Category Archives: Products


“By removing slack, airlines create failure. In order to increase profit, airlines work hard to get the maximum number of flights out of each plane, each day. As a result, there are no spares, no downtime and no resilience. By assuming that their customer base prefers to save money, not anxiety, they create an anxiety-filled system.”

Seths Blog: Eleven things organizations can learn from airports.


The worst part of this list is that it describes modern life; not just the worst parts of it!

Future Concept Videos…

Gruber seems to have started a fire storm.

“I’m not arguing that making concept videos directly leads to a lack of traction in the current market. I’m arguing that making concept videos is a sign of a company that has a lack of institutional focus on the present and near-present.”

Daring Fireball: The Type of Companies That Publish Future Concept Videos.

This is all about this video.

Now I’ve nothing against concept videos as such. I wouldn’t put them 20 years out in the future however because who knows what the world will look like. One three years out would really upset the Product Manager but would actually be useful.

However, the biggest problem here is the lack of business case for enormous amounts of this technology.

At 35 seconds there is an electronic taxi window. It looks really, cool. Ignore the fact that this would be a nightmare when there are two people in the cab or how it would work out the geometry for your eyes when the movie studios can’t even do 3D in a cinema.

How would this be paid for? Which taxi driver is going to empty his pockets and give money to Microsoft for this so that they can show where your meeting is tomorrow? What’s the business case for him? I can only see two; people will refuse to ride in taxis without cool windows or adverts.

So let’s rewrite this with a business case. In 20 years, your going to get in a cab and adverts will be projected onto the passing landscape blocking the view and giving a false image of where you’re travelling. Great, thanks.

And the transparent fridge door! How much are you willing to pay to avoid opening the fridge door?200 euros, 400?


Redesigning the Boarding Pass…

Redesigning the Boarding Pass – Journal – Boarding Pass / Fail

Every single suggestion is better than the original. The original is the only one that someone was paid to design!

I’m willing to bet that the original design was either “evolved” from an original engineering prototype or approved by committee.

Entourage becomes Outlook on the Mac…

This is an interesting comment…

“they’re pre-announcing this so far in advance to discourage current Entourage users from switching to the new Exchange-compatible versions of Apple Mail and iCal in Snow Leopard.”

Daring Fireball

If this is the plan then they’re on the route to failure. Moving desktop mail client has a minimal cost. You just plug in the new client and start syncronizing the mail server. It’s a two minute job.

What seems to be happening here is that Outlook is becoming a server only tool. The poor desktop client (is there anything slower?) is killing the fanchise.

Recommend a product that you’ve never tasted?

A few weeks ago I found myself in California and talking to Eileen Hassi who part owns Ritual Roasters in San Francisco. The conversation started with the normal “what do you do?” and then she blew me away.

She had the perfect one line response, which led to my second question, to which she had another perfect response; and on and on. After a half day spent in her company not once was I left with the impression that she was less than 100% committed. Her commitment and obsession with her product seemed total.

I’ve rarely been so impressed by someone. And this is a three store coffee chain!

So I finally got around to looking her up on Google tonight and this is the quote I see…

Ms. Hassi said she was at a party recently when someone came up to her and offered a profusion of thanks. “He said, ‘thank you, thank you, thank you for opening your cafe.’ “

Street Scene – Cafe Capitalism, San Francisco Style –

Can I recommend a coffee house without ever seeing it? Hell yes!

Why Twitter is like Word…

Steve Gillmor is obsessed with Twitter an especially Track a specific function within Twitter that allows you to vanity search the service in real-time. Gillmor runs the wonderful Gillmor Gang podcast and every episode includes a plug for Twitter and specially a complaint about the Track functionality not being available.

All this reminds me of Word in the early 90s.

In the early 90s there was a long running functionality fight between the various word processor applications. Every few months a new version would appear with yet more functions. Every few months the magazines would run articles comparing the different packages and tell their readers which to buy.

During this period Word would often be labeled as incomplete, and missing key features. What was it missing? Word Count! Every few months, Word would be reviewed and it still wasn’t ready. Microsoft even produced a Macro to display a Word Count but the journalists just called that a fudge and not integrated.

In the end, Microsoft produced a Word Count with added extras, readability scores and such. Journalists happy; Microsoft went on to world domination.

Why is this like Twitter?

Well the Track function is fantastic is you’re Steve Gillmor, it’s what he wants. In fact, it’s also why Scoble likes FriendFeed I believe. However, they’re of no use to 95% of the users who just want to talk to friends and family.

What we’re seeing is journalists push applications developers into helping journalists and not the majority of their users.

Want another example? Who on earth needs over 2000 followers in Twitter or Facebook?  Outside the world of PR and journalism it makes no sense. Let the complaints begin.

Ed Brill takes one job posting and changes reality…

Ed Brill works at the IBM Software Group and has repeatedly made claims that Accenture didn’t migrate off Notes as publicly claimed by Accenture and Microsoft.

“I have a slide in the presentation that is based on my “Then and now, episode 2″ blog entry from February. The slide shows the same two graphics that are in the blog entry — Accenture/Avanade’s claim around when they migrated off Notes, and the reality of Accenture hiring Notes developers (and using hundreds of Notes applications) today.”

Ed Brill


“It’s clear that Notes is not only not gone from the Accenture IT environment, but rather that it is still a key technology.”

It would be nice if someone from Accenture put his straight officially but nobody seems bothered. Therefore, I’ll do it unofficially…

Notes isn’t a key technology at Accenture, hasn’t been for a while. As far as I know, it exists as client software mainly so people can read their old data but Accenture is very clearly a Outlook/SharePoint shop.

So why are they hiring Notes developers? To help clients. Accenture doesn’t have a supply chain to manage but you’ll see a lot of adverts for supply chain expert jobs.