10 things you didn’t know about … Crawford Del Prete

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10 things you didn’t know about … Crawford Del Prete

10 personal questions and 10 personal answers from Crawford Del Prete, Executive Vice President, IDC Worldwide Research. Crawford manages the largest research organization within IDC, one of the world’s most influential market research firms. IDC’s Worldwide Research covers the areas of Worldwide Enterprise Computing, Information Infrastructure, Integration, Development and Application Strategies, Services, Telecommunications, Clients and Mobility and WW Tracker research practices. Prior to his current position, he managed IDC’s Enterprise Systems, Storage, and Semiconductor business units. As one of the leading authorities on the IT industry, of course we were interested to hear how Crawford would answer our set of questions. Read on to find out.


I couldn’t survive without … over the air (OTA) calendar synchronization.  As a heavily scheduled individual I need the most recent version of my calendar at any given time.  Also, in a highly decentralized organization, I am often invited to meetings at various times in various time zones.  I cannot afford to be out of date with my calendar.

The best advice I ever got … everybody in the organization can say “no”. Finding those who can say “yes” is the trick.

A person/people I admire …
Abraham Lincoln.  A fascinating man.  Managed to rebuild our country in one of its lowest periods.  A greatly misunderstood, but brilliant individual.

If I could go anywhere, or do anything, I would … spend a year on Italy’s Amalfi coast. I would slow down, enjoy the view, read all of the books I keep “meaning” to finish, and savor every second with my family.  I would not board a plane or enter an airport for this time period.

A technology I have no use for … are land line phones.  Honestly, if we could just figure out the “first responder” problem we could finally move away from this antiquated means of communication.  I have not spoken on my home connected land line for years.  Please don’t call me there!

The best idea I had … was to support the HP/Compaq merger.  On the day of the announcement I was the only industry analyst to support the deal – look it up, other jumped on board later.  My analysis said that this deal made sense, and would create a far stronger player than most realized at the time.  While I had no idea how controversial this opinion would be, I steadfastly defended (and was thoroughly challenged) the position for 18 months. Looking back 7 years, it feels good to have been right.

Luxury is … like beauty.  It’s in the eye of the beholder.  If you have much, it’s a high bar. If you have nothing, it’s as simple as a drink.  I was once playing golf in Thailand and had a caddy.  At a break I offered to buy her a drink.  In the stifling heat and humidity, her drink of choice was warm chocolate milk, because it was a luxury to her.  

I wish I had invented … Windows. To be able to sell your product on almost every PC that ships for 20 years at stratospheric margins is a beautiful thing.  Love it or hate it, it’s one of the most financially scalable models I have ever seen.    

My tombstone should read … He spent his career answering one question – Got a minute?

A person/trend/technology to watch … flexible displays. They will not be here for a while, but trust me, they will transform everything that we know about computer design and usage models. After the revolution they usher, the systems we use today will look positively prehistoric!   

Previously in this series:

Josh Smith, CEO, BioHazard Computers
Andre Eriksen, CEO, Asetek
Andy Paul, CEO, Corsair
Jon Peddie, President, Jon Peddie Research
Anand Chandrasekher, Senior Vice President, Intel
Rahul Sood, General Manager, Hewlett-Packard