Subject: Back to FSB: "buying": decision making vs. decision impact
From: D Henkel-Wallace <gumby@Henkel-Wallace.org>
Date: Sun, 3 Mar 2002 17:26:42 -0800

On Sunday, March 3, 2002, at 07:54 , Ian Lance Taylor wrote:
> In the enterprise IT space, I think the business press is actually
> pretty good.  By this I mean those large weekly magazines like
> Infoworld, CIO, Services News, etc.
>
> Of course, others may disagree.

BTW, this is counterintuitive.

For example: a recent Computerworld lead headline blared "Don't install 
Wireless LANs until the security issues are worked out" (as it said in the 
text, i.e. wait another 2-3 _years_).  This sounds like patent nonsense; 
like Canute's advisors claiming he could order back the tide.  Clearly 
people will install them.  But they'll understand the risks; if they wait 
they have an excuse, and they now know what to badger their suppliers 
about.

The business press for IT sounds like a bunch of non-technical bozos 
playing Buzzword Bingo.  In reality 1> many of them do understand 
technology.  Maybe not as much as a developer, but quite a bit -- more 
than many of their ex-technical manager readers.  and 2> what they write 
is what their readers actually need to know.  This may have a bigger dose 
of politics than you would expect, which is what usually causes developers 
to dismiss the IT press.

It doesn't matter if Linux offers more flexibility to P&G if P&G can't 
easily (i.e using the channels they customarily use) find developers 
familiar with it.  It doesn't matter if Zope is faster than WebLogic (if 
it is) since there are tons of WebLogic plugins and developers and a 
conference.  It doesn't matter that Websphere doesn't make any sense -- if 
you choose it, IBM will make sure your project succeeds.

So, to tie this back to the Wal-mart issue that set this thread off: you 
have to read and grok these issues to get any traction in the 
Enterprise/IT space.  Vanishingly few small time operators make it there.  
But there are niches, already alluded to, which can get you started IF YOU'
RE WILLING TO STOP BEING CONDESCENDING TOWARDS THE CUSTOMER.  IBM gets it.
   Microsoft gets it enough to become a $30Bn company.  I feel that not 
enough people on this list are willing to get it.

-g

PS: Nothing I said above should be taken to apply to the PC press (PC Week,
  Mac Week etc).  That's just the same old fashion scam learned from the 
automobile/soft-porn/stereo folks.