Nick Carr's endless battle

Nick Carr's endless battle

Summary: Not knowing when to give up, Nick Carr steadfastly refuses to let the whole enterprise software sexiness issue drop. A shame, since he's just lost the debate.

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Nick Carr lost the battle

Not knowing when to give up, Nick Carr steadfastly refuses to let the whole enterprise software sexiness issue drop. A shame, since he's just lost the debate.

Nonetheless, in a burst of (perhaps excessive) fairness, I want to acknowledge Nick's attempt (based on feeble arguments, it must be said) to extend the whole discussion:

New wave IT analyst James Governor has written a long, long post that picks up on last weekend's hubbub about the "sexiness" (or lack thereof) of enterprise software, a hubbub that started with Robert Scoble scratching his Charlie Brown-like head, moved on to Mike Krigsman accusing Scoble of not understanding enterprise software, moved on to the Grandstander Known as Yours Truly coming to Scoble's defense (as I am wont to do) and accusing Krigsman of being the one who doesn't understand enterprise software, took a detour into Ross Mayfield talking about getting laid, and eventually ended up with all sorts of yo-mama-ing Enterprise Irregulars, Regulars, and Rubberneckers leaping gleefully onto the Techmeme pig pile. (Can pigs leap?) Bottom line: nobody understands nothing.

Following that excellently-worded summary (he gets the good writing vote, for sure), Nick riffs and diatribes, before concluding:

So will SAP be the good shepherd that leads the enterprisey folks - shoot me now - to the promised land? Who knows. Stranger things have happened.

Just as pickup trucks can be brawny yet nimble, enterprise software can be stable yet sexy.

Too bad this excellent writing is wasted on such a weak argument. Aside from auto executives, who in their right mind considers pickup trucks to be nimble?? Ballerinas are nimble. Porsche cars may be nimble. But pickup trucks are decidedly not nimble.

Which leads to the real point, the one Nick missed: artificial categories, such as consumer or enterprise, don't matter. What's important is matching form to function. Whether software, cowbells, pickup trucks, or anything else, when a product performs its function well, users will adopt it.

Nick, please let the market decide whether enterprise software is "good" or not. There's a simple metric for measuring this: it's called revenue. Just for kicks, compare the revenue of enterprise companies, such SAP or Oracle, to consumer-oriented firms such as Twitter (click to follow me).

After making this comparison, let us know what you discover. And don't worry, despite the battle scars, we'll still welcome you with open arms to the enterprise side of the fence.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Software

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3 comments
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  • Value Stream Mapping

    I work for a Money-Lending company. We use three basic softwares that work on the basics of emulation. Both of them have black screens with hight contrast green coloured font. I HATE THEM. They are not easy to use. They do not increase productivity as it takes time, patience and increased power of lenses to work on them. They are not fully functional as data mining is primarily not achieved. It takes another equally repelling software to achieve that. I wouldnt mind a google simplicity, apple's elegence and MS's complatibilty when they design the GUI of these "enterprise" softwares. I am a user.
    dope.smugglaz@...
  • RE: Nick Carr's endless battle

    My god you're a wanker.

    ZDNet does its users as disservice in letting you pontificate about what is right and wrong, meaningful and irrelevant.

    A major problem with many projects, IT or otherwise, are certain arrogant stakeholders (like yourself apparently) that try to force their agenda (hey, it's the ONLY right way!!) on the rest of the project team. If you would get off your soapbox and listen to others you might figure out that the proverbial "thousand ways to skin a cat" has something to it.

    Nothing I read above makes me think you have a better grip on the needs of enterprise software users than Carr. On the contrary....
    kumulan
  • RE: Nick Carr's endless battle

    Interesting that you point to Revenue as a measure of a product's success - and yet the products you cite, Oracle and SAP, appear quite regularly in your lists of failed projects. Just because something may be considered the "best" by whatever measure you are working with doesn't mean it can't be made better.

    I'm tired of IT folks always making the user adapt to a crappily designed piece of software. Something can be functional and productive and also be easy to use. To say otherwise is just laziness.
    Info_Silo