Sunday, December 18, 2011
Sunday, February 10, 2008
It has been almost a year since I last posted – things have been busy…and busy is good.
I have spent the last few months speaking a lot with prospects, customers, analysts, journalists, partner, and anyone else who doesn’t fit in one of those categories. We have made some significant announcements in the last few months (http://www.myworklight.com/) and subsequently, there has been a lot of interest in what we are doing. I have spoken to many, many interested and inquisitive people. I have learned a lot from these people and for that, I am genuinely grateful for the time, the attention and the feedback. This is a part of my job that I truly cherish.
Which is why I am genuinely shocked when someone attends a briefing thinking they are doing me a favor for taking my meeting or phone call. For these folks I offer the following advice:
Tips for A Professional Briefing
- My staff and I spend copious time researching who covers our market and technology areas. We often spend a lot of time and effort filling out your forms which ask us about the nature of our briefing. Read the brief - if you aren’t interested, politely decline the briefing. If you aren’t sure, invest a few minutes looking at what we do on the web and then decide.
- If you do take the briefing and you expect me to understand what you cover, what interests you, and what you have written, the least you should do is take a 30-second look at your questionnaire before getting on the phone or joining the meeting.
- If you are not sure if you are interested or not, I suggest you take the briefing, but tell me you have only 15 minutes. If you become genuinely interested, you can extend the call/meeting. If not, we both “invested” 15-20 minutes and we part our separate ways. Being impatient and condescending is just rude and it reflects badly upon you and your organization.
- In my opinion, a brief is an exchange of information, not just a one way monologue. I like to ask relevant questions; if this isn’t on your agenda, state so upfront.
- Often, I talk to people who are working on reports, studies, or articles, or who are working on background materials for different projects. I can’t guess what you want to know by reading your blog or bio. Asking you up front if there is anything in particular you want or don’t want to talk about, seems like good practice to me. If this rubs you the wrong way, then I propose the following deal – answer the question without condescension, and I promise not to show you any Powerpoint slides.
- I can understand you don’t like market-speak or empty buzzwords. I will avoid using them if you promise to avoid categorizing my story/company/product/case study, etc into one of your convenient buckets, without first listening and spending a few minutes trying to understand what this is all about.
- And most importantly…to paraphrase Jeff Spicoli, “this is our time. Yours and mine. Your time is no more valuable than mine. I am a busy person. If you aren’t interested, I have better things to do with my time.
And to those of you who are courteous, inquisitive, and make this job as fun as it is, I apologize for having to write this….Those are my two cents.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Travel, Rudeness, and Two Conferences
In contrast to the congeniality of the show, I was really shocked by the rudeness of some of the bloggers who "covered" the show. There were so many stupid comments about things that had nothing to do with the conference. Bloggers wrote about what clothes the presenters wore, mocked the terms they used (one guy had a really tough time with the term "long tail"), and generally downplayed what was being shown on stage. Once I noticed it, it seemed to appear in each subsequent posting.
I walked away thinking, "what is happening to us?" So I guess it was prescient that I ran across a book called, "Talk to the Hand" at the airport. How can you turn down a book whose subtitle is "The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door?" Written by Lynne Truss, this book is funny, and really hits the nail on the head regarding how rudeness has permeated our society. Certainly, part of this has to do with the relative anonymity of blog posts and email flames. I think another part has to do with trying to sound clever and insightful, when people don't really have anything to say. Whatever it is, the downside of blogosphere democratization is that people don't feel they are held to the same standards of decent behavior as in the "real world," and this is a shame.
On this trip, the airport and travel "downtime" gave me an opportunity to catch up on reading (and crossword puzzles as well). I also attended FASTforward in San Diego and met some interesting folks. More on all of this in upcoming posts.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
So why is it, I wonder, was there so little blogging activity over the Christmas weekend? Most of the blogs around the Web 2.0 space were surprisingly silent over this past weekend. Is it because we were able to truly "step away from the browsers and PDAs and put our hands in the air" for several days. Is it because we were busy enjoying our family and friends, spending time with the kids, or reflecting about the past year and thinking of the year to come? Honestly, I kinda doubt it.
How many of us secretly snuck out of family gatherings to see what was going on online - secretly hoping to see something that we could respond to? How many of us felt guilty posting over the weekend, fearing that it would look like we had nothing better to do? Considering the kind of crackberry users we all know, I tend to think it is the latter. On the other hand, maybe everyone was at a Christmas party on Second Life, and I was just not invited....
Monday, December 25, 2006
Something To Look Forward To In 2007
At some point, most companies will have 'wiki policies' and 'blog policies' and these will likely be ignored as well. The new technology will not change the balance of authority in companies any more than email did (or faxes did before them, or memo before them, etc.). In the same way that email speeded up written communications, wikis and blogs afford the same evolution in speed and reach of communication.
Personally, like many new technologies, I think that in the short-term, there will be misuse and general unfounded over-enthusiasm for these technologies. When folks realize it ain't going to change the balance of power, and 'won't solve every communication problem they have,' they will identify where they can foster productivity and really solve a problem.
I think that it will be fascinating, follow the cultural and commercial interactions that will impact the adoption of E2.0 and see where the sweet spot really is for their use in the corporate world. As 2006 becomes 2007, I think we may be in for a few surprises in the coming year, and that is certainly something to look forward to!
Happy holidays to all.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
LePolitique or LeWeb3?
Ironically, as the presenters debate whether traditional media is irrelevant, the TV trucks roll up outside the convention hall, the TV correspodents replace the bloggers onstage, and "let the show begin."
Thursday, October 05, 2006
As I talk to people working in and around the Enterprise 2.0 space, I am struck by how "the more things change, the more they stay the same." The collaboration aspects of E2.0 are getting a lot of play - basically, wikis and blogs being used to let people communicate better within the organization. While I do not belittle these new technologies and the possibilities they offer, business was, is, and will always be about providing a product or service to customers with the "best" price/value. Providing that product or service in the most efficient way possible has always been a challenge. With the increasing deluge of information that people have to deal with (customers, suppliers, inventory, service records, etc.), this is becoming more and more complicated, particulary with the shift towards information-intensive service industries. It seems to me that the real challenge of Enterprise 2.0 is providing a user experience to employees and clients that makes them more efficient in their jobs, not only more efficient at communicating with their peers.
In my opinion, one of the people who gets "it," is Bill Raduchel, former CTO for AOL/Time Warner and CIO at Sun, who recently spoke at the Longworth Ventures Annual Conference. According to Innovation Creators , Raduchel identified "navigation" (and not "collaboration") as the killer app for Enterprise 2.0. If that means connecting knowledge workers with the information they need to do their jobs, then I think Raduchel is on to something. More on this later.
In continuation of my saga to find the appropriate graphic design firm, I contacted another few local agencies. Two firms declined my corporate concept design (and associated materials) project because it was not broad enough and they are being "very selective in the projects they take on these days." Another was willing to schedule a meeting several weeks out, but couldn't be bothered to trek out to our corporate offices (about 15 miles away).