Guy Kawasaki is requesting that readers submit their topic requests for his blog. Send him your ideas.
Naked Conversations: "Sometimes, the quest for ROI in all corners of the corporation has caused the problem with customer relations that most reasonable people agree exists. We wanted better ROI from customer support, so we lowered the quality for the support. Marketing was historically to touchy feely for financial reviews, so we started adding ROI requirements to each project, forgetting that the essence of marketing is relationships that improve the ROI of the sales department. Companies still know this."
Shel gets it right here. People are so focused on finding data and quantifying the ROI for their business decisions that they often fail to provide the basic service that their customers expect and need. Don't fall into that trap (yes, that means you Amazon).
UPDATE: Tim Bray really nails it- "There’s a word for companies that base all decisions on ruthless quantitative ROI metrics: Bankrupt."
I've restarted my Microsoft blog with a specific purpose in mind- software for the Enterprise and how that intersects with what is happening on the Web. The premise is that Enterprises can learn a lot from the agility and scalability being shown on the Web. In addition, a concept that was covered at MIX really resonates with me- asymetry of demand. So many services on the Web have been repurposed and used in ways never intended, but the Web seems to adapt to and embrace this phenomenon. Empowering people in the enterprise is going to require injecting more of this "Web" mindset into the work of enterprise architects and IT leaders.
Caterina Fake has posted a hilarious (and somewhat insightful) critique of the current climate for new software startups. My favorite quote- “I see some entrepreneurs in photos from *every single event*. Who’s talking to the users, writing the code, tweaking and retweaking the UI? It ain’t the Chief Party Officer.”
I think this may be true in the Bay Area, but it isn’t true everywhere. And while everyone is funded, it doesn’t mean it is a bad time if you have an original idea. Still, good humor and something to think about if you’re looking to start a new company or jump to a startup.
UPDATE- David’s response is on point.
Dave Winer: “You can view the 60-percent-Vista-rewrite story as something of a software development IQ test. Anyone who believes that it’s conceivable is someone who hasn’t got the most basic clue about how software development works.”
Well stated. There are plenty of people squawking about this story that have no clue of what they’re talking about. As a Microsoft person, I am embarrassed that it appears that we can’t ship the product in a timely manner. Having said that, there are a lot of factors here (industry factors in particular) that have little or nothing to do with our ability to write software or manage a software project. There is more work to do here, but certainly not a 60% rewrite of anything.