Subject: condescending to customers
From: Tom Lord <>
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 01:38:50 -0800 (PST)

Gumby has provided some *real* examples of condescending to customers:

     [the setup] from ian:
     > 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.


     For example: a recent Computerworld lead headline blared "Don't
     install Wireless LANs until the security issues are worked out"
     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.

So, your customers take their cue from Computerworld?  Justify their
decisions based on Computerworld?  Never look more deeply at the
technological issues?  See those articles as anything other than a
news report of which vulnerabilities are, in fact, being exploited?  I
think your reading of these publications is absurdly simplistic and
insulting to your potential customers.  Your earlier pessimism is
further clarified.

     what they write is what their readers actually need to know.  

Balderdash.  Their readers need to know much, much more -- and the
evidence is that they do know much, much more.

Generally speaking, that isn't how periodicals work.  Rather, they
rehearse a bunch of "common knowledge" to establish a frame of
reference, injecting bits of original content as it becomes available.
We read them like the I-ching but with occasional bonuses.  Mostly
they just bring out what we already know into different frames of mind
(when they function well).  Occasionally they point out something new.
Even that summary is too simplistic.  The point is, the themes of your
pessimism and recent posts is that the customers are idiots (sure, you
label them smart, but describe their behavior as that of idiots) --
that they know little and are lead by the press.  Absurd.  My theme
has been that the press is reflective of certain directions in the
discourse that takes place among these decision makers: The
intellegent FSB view isn't to think of the press as representing the
sum total belief system and knowledge of these customers, but rather
as giving us some insight into what the hot topics are.  Which of us,
then, has the condescending view of these customers?  "[It appeared in
computerworld therefore the customers] know what to badger their
suppliers about."  Yeah, right.

     This may have a bigger dose of politics than you would expect,
     which is what usually causes developers to dismiss the IT press.

How sad that you have such a pathetic view of "developers".