertains to Palm handhelds. He offers a number of real world examples of companies that have seen enormous ROI benefits and provides several guidelines to follow when trying to figure out what your ROI might be before you invest in Palm handhelds. While you might no longer use Palm handhelds for your business, this same sort of analysis holds true for BlackBerries, iPhones, and other mobile devices.

PalmPower Magazine Enterprise Edition | September 2001

In trying to get a solid handle on the Return on Investment issue for Palm handhelds, David realized that getting ROI accounts directly from readers, in their own words, would be an excellent way to showcase ROI. In this article, he shares the empirical evidence he’s gathered from a number of PalmPower Magazine Enterprise Edition readers.

PalmPower Magazine Enterprise Edition | September 2001

Before you can determine your Return on Investment, you need to figure out how much you’re investing. In other words, how much is this stuff going to cost? In this article, David takes you through the steps necessary in determining the Total Cost of Ownership of Palm handhelds in your corporation.

PalmPower Magazine Enterprise Edition | June 2001

Mention enterprise solutions and you’re going to hear the name SAP, the third largest software company in the world. David had the opportunity to sit down with Howard Beader, SAP’s Director of Mobile Business, for this exclusive PalmPower Interview.

PalmPower Magazine Enterprise Edition | March 2001

Back in March 2001, David pondered the phenomena of "enterprise time" and the ways this requires hardware and software developers to re-think the way they do business.

PalmPower Magazine Enterprise Edition | March 2001

In editorial, David takes you for a trip back to 1983 to look at the way computers evolved from MIS-controlled mainframes to personal, desktop machines. He then fast forwards to today and speculates on how handheld computing will revolutionize the way we do business in the new millennium by further empowering the individual.

PalmPower Magazine Enterprise Edition | December 2000

On November 1, 2000, Palm, Inc. and IBM announced a new relationship to develop enterprise solutions together. Given that IBM is the "Big Kahuna" of enterprise computing companies, we thought it’d be fascinating to learn how IBM views handheld computing in the enterprise. We were thrilled to be able to bring you David’s in-depth, exclusive, very open interview with Jon Prial, Director of Marketing and Strategy for IBM’s Pervasive Computing Division.

DominoPower Magazine | August 2000

The only thing Napster grabs more of than MP3s is news headlines. In this editorial, David examines the battle over Napster and what it means for the future of music, video, software, books, and any other form of digitized media. For those of you interested in business models and enterprise change, this is quite the story.

DominoPower Magazine | September 1999

For those of you who miss partying like it’s 1999, back when it really was 1999, D decided to get on his soapbox. Hundreds of thousands of people read our publications. His thinking was that if we all started a "let’s not be friggin’ stupid" campaign, Y2K would work out fine (and, of course, as we know now, it did). The Flexible Enterprise lesson here isn’t about Y2K, it’s about making sure you pay attention to what your company is doing in IT. Make sure they’re spending time making critical systems work and not screwing around being idiotic. Let’s try not to put the fate of the world into the hands of a bunch of poorly-trained temps reading off a script.

PalmPower Magazine | May 1999

Part history lesson, part blast from the past, a 1999 editorial used products from the past to inspire greatness in the future (which is now, pretty much, also our past). Using this as a nice backward lens, you’ll get a great retrospective on software technology, learn a little about what worked really well in the early days of personal computers, and see how to apply the best of that time to software that runs on Palm devices. Whether you’re a Palm Computing Platform software developer or an enthusiastic user, you’ll gain some valuable perspective reading this article.

Pocket PC Life Magazine | June 1999

David somehow managed to include Dilbert, Howard Stern, Pauly Shore, tangerine iMacs, and the Palm V into this classic editorial (an admitted stretch). After eventually getting on a serious track, he enters into an important discussion of product design and style. Want your product to sell? Make sure it’s got a little ‘Oooh’ in it.

DominoPower Magazine | April 1999

Our own business is a Flexible Enterprise and back in April of 1999, David had been taking his megalomania pills again. They’re big pills. Big, important pills. He introduced got a new, exciting magazine, a company with a new, exciting name, and he just won an award for Best Sales and Marketing Strategy from the New Jersey Technology Council. In other words, he’s being insufferable again. He’s also, vocally – very vocally – demanding a foot massage. It’s just another month on that roller-coaster column we call "From the Editor-in-Chief".

