One Note Musicians

The problem with being a one note musician is that eventually the key is going to change.

My current pet peeve is that some people refuse to entertain the possibility that their product is not good at doing everything. It is like they are a musician that only knows one note so they keep playing it. It is expected in the ECM world to have an affinity to a product but too often there are conversations where this or that vendor pitches their product as the answer touting their unique ability to do everything.

ECM capability is a very mature market place so I challenge anyone who claims uniqueness in this space. Unique is a meaningless term for the majority of features. There are just so many ways you can differentiate checkout. Answering “we can do that with product x” to every question tacitly assuming a 3 or 4x services or support effort to bridge those gaps is not only disingenuous but in today’s world with highly informed technical buyers is taken less seriously every day.

Your product – no matter what it is or where it is from – is one of a range of choices. Arrogant or dismissive marketing and sales will not work for the long term. You need to learn more riffs because “our size fits all” doesn’t work in the new key.

Differentiation in business model, delivery and feature mix without dependance on superhuman integration efforts by services are where the market is going and sellers need to get in the groove or get off the stage. Don’t take this as a wholesale endorsement of all things open source either. That is certainly a part of it but OpenSourcers are just as susceltiple to this trap as others when they assume every customer wants to spend 16 hours a day in Eclipse or their weekends resolving path and dependency errors.

Like so many other areas in life – playing a good solo is as more about listening than making noise. Listen to what is going on around you. Listen intently to what the other players are doing. Follow the changes. You might learn something and the customers might actually enjoy the performance instead of just enduring it.

2 thoughts on “One Note Musicians

  1. One-note Blues is all in the attitude.

    In theory there may be only qualitative differences among being dishonest, ignorant, or uninformed about your product and the world. In practice the outcomes for the ignorant or uniformed buyer are identical – Jazz and Blues sound the same to the tone deaf.

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