Subject: RE: The stupidity of large companies
From: "Joseph Arceneaux" <joe@arceneaux.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 07:32:38 -0800

I think this thread needs a dose of cynicism injected into it.  I have
seen all of the following at large companies to explain the behavior
under discussion:

* An insider from the large vendor, as in, most recently, Andersen
people working at Enron.  I have seen such people manage to dismantle
the large company's internal development staff and outsource the work to
the Andersen types instead.
* "No one ever got fired for hiring [ IBM | Microsoft | ... ]"  Once the
vendor does an even passable job, the momentum of bureaucracy (and some
more reasonable factors, such as having established a working
relationship) is considerable.  Another reason for this is that IBM has
something to lose, publicity-wise, if they do a bad job for, say, GM,
whereas an unheard-of company does not. 
* The many levels of management should not be discounted - in the face
of the two preceding phenomena, I have seen truly shoddy work by the
Andersen-type vendor, but even if this information percolates far up
enough the management structure, frequently the decision maker a) can't
even understand the technology, and b) only sees things in large dollar
amounts and c) may even be the insider person mentioned above.
* Personal animosity - I have seen small companies drop from
consideration, even when they have the best solution, simply because the
decision maker didn't like them personally, or someone else the decision
maker had to work with didn't.
(The corollary to this is that politics is always a big factor at large
companies.)

Joe