There was an infamous email years ago titled “If Microsoft Made Cars” – Very funny – it takes the mundane act of driving and highlights the ridiculous problems with computers we just learn to live with. Working with the buying, selling,installing and using of ECM I am frustrated that I have fallen into the trap of just accepting the insanity. If buying cars were like buying ECM shopping for a new ride might be like this….
Kicking the Tires – Open Source Cars
You are really tired of walking to work when everyone else is zipping by you. You start shopping for a car and a guy at work with a pony tail and a Green Peace t-shirt tells you open source cars are the way to go. And they are free! Wow this is great – you wander around and spy a sporty model just sitting there in the lot. Keys in the ignition. PonyTail guy is standing behind you and whispers in your ear – go ahead – take it. You wander around and finally find the door and get in. It starts up as soon as you sit down. This is great. You are off in in your new ride.
Nirvana doesn’t last long. You soon realize that you can’t fit everyone in this model so you look around and take another one. This one takes twice as long to find the door and you have to turn the key yourself but its otherwise OK. As time goes by though you keep having to switch cars because either this model doesn’t have headlights or this one lacks windshield wipers or the instructions for how to change the oil are written in Esperanto. What finally pushes you over the edge is when it breaks down on the side of the road. You call PonyTail guy and he tells you to fix it yourself and gives you the URL for a wiki on roadside assistance. Frustrated you complain “You mean I have to do all this myself” and then he says “No – not at all – you can buy maintenance from my company iZippy to keep it up for you.”
Stepping Up – Enterprise Car
After attending numerous auto shows, reading websites and eating 12 free vendor lunches at TGIFriday’s you convince yourself that the “free” sub-compact that gets 198 MPG but can only go 45MPH is not for you. What you really need is an Enterprise Car. Power everything. 8 million HP and crash tested by Gartner’s Magic Quality Service. 1 RFI, 3RFP’s, 12 demos, 2POC’s and 1 golf game between the CIO and the vendor VP of sales and you have your million dollar car. It’s beautiful. Corinthian leather backgrounds. Seats 20,000. 0 to 60 TB in 6 months. Only problem now is you have to pay Zippy & Steele Consultants (who all look like PonyTail guy with $60 haircuts) to teach you how to drive it. Oh and stay on the interstate because this ride doesn’t fit on country roads.
Taking the Bus – Cars as a Service
This is just too hard – you just want to get from point a to point b. The goth guy at the office (who looks like Pony Tail guy as a vampire) mumbles “Why don’t you just take the bus” Public transportation. Car as a service. What a great idea. Step on the bus, drop $100/user/month in the box and let ZippyTran do the driving. One day you go through an intersection and see a Starbucks and are dying for a latte. Problem is Ralph Kramden up there won’t stop. Can’t change the route. You go to get off on the next stop and Ralph keeps your briefcase. Seems they don’t have a way to actually get all of your stuff off the bus when you want to leave. You resort to taxis because the bus doesn’t go where you want. All of the cab drivers for Zippy Taxi look like PonyTail guy in varying degrees of dishevelment and indeterminate national origin.
The Peoples Car – MS ShareCar
After all of this time riding around you notice the same kind of car everywhere. Nice round edges – not too big. Not flashy but maneuvers well. Where can I get that you wonder. One weekend when cleaning the garage you look behind a giant poster of a license agreement and there it is. The MS ShareCar. You have owned it all along. Turns out it came with the house. Its great for short hauls as long as you don’t take the whole family or a lot of stuff. Really easy to loose stuff in the glove box too. In the end its good to have around but it just isn’t big enough, even after you give one to every member of the family and the neighbor next door. The maintenance bills on the 50 you have now start to add up. What looked like a free ride is turning out to be just as expensive as every other choice.
The Car Makes The Man
What kind of car you drive says a lot about you and your preferences. The best content management system for you will say a lot about your business too. Which one(s) you need is very much about where you are going that day and how much you need to take with you. Be flexible and realize that the mini you love to drive every day is not the vehicle to take to the lumber yard so plan accordingly,shop wisely and make sure you take a good driver’s education course before getting behind the wheel.