The most popular posts on this blog are usually the ones that mention Google, Microsoft or Salesforce.com (see below for the year's top 10). It's a fact of life that people prefer to read about companies, products and individuals that they've already heard of. But it's equally true that some of the most important items of information are in a class immortalized by US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as "unknown unknowns — the ones we don't know we don't know." In other words, if you want to be really well-informed, you need to know the essential information that most people missed.
As a special end-of-year service to readers, I have therefore compiled my personal pick of this blog's 2006 'Rumsfelds': the least-read posts that readers are most likely to wish they'd known about, if only they'd known about them. Here they are in chronological order, including a quote from each posting that gives you a flavor of the contents:
- Enterprise mashups: a lesson from history (January 10th) "While it’s true that the emergence of web services standards have made mashups much easier to create, translating them into enterprise-class applications is a different story."
- Marc Benioff and the strategy for AppExchange (February 6th) "AppExchange will evolve in response to how people are using it. There will be OEM versions. Salesforce will add a system for collecting subscription payments."
- Outsourcing and the network effect (March 2nd) "What could be more incompetent in the era of the network than to cut yourself off from the network?"
- What to look for in a SaaS vendor (August 16th) "It’s often difficult for customers to know how to evaluate whether a prospective supplier is any good. Here’s my eight-point checklist."
- It’s all about services (September 20th) "SOA and Web 2.0 will change the configuration of SaaS as radically as introducing SaaS is going to change the configuration of enterprise IT."
- Business services powered by SaaS (October 24th) "Software is ceasing to be a product and is instead becoming a behind-the-scenes engine that powers delivery of a business service."
There were also several mergers and acquisitions that, although I rated them notable, garnered astonishing little attention:
- ADP bought VirtualEdge, Kenexa bought Brassring
- AT&T bought USinternetworking
- Apptix bought Mi8
- Concur bought Outtask
Finally, here is the top 10 by traffic — the most notable of which is probably the second one on the list, originally posted in November 2005, and still a favorite even now. Beginning with the most popular, the top postings were:
- Google spreadsheet: the big test for ads in apps
- What to expect from Web 3.0
- Writer is Microsoft's first Live killer app
- Now Johnny CAN program, says Behlendorf
- What's the true cost of running email in-house?
- Salesforce.com puts its reputation on (the) line
- Whatever Office Live is, it ain't the Web Office
- Google Maps, the fool's gold of mashups
- More details of Office Live
- SOA at rock bottom
Here's wishing you an even better-informed, 'Rumsfeld'-free and prosperous 2007!