3 months, 18 days ago

Architecture Corner: Fame on Social Media – Seven Deadly Sins of IT

Episode 3 of this season of Architecture Corner is out (I made a guest appearance in episode 1, “Good at Innovation”). In this installment, Chris the CEO is having trouble with a new sin. What happens when the CEO envies the social media presence of his competitors and decides to buy some followers?

5 months, 4 days ago

The Seventy Million Dollar Question

  Just when I thought I was done posting for the week, they suck me back in. Juicero started lighting up my Twitter feed a little while ago. For those, like me, who have no earthly idea what Juicero is, it’s a startup that makes an “Internet-connected kitchen appliance”: Juicero’s flagship product is a $699 […]

5 months, 5 days ago

Pride, Prejudice, and Professionalism in the Business of IT

Twenty-plus years in IT have led me to believe that there are very few absolutes when it comes to software systems. Two that do seem to hold true are these: Creating systems is esteemed far more highly than maintaining systems. Systems that are not maintained, will decay. There are a variety of reasons for this […]

5 months, 12 days ago

Disruptive Decency

Well, this turned out to be very much a different post than what I’d first thought. Last Thursday, CIO published an article titled “Your Pebble smartwatch will live on when Pebble’s servers shut down” that had good news for owners of the Pebble smartwatch: But now that Pebble has been acquired by Fitbit and is […]

6 months, 3 days ago

When One System Fails Another

Ten days ago, when I wrote the post “Uber and the Cost of a Culture of Corruption”, I said that assuming there will be negative consequences (both legal and financial) from the incidents in the news, then it is in Uber’s best interests to fix the problem that led to them in the first place. […]

6 months, 13 days ago

Uber and the Cost of a Culture of Corruption

Even before I hit the “Publish” button on Monday’s post, “Regulating Software Development”, I had already started composing this post in my head. In that post I had used the words “corrupt culture” in passing. I needed to expand on that, because I believe that’s what lies at the heart of Uber’s cascading collection of […]

9 months, 22 days ago

What Customer-Centric Looks Like

My last post, “Defense Against the Dark Art of Disruption”, went into some detail about notable failures in customer-experience for 2016. This week, however, I ran across a counter-example (h/t to Tim Worstall) showing that a little social media awareness and a customer-centric culture can make magic: A baby products company is launching a special […]

10 months, 5 days ago

Defense Against the Dark Art of Disruption

My first post for 2016 was titled “Is 2016 the Year for Customer-Focused IT?”. The closing line was “If 2016 isn’t the year for customer-focused IT, I wonder just what kind of year it will be for IT?”. I am so sorry for jinxing so many things for so many people.🙂 So far, the year […]

1 year, 3 months ago

Dealing with Technical Debt Like We Mean it

What’s the biggest problem with technical debt? In my opinion, the biggest problem is that it works. Just like the electrical outlet pictured above, systems with technical debt get the job done, even when there’s a hidden surprise or two waiting to make life interesting for us at some later date. If it flat-out failed, […]

1 year, 4 months ago

The Hidden Cost of Cheap – UX and Internal Applications

Why would anyone worry about user experience for anything that’s not customer-facing? This question was the premise of Maurice Roach’s post in the Zühlke blog, “Empathise with your users or you won’t solve their problems”: Bring up the subject of user empathy with some engineers or product owners and you’ll probably hear comments that fall […]

1 year, 4 months ago

Volkswagen and the Cost of Culture

Thanks to Volkswagen, we now have an idea of the cost of failing to maintain an ethical culture, roughly $18 billion US (emphasis added in the quoted text below by me): Volkswagen’s financial disclosure on Friday, in a preliminary earnings report, came a day after the company agreed on the outlines of a plan to […]

1 year, 5 months ago

Nest and Revolv – Smart Devices, Not so Smart Moves

I’ve made another guest appearance on Architecture Corner. In episode 39, “New and Obsolete”, Greger Wikstrand, Casimir Artmann and I discuss product lifetimes and the Internet of Things. How could Nest have better handled the end of life of the Revolv device?