Friday, February 25, 2005

High-tech marketing is a myth

A recent article by John Dvorak, held a couple of important tidbits wrapped up in a lot of Microsoft bashing. I don't share his hatred of Microsoft, but I do think the following comments are a big part of the sad state of affairs in tech companies with strong development traditions.

"I'm reminded of the comments Scott McNealy once made about Java becoming popular. He boasted that the company did nothing: It just happened—no advertising, no promotion. And this made him proud. Here was Sun's CEO not just telling the world that his marketing strategy was sheer dumb luck but bragging about it."

How sad. Maybe Sun wouldn't have such low-valued stock if they worked on market development as much as product development.

Other choice tidbits from Dvorak's article:

"High tech has always been plagued with the 'build a better mousetrap' mentality....Of course, observers always lament that this or that better mousetrap was not successful because people are idiots. And they go on to the next mousetrap. There is no such thing as a better mousetrap. There are just different mousetraps. The successful mousetrap marketing company finds new ways to sell its products and, more important, develops or invents new markets."

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Contradictions - Chapter 1 of the Subversion of Christianity

Author's note: My intent as I review this book is to identify the ideas that intrigue me the most, without (hopefully) misrepresenting Ellul's ideas too badly.

In the first chapter of The Subversion of Christianity, Jacques Ellul clearly outlines the fundamental premise of his book, that Christianity, as it is practiced both in recent and not-so-recent history, is a perversion of what is described in the new testament.

He makes a point to say that, despite this judgment, we should not reject the church's entire past nor should we explain the difference by saying that "things are different today."

To me, one of the most powerful thoughts shared in this chapter was the following:

"If the Holy Spirit is and has been with Christians and the churches, we should not have seen the terrible subversion that has substituted the exact opposite for Christianity....replacing it with a Christianity that is remodeled by the world....the failure of a Christianity that expresses what we have made of revelation does not change at all what God has accomplished...In fabricating Christianity, therefore, Christians have known what they were doing....They have not aspired to the full gift of the Holy Spirit that would have enabled them to take the new way that he opened up. They have made a different choice and left the Holy Spirit unemployed, idle, present only on sufferance...Why?....human aggrandizement and nothing else."
In light of the conversations in our church about the work of the Holy Spirit, these ideas are revolutionary. No longer should we be looking for the "great feats" and miracles, but the revelation of God, free from the cultural and organizational bonds of organized religion. Great ideas to consider as I continue with this book in the months to come.

I'm a Gran Turismo 4 widow now

An exciting event in the world of gaming happened yesterday, the long awaited U.S. release of Gran Turismo 4 occurred, and "there was great rejoicing."

This means, of course, that I am now a GT4 widow. Dave promises to balance his activities better than when GT3 came out (he disappeared for a couple months back then!), but let's see if he even has any time to add any posts to his blog! ;-)

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Blog barrier: Things to talk about

The following post was recently added to one of my favorite professional blogs, marcomblog.

Blog Barrier - Writing

This article, in referring to company blogs, touched upon a common fear among organizations considering whether to blog -- being able to write well.

Another issue of equal importance is the fear of not having anything to say.

Corporate blogs have a higher standard to fulfill and a reputation that affects not only revenue but also jobs. Still, perhaps it is a little easier to explore the world of blogging if we look at the process as about conversation, interaction and connection -- not simply sharing news or ideas.

To me, one of the best things about blogs is the ability to connect with the people around you. What a perfect example of that viral, natural connection that marketers the world over try to find.