When a new technology is introduced it always has some bugs
with it, as do products designed to work with it.
No new thing has, or ever will be, introduced without mistakes
For example, when PCI Express was introduced the first wave
of graphics AIBs had problems, despite all the testing and pre-qualifying the
GPU vendors did. When Windows XP was introduced as the most solid,
trouble-free, and secure operating system ever, even the demo Bill Gates gave
got a blue screen. DVI had difficulties because suppliers could choose how to interpret
some of the specs, and every copy-protection scheme is busted almost before it
No new thing has, or ever will be, introduced without
mistakes, errors of omission, and unforeseen consequences. And anyone who has
been in the business for more than five years should know that.
Consumers are slow to learn and long to remember. That’s
another thing any five-year or more veteran should know. In fact, it should be
tattooed on the top of the right hand of anyone who wants to work in marketing.
One of the problems with this industry, and to take a
sidestep for a moment, we don’t really have that many, is the ado-lescent
football game attitude some of the people have. They view the business as a
competitive sport, and use sports metaphors to describe their plans or the
competitions. That, to use such a phrase, dangerously takes one’s eyes off the
ball. I have observed some amazingly child-like behavior in senior managers at
various meetings, and the ridiculous comments used, trying to look macho, and
convince the rest of the attendees that they really really do have a superior
product that’s going to kick butt, waste so much time of all the people and
distract them from the real issues and opportunities. One simply has to
question the speaker’s real understanding of the business and the product.
Consumers are slow to learn and long to remember
When company A is having problems with its flazamatraz
that’s supposed to work with company B’s new bifurcated phen-modulator program,
if company C uses that temporary difficulty to embarrass or harass company A,
everyone in the industry, company A and company B, and the potential customers
of both companies will remember it.
As mentioned in the story on OpenGL in Vista in this issue,
misunderstanding and misrepresentations hurt everyone and set the industry
back. In the case of OpenGL, for instance, the consumers not knowing what is
true will simply do nothing, and there’s no ROI when consumers go on strike.
I’m not suggesting everybody has to be lovey-dovey, but I am
suggesting you think about the bigger consequences of the impact of your
comments and criticisms on the consumers and how they will rate, react, and
potentially reject a category, if not the industry, rather than your hoped for
result of just rejecting your competitor. Like it or not, you are your
brother’s keeper and we’re all in this industry together.