DominoPower Magazine | March 1999

This article, too, is an insight into our own Flexible Enterprise. One of the advantages of being an Editor-in-Chief is that many of David’s personal experiences eventually become grist for the editorial mill. Over the years, he’s talked about his new car, his cat, his motorcycle, his grill, his wife, movies, and all sorts of other seemingly unrelated topics that, due to sheer editorial hubris, he managed to make relevant to our publications. In this blast from the past, he’s trying to turn the CrisisWatch Web site and the Clinton impeachment trial into a relevant topic for DominoPower. Amazingly, he made it work. Since many of you are running your own Web sites, his experiences and lessons learned with CrisisWatch will most probably give you some great ideas for your new projects.

PalmPower Magazine | March 1999

Flashback to March, 1999. That issue marked the first in which we’ll be covering the new Palm V and Palm IIIx devices. In his editorial that month, David talked about product naming and branding, discussed a letter he received from a developer about the Palm brand, and then ended by getting on his little soapbox and pontificating on the Palm V and Palm IIIx names. By the time he was done, we figured he’d have ticked off, annoyed, or otherwise offended just about everyone. It’s a job. Somebody’s got to do it.

PalmPower Magazine | March 1999

1999 was once a brand new year and change was in the air. In his February editorial, David Gewirtz showcased some of the major changes that were in store for PalmPower and Component Enterprises, the company that publishes PalmPower and DominoPower. If you want to have a ringside seat for how David transformed his own enterprise, this is the place to begin.

DominoPower Magazine | October 1998

Here’s public relations lesson 101: never piss off an Editor-in-Chief with hundreds of thousands of readers. He’s always looking for great ideas for editorials and if you’ve managed to tick him off in a way he can use in an article, your company has just become the object lesson of the month. Back then, the twin targets of David’s ire were 1-800-Flowers and the Audio Book Club. He tried being an online consumer with both. Both screwed up big time, giving him great grist for the mill.

The lesson: how weaknesses in your Web solution are no justification for lousy customer service. David also aims his attention at His only complaint: they’re way, way too easy to work with and, therefore, make it way, way too easy to buy way, way too much. The good news: in the ensuing decade many online businesses have gotten a lot better. The bad news: many still haven’t learned these basic lessons.

DominoPower Magazine | September 1998

We launched DominoPower back in August 1998 and after its first month, we needed a way to describe our first month of DominoPower Magazine and the phrase that keeps coming to mind is holy cow! We may actually have become the leading Notes and Domino publication (in terms of readership) in that very short time. There was been an absolutely amazing response. It’s clear that DominoPower struck a chord among Notes and Domino users worldwide. David Gewirtz shared what he learned about DominoPower and you in our first thirty days. A decade later, DominoPower is our longest, continually run title and is still at the top of its game.

DominoPower Magazine | August 1998

If you want more insight into how David changed up his business, applying Flexible Enterprise lessons, this article is definitely a winner. DominoPower Magazine may seem like a deeply serious publication. And it often is. But there are times, like in this fine article, where there’s a fine line between seriousness and, well, movie trivia. With a deft writer’s hand, David mixes tasty old James Bond flicks, yummy references to Kim Basinger, and a chunky, chewy short history of Lotus Notes and Domino publications into a robust and flavorful appetizer for what was our Premier Issue. If you’d like to know more about how DominoPower came to be, you should definitely read this easily digestible article.

PalmPower Magazine | August 1998

If you ever wanted an inside peek into the minds of those who were front-and-center for the Internet bubble of the late 1990s, this is your lucky day. Back in 1998, Palm creator Jeff Hawkins announced his resignation from what was then 3Com. When David got the news, he set up an exclusive interview with Jeff to get the whole story. The interview was fascinating, but what did it all mean? How will the departure of 3Com’s visionary inventor impact the future of the Palm platform? How will it impact you? Will there be more cool toys? You’ll need to read David’s editorial to find out. Of course, the rest is history. Handspring was started, and then rolled back into Palm, Palm faltered, and the twin juggernaughts of the BlackBerry and the iPhone eclipsed just about everything else.

Some of David's affilliations...

ZATZ Publishing

ZATZ Logo David is the founder of ZATZ Publishing, one of the first technology magazine publishers on the Internet.

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ZDNet / CBS Interactive

ZDNet/CBSi Logos David is CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer. He also hosts ZDNet's DIY-IT and ZDNet Government blogs.

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U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute

USSPI Logo David is Director of the U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute, a 501(c)3 nonprofit research and policy organization.