Subject: Re: Wal-mart drives software industry
From: Tom Lord <>
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2002 16:01:31 -0800 (PST)

       Ian and I have spent the last couple of years with big
       Enterprise I/T.  We had some of the same na´ve preconceptions
       you do, but were painfully disabused of them by the experience.

Perhaps you could elaborate.

	> Sure, they're made with certain business goals but at anything beyond
	> a simple tactical level those decisions are harder than chess and lots
	> of input from related perspectives is a good way to approach them.  As
	> a Walmart, if you're making a strategic software-related decision,
	> you'd like to have some confidence that your decision is being noted
	> and complemented by other strategic decisions at, for example,
	> software suppliers.
	This is your model of how Enterprise/IT adopts technology.  It appears 
	sound from first principles, but in fact it's a complete fantasy.

The growth and structure of Walmart implies that it has been managed
with a deep knowledge about what was and is coming from technology
suppliers: what's planned, what's possible, what's practical.  Are you
saying they just made a series of lucky guesses?  Are you saying they
wrote up specs themselves, dropped them off at the right doorsteps and
the technology companies said "Oh!  Supply chain management!  Customer
habit tracking!  Real-time retail financials reporting!  Wow, we never
thought of that before and, what do you know -- it's practical to

	Wal-mart famously dictates what they need from their

Perhaps, but they apparently haven't dictated the retreat of the
rising tide and the intellegence to not make such mistakes must come
from somewhere.

Your message seems more like an expression of exasperation and
pessimism than a true account of the industry.