Sunday, August 31, 2008

24 Months is just the beginning

Kim and I visited Mammoth lakes, CA to celebrate 24 months of non-stop fun and growth :-). I got exactly what I signed up for and in greater abundance that i thought was possible, I am delighted :) thanks for saying yes to me babe.

We (read Kim) took a lot of pics (she has the eye not me) and below are few of my favs.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What a presentation should be like

Don't think of excuses - just watch and ask yourself can you do something like this instead of the usual bullets and text blobs.

Sky McCloud Presentation from Duarte Design on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

Not sending any signals but seriously

how cool is this....

Making small progress in the footsteps of Giants

India won its first Olympic Gold since they started competing in the Olympics in 1928.
Abhinav Bindra won India's first individual Olympic gold medal on Monday with a thrilling come-from-behind victory in the men's 10m air rifle.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

How much #$%# are we willing to put up with

Umair Haque as usual has a thoughtful and provocative post on the need for fundamental change
Yes, business really does change. 400 years ago, corporations were formed by royal decree. 300 years ago, many countries were powered by slave labour, or its closest moral equivalent. 200 years ago, debtors didn't go bankrupt, they went to prison. 100 years ago - well, business is largely the same as it was a century ago. And that's exactly the problem. Business hasn't changed, but today's array of tectonic global shocks demands a different, radically better kind of business. Yesterday's corporations visibly cannot meet today's economic challenges.

Complete post here.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Let us learn from others mistakes but with caution

My context here is a blog post on Alfresco's blog roll that discusses Vignette's slow but sure decline - full post here.
I don't have domain expertise in the CMS/ECM market and in general i agree with a lot of what Uzi says in his post. He points out the Vignette is "losing the people that they should keep. And they’re keeping the people that they should lose" - which leads me to assume that has inside knowledge about what is going on at Vignette.

My bone of contention is with that following phrase (please read the full post for context before jumping here)

And that’s where the old businesses are falling over. Customers cannot trust in how their money is being spent. It isn’t simply that Vignette’s brand has lost its trust - it’s that the products actually do not work.

Why? Because managers don’t know how to develop good code.

Give them credit, though, for knowing how to keep their jobs.

Umm... really, that is the problem --- "managers don't know how to develop good code". Wow! that scares me.
So let us trace this a little.

a. the brand lost its trust ---> (why?)
b. the products do not actually work ----> (i can see how this can lead to 'a') (why?)
c. managers don't know how to develop good code ----> (let me ask you again -- FOR REAL?)

Products don't work for a lot of reasons - chief amongst them being being poor software, poor understanding of the market problems, poor quality of requirements being given to engineering, ignorance of how the market has changed since v1.0 of the product came out, etc. But rarely does "managers not developing good code" show up on that list.
I would agree that if the product direction is driven by a manager with no technical background or software development experience, that is not a recipe for success. But that is a far cry from "managers don't know how to develop good code".

I understand the point Uzi is trying to make and the distinction being drawn between open source philosophies and "big elephants" but i caution against blaming everything associated with "big elephants" by association.

Imho, one of the reasons I think Alfresco executed so well out of the gate and continues to build on that momentum is Kevin Cochrane - who did not necessarily code (he might have a coding background, i don't know) but did a stellar job of understanding market needs and helped R&D build against it. Kevin's title was product MANAGER :-) if I remember correctly.

Disclosure - I have no stake, interest or strong affiliation with Vignette or the CMS industry. This is more from my perspective as a product manager.

My jaw continues to stay open...

CNN Money headlines
UPDATE: GM Loses $15.5 Billion As Sales Plunge, Charges Mount
is just Q2 loss - i.e. in a 3 month period. Is this funny money, is this real money. Can we make sense of WT$ this means to a lay man.

How does a company send this information out, lose "investor confidence" but talk about "putting this behind us". How many layers of funny talk and magic financial numbers are we hiding behind.

Forget GM shareholders --- what does this mean to the auto industry in the country?

This is not just GM though, we saw almost all the big financial institutions do this and continue to do this. What needs to happen before there is a outcry for clarity and simplicity in messaging?