Michael Arrington and Dennis Howlett are both entertaining and influential (and ok to some, annoying) bloggers. They come at the world from very different POV – Michael sees it from a startup/VC view, Dennis from a enterprise software view. I respect them both for their pedigree. Michael cut his teeth at Wilson Sonsini, a firm we used in our startup and was impressed with for the ease in which they handled funding and other startup legal scenarios. Dennis brings the rigor of a professional accountant and a trade journalist. Last week I had a chance to interact with both. I commented on Michael’s blog that the world is more than startups and VCs. I spoke to Dennis last week about the world being more than software executives and developers.
We are at the cusp of a revolution in IT – see the final chapter of my book that I have excerpted in its entirety here.
The role models for the new IT to me are “grown-up start ups” like Apple and Google and Facebook and eBay and Amazon and HP which are showing amazing operational excellence in their supply chains and data centers. Other role models are not software vendors like SAP, but customers (yes, customers not partners) of SAP which are embedding technology in their automobile, banking, and other products and services.
Membership in the new technology elite will not come from just being conversant in HTML5, SQL Injection, or cloud architectures. It is about:
- Product design elegance.
- Physical presence in strategic retail locations.
- Ecosystems of developers and thriving App Stores.
- Social savvy.
- Paranoia in the world of hacker groups such as LulzSec and Anonymous.
- Pragmatism in a world where attorneys are even more influential than engineers.
- Being able to fly to Xiamen or Xanadu at a moment's notice.
As I say in my book
We live in exciting times. To some degree the current landscape is the throwback to the 1960s and 1970s, when we dreamed of competitive advantage through technology. Sabre, the American reservation system, and American Hospital Supply were spoken of fondly for changing their industries.We have a similar opportunity now, but in most organizations the IT group is much more focused on the back office, not on product or revenue or growth.
There are plenty of role models for the new IT. We do have to start by looking beyond our startup fascination and the product pipeline of our established vendors.