(What) Were They Thinking?

(What) Were They Thinking?

Posted on March 21, 2008 0 Comments

I'm on my way to Chile this weekend to speak at an IDC conference on SOA & Business Integration. Anticipating a long, ugly flight (this way, I won't be disappointed), I find myself in a mood to observe, and wonder, about the limitless ways in which people make their lives more difficult than they need to be. Travelers are a perfect example.

Unfortunately, so are technology marketers.

And, I'm not just talking about "technology people in the marketing department," I mean, everyone who markets technology.

I'm the proud new owner of a MacBook Air. Great machine in many ways, but like with much of life, there are compromises. One thing that stands out, however, is how incredibly thin it is. You can say whatever you want about this machine (and people have here, and here, and here). But, when it comes to thin, this machine is unbeatable.

And that's why I wonder, of all the things InformationWeek could say about the new Thinkpad X300, they chose "ultra thin". The Thinkpad is a lot of things, but any idiot can see, it's thicker than the Air.

Why would they do that? Why make their lives more difficult than they need to be? A great tag line would be "portability without compromise (except in the CPU, screen, keyboard, and operating system... but we have more ports)." But, why pick something that anyone with a working eyeball can see is not true? They lose immediate credibility. I just don't get it.

I don't get it, but I see it all around me day after day.

SOA What? SOA this.

If you're marketing your SOA infrastructure efforts inside your organization, you better be credible. And, you better measure something important.

It is a valid argument that the MacBook Air doesn't have a lot of ports, so if that's important to you, watch out. But... make sure, if you're pressing that argument, that the person cares. Or, cares more about ports than style, or stability of the OS, or some other metric.

And, certainly make sure that even someone without a ruler can't tell that your metric is full of hot air.

Like it or not, we all need to evangelize our efforts. People want to know what they're getting for their investment, both before and after they make the investment. It's not the case that the best product wins... what is the case is that the product marketed best wins.

Communicate what matters to your money-men (or women), and then deliver on that metric and they'll be happy to give you more money. Give them "snappy tag lines" and, well, you're just making your life more difficult than it needs to be

david bressler

View all posts from david bressler on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.


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