Great Artists Steal


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Article for BLI on technology sharing

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Great Artists Steal

  1. 1. The Doctor Is In “Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal” I want to thank Broadband Library it would not have become a major com- International for the opportu- munication industry if it did not nity to write this feature for “steal” RF and digital signal pro- all of you each quarter. I cessing (DSP) technology from want to urge each and the wireless industry to create every one of you to e- its cornerstone, DOCSIS. mail me with suggestions on Steal-and-remix is a rare but future articles that you would must-have capability of any Xiaolin Lu, CEO and like me to address. I have gener- industry if it does not want to be al knowledge about the broadband as obsolete as a dinosaur. It Co-Founder, BOCOO cable world but my expertise is in requires the first-hand painful experi- Online LLC the area of technology and technical ence of operation (real-life) con- advancements. I would also enjoy straints, an open mind to outside hearing some feedback and remind industry and a broad understanding of you that I am always “in” to hear Steal-and-remix is a rare human experience, plus no self-con- your suggestions and comments. but must-have capability straint from the status quo or existingAs the VP of strategic When Steve Jobs repeated the product line. This explains why inno- famous Picasso quote in the title of of any industry if it does vations like HFC and DOCSIS cameengineering and IP the article and claimed that Apple not want to be as from operators, as they have an abun-networks of former has been “shameless about stealing dance of pains yet no “product line”. great ideas,” some critics cried, obsolete as a dinosaur. The cable industry committedAT&T Broadband, “aha!” Apple is not that innovative. felony larceny when it went straightXiaolin was responsi- Indeed if you open the “About” to a Telco — AT&T Bell Labs for the section of an iPod or any Apple product, you may HFC solution. This big “steal” stimulated the entireble for new technolo- notice many disclaimers about licensing technology Bell system, and as a matter of fact the entire opti- from other companies. And this is exactly what cal communication industry, to innovate on the lin-gy development. Dr. Apple is all about — “expose yourself to the best ear-lightwave-based subcarrier multiplexing (SCM)Lu was responsible things humans have done and try to bring those technology. This not only revolutionized the cable things into what you are doing,” and you will industry and created a new sector in the vendorfor IP platform inevitably create great products and experiences for community, but also pushed optoelectronic technol-buildup for integrated human society. ogy further ahead, leading to today’s new frontier of All innovations are about standing on the shoul- high-speed lightwave technology in supportingbroadband services. ders of others, “stealing” great ideas, and applying blooming Internet services.Later Xiaolin founded them to a suitable and most desired situation. Fundamental physics, mathematical principles, com- So why not steal more?Morning Forest LLC munication theory, and human psychology are the Why not steal control engineering’s mechanism same in all circumstances, but how to mash them to efficiently manage network traffic without anger-and iBIT Inc. He ing customers? up is where innovation lies. When one or morehelped to build the industries make breakthroughs in resolving their Why not steal more of RF and DSP technology particular challenges or constraints, other industries to get rid of the nasty low-frequency upstream bandfirst mFN-DOCSIS- could benefit by “stealing” the best, remixing them, and open high-frequency band of an HFC network?iTV system in China. and creating applicably better products. If industry had “unlimited” bandwidth and “free” capacity management, why not make friendsXiaolin Lu is currently “Stealing” Works using P2P and all sorts of social sharing mechanisms The cable industry would not be what it is today that are the DNA of any community, thereby creat-a founder and CEO if it did not “steal” fiber-optic technology from the ing a Cable Community and becoming a bartenderof BOCOO Online. long-haul telecom industry to create cable’s founda- to facilitate all entertainment and transactions? tion — the hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) network. And There are so many why nots.16 BROADBAND LIBRARY INTERNATIONAL