The quotes that made 2011

This year was not short of quotes that made us laugh, made us think, shocked us or downright confused us.
Written by ZDNet Australia team , Contributor

This year was not short of quotes that made us laugh, made us think, shocked us or downright confused us.

Speech Bubble

(Speech image by Tim Morgan, CC2.0)

  1. Riverbed CEO Jerry Keneally didn't hold back in giving his opinion of Google's working environment.

    "Google is nothing more than a boring advertising company," he said in March. "Five years from now, I think [Google] will look bad on your resume. They eat food, sit around on beanbags and have 'designated thinking time'. That's not for adults; that's for kids."

  2. Gerry Harvey kept up his fight against online retailers in 2011, launching his own daily deals site called Big Buys in just a matter of weeks. Given the short turnaround time, Big Buys CEO Kaine Escott admitted in September that the site isn't the best-looking one around.

    "You've seen the site, right? It's terrible, right? Here's the thing — I could have spent six months with designers and retail gurus coming up with the perfect design, and you and I both know it wouldn't have been perfect," he said. "I'd rather get the thing out there in seven weeks and get all the feedback."

  3. It was harder to get a quote from Escott's boss, as Harvey wasn't keen to talk about his online strategy when asked by Luke Hopewell in July.

    "My problem is I've got everyone and his dog ringing me to talk about f***ing online, and it never stops!

    "I've got work to do and ... everyone wants to talk about f***ing online!"

  4. You can never accuse Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull of being lost for words, and he didn't disappoint this year with his attacks on the government's National Broadband Network (NBN). He told futurist Mark Pesce to "lay off the Kool-Aid" for being a fan of the NBN, and said that any network vendor or technology company that would benefit from the roll-out was in a "conspiracy against the taxpayer".

    "Let me tell you who the conspirators are. They are the vendors, who want to sell lots of kit for the NBN. They'll tell you privately they think it's bonkers, but they want to sell the kit. There are the over-the-top people, like Google and Yahoo and media companies," he said.

    He didn't hold back on his views of NBN Co's transparency, either.

    "As it is, the NBN Co projects a defensive and non-transparent approach, which seems like a cross between the Kremlin and the Church of Scientology," he said.

  5. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy held his own, though, mocking Turnbull's broadband plan as "economic vandalism" that was built on the coalition's OPEL policy, which Conroy had cancelled in favour of the NBN.

    "It was a dodgy D technology that was not compatible or upgradeable. The OPEL network was a dog that had no spectrum. It couldn't propagate more than 1.2 kilometres from the tower," he said. "It was a dog that got put down."

  6. Meanwhile, who could forget Alan Jones and his lasers? He was really impressed at the speeds that some German researchers had achieved using "lasers", saying that it beat NBN Co's 100Mbps fibre roll-out hands down.

    "Their 26 terabits is 2.6 million times faster than what we're getting, but Canberra want us to believe that the technology we're spending anywhere up to $60 billion on won't be outdated by the time it's rolled out."

    He neglected to mention that the fast speeds were delivered over fibre, and that such a discovery could be applied to the NBN ...

  7. How could a list of quotes be complete without one from entrepreneur Ruslan Kogan, who's not afraid of saying things to startle? This year, the best was probably his sucker punch to bricks-and-mortar retailers.

    "You may not know it yet, but the biggest retailers in Australia are Apple's b****," Kogan said at the MediaConnect Kickstart 2011 forum. "The biggest bricks-and-mortar retailers are relying on the genius of Apple to stay alive."

    That's not nice, Kogan. Can't you play with the other boys without getting into a fight?

  8. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had nothing nice to say about rival Salesforce's cloud offerings, which he said made it difficult for the customer to leave once they'd signed up, likening it to Hotel California.

    "You can check in, but you can't check out. I like to think of it as the roach motel of clouds. Now that is a false cloud."

    Such comments seem to be popular. Last year, the then-managing director of VMware Australia and New Zealand, Paul Harapin, said the same thing of Amazon. "Amazon is a proprietary lock-in Hotel California," were his words at the time.

  9. This year saw Telstra announce and launch its long-term evolution (LTE) network in capital cities and regional centres across Australia. Optus CEO Paul O'Sullivan initially wasn't convinced that the launch was more than just showing off.

    "The [LTE] announcements so far have been at 1800MHz frequency. Those are announcements which we feel are really being very much for bragging rights. People wanting to be saying they have it and maybe provide it to a very small number of customers," he said in May.

    By September, Optus had backtracked, announcing that it, too, would have an LTE network up and running by April 2012.

  10. We lost tech luminary and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs this year, following a long battle with cancer, and although it would be easy to pick out millions of quotes from anyone from Bill Gates to Julia Gillard to Barack Obama, we thought it best to leave it to his fellow Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Wozniak spoke glowingly of Jobs during his whirlwind visit to Australia in June.

    "I appreciated him for the counter-culture movement, and for thinking about different ways of life," Wozniak said. "When you talk to him, his mind is always going a few different places, so he would impress people back then."

What were your favourite tech-related quotes this year?

Editorial standards