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Building43 – A new era for Rackspace and the internet


So, the big news is out: Robert Scoble and Rocky Barbanica are Rackers. And now, the big question is why?

Its pretty simple.  The world, the internet and Rackspace are all facing massive change.  The changes create huge opportunity, and we plan to embrace it.  When we realized Scoble and Rocky were open to collaborating, we could not resist getting them on board.  Who better to engage with the leaders of the new world, push us on our own evolution and help the whole internet think differently?

The change we all face is enormous. 

The internet is going in new directions.  Mobility is sparking a step function in demand.  The open web creates winners from frictionless partnerships they did not even see coming.  New approaches to getting and dealing with information are popping up daily.

In our world, a decades long approach to IT is ending.  Cloud computing is driving costs down and the model of using centralized service providers is growing.

The world of marketing is changing.  Seth Godin speaks of the move from the mass media era to the search engine era to the social media era of truly engaging users in the promotion of products and services. 

Rackspace is changing.  As we add cloud computing to our dedicated model of hosting we are evolving from a company that integrates things to a company that must also build things.  We have to make the internet easier to use than ever before all while scaling it to new heights.

Adding Scoble and Rocky to our team and sponsoring the launch of Building43 helps us deal with all this change. 

Building43’s mission is to build a place for people fanatical about the internet.  It will be a place where thought leaders can talk about what is working and what is not, what is next and what is hype.  Cloud computing is one of these hot topics.  The world needs a place where it can be discussed.  Where the concepts can gain clarity.  And, its benefits will be on display.  Not from our perspective but from Robert’s and the community he builds.

Building43 will be a Rackspace project, but as a sponsor and supporter.  It will be a testament to our belief in innovation and the future of the internet; to our belief in a fanatical passion for technology.  Our backing signals to our customers and prospects a lot about who we are.

Robert and Rocky will push us.  Like Robert pushed Microsoft, he will make us uncomfortable.  He will praise our competitors and point out our missteps.  But, he will force us to get better.  He will force us to embrace the future and the commitment required to getting there. 

Finally, Rocky and Robert just fit with us.  We knew they were Rackers the first day we met them.  They are genuine and curious.  They are fanatical about learning and sharing. They are open and friendly.  At times they will speak for us and tell our story.  We could not be more proud to have them do that.

Stay tuned for the launch of Building43 and a new era for Rackspace and the internet.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Lew Moorman.

Lew Moorman is a senior consultant to the top executives of Rackspace, focusing on strategy and product issues. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors.

Lew joined Rackspace in April of 2000 and has served in a variety of roles, including as President and Chief Strategy Officer, while the company grew to $1.3 billion in annual sales. Before joining Rackspace, he worked for the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, advising technology clients on strategic issues.

A native of San Antonio, Lew received a B.A. from Duke University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.


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