Notes From the Floor; Day 1, The Customer Rules
Aug 04, 2004, 05:00 (6 Talkback[s])
Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers
Let me get one thing straight--I am a cubby holer. This comes
from the the fact that I like to organize as a writer, I used to
work in a library in high school, and I am just plain
So, when I get into a show like this one, I try to sum it up in
one sentence or so. You know, a theme. This show was particularly
tough to define. I saw a lot of things while judging the open
source awards, most of it demonstrations and sales pitches. But one
thing kept coming up more and more in my meetings today: the
customer is always right.
In case after case, companies were telling me that they were
making their product decisions more and more about what their
Now, I understand that this is what companies always say. But,
in this case, this is really happening. This isn't the old "here is
what we think the customers will want" line. This is the "customers
have told us what they want, and we are repsonding."
This responsive nature was prolific on the floor. Is this a
post-recovery form of gathering new/old customers? Maybe. But I
would like to think that the methodology of open source is starting
to rub off on these businesses.
This makes some sense, in a not-too-Pollyannish way. If you use
open source software, or develop it, after a while I think you can
make the argument that these executives are actually going to start
seeing the advantage of openness in all aspects of their business.
Thus, the higher level of responsiveness I have seen.
Don't believe me? Think about Ingres. Or Open-Xchange. Or
Speaking of Cloudscape, I met with Scott Handy from IBM to speak
about this latest release of open source-ness. The interview went
well, but when it was over the door of the little room we were in
woulkd not open. I was thinking about hoarding the little bowl of
candy in the room when they finally got it open.
I also managed to see the briefing book on of the companies has
about me before our interview. It was very bland. I need some sort
of personality quirk--beyond working on this site. Suggestions
Coolest thing I saw today: a Linux pre-loaded HP notebook. Runs
SUSE 9.1, has wireless, Bluetooth, and FireWire support, and plays
DVDs with a commercially-licensed copy of LinDVD. Happy day!