Saturday, June 20, 2009

BlueRed Shift - When Blue Shift Quickly Moves Toward Red Shift

Sun's CTO, Greg Papadopoulos, has coined the terms Red Shift and Blue Shift as it relates to applications that customers have that are growing faster or slower than Moore's Law.

But to steal from Senator Barack Obama, we do not have Blue Customers, we do not have Red Customers, we have Sun Microsystems Customers who have a variety of computing needs - some blue and some red. I am going to discuss what I call BlueRed Application Shift.

Red Shift, of course, comes from the astronomy definition of a shift in the spectra of very distant galaxies toward longer wavelengths (toward the red end of the spectrum) which is generally interpreted as evidence that the universe is expanding.

Please note that the "Universe is expanding" is the same reason the young Alvy Singer in Woody Allen's 1977 picture of the year "Annie Hall" gave for not studying at school. "If the Universe is expanding, what's the point?" he told his mom and the school official :-) But I digress...

Blue Shift from an astronomy definition (this is from Wikepedia) is the shortening of a transmitted signal's wavelength, and/or an increase in its frequency, due to the Doppler Effect, which indicates that the object is moving toward the observer.

As Greg defined it, "Red Shift" are those applications that customers a have that are growing faster than Moore's Law - ie Web 2.0 companies. Greg also defined "Blue Shift" as those applications that companies have that are not growing as fast as Moore's Law, so by definition, those companies need less square feet of computers because speed of computer processing is faster than their business is growing.

So, what am I calling a BlueRed shift? A BlueRed shift are those applications that companies that have been historically blue shift and now because of a significant event, have moved quickly out of Blue part of the spectrum, raced through green and yellow and orange part of spectrum heading towards Red. I expect that with MTConnect, we will see companies that have been historically classic blue shift applications, will become BlueRed shift applications as they see their compute and storage needs start to take off. This is not a risky prediction as we have seen this happen again and again when markets embrace open and royalty-free standards.

Why do we need the term BlueRed Shift? Because we need to indicate that Blue Shift applications with customers do not have to be slow growing forever and events do change industries.

More on this as I attend the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) 2008 this week in Chicago.