1/ Bundle, bundle, toil and trouble. Software bundles are big part of biz software. Big Cos love bundles. Startups compete w/them. Customers want best of breed, choice, oh and also single vendor simplicity.
A complex topic worth exploring:
Bundles are everywhere. Office 365, Creative Cloud, Marketing Cloud, G-Suite, Endpoint Protect, and to some degree AWS, GCP, and Azure.
Nature of business and "the two ways to make money"—the cycle of bundle 🔄 unbundle.
Why do have bundles? Vendors say: whole > sum of parts, single vendor simplicity, integration. Vendors love single sales motion, simpler messaging, sell one thing.
Customers say they value integration, single vendor one-stop shop.
1/ Many enterprise products rely on a "provider" or "connector" model to be fully capable. This is much harder than it looks and much more of a potential failure point than most might think.
A thread on strategy, implementation, challenges.
Your strategy is always clear--you are building a product that must connect to data, expose functionality, or rely on a 1:many set of partners to be fully realized. Examples: connect to SaaS data, auth models, logs, join n products into one experience, analysis reporting, etc.
The benefit to your product is obvious. The core strategy question is why does anyone care about your problems. Everyone is always busy. Everyone always wants to serve customers more. Not everyone feels their product has big holes waiting to be filled in.
2/ If Apple created all new controls and capabilities *in* a new framework that was simultaneously written for iOS & OSX they could make x-plat work because they control the implementation of both platforms.
This is a unique execution capability a platform owner has.
3/ Apple could also build a framework that maps to existing iOS & OSX APIs (which have lots of sharing anyway) handling OS differences.
This is hard because of existing code, so would really only “work” for new apps.
Again, Apple controlling evolution of both is key. // end
1/ It’s a toy. It’s the next big thing. Tech is magical. Tech is trivial. When talking about “blockchain” it is easy to debate in abstract.
But what about when you’re living a potential technology transition/disruption.
A story about Microsoft Office.
By 2000 Office enjoyed a solid 8 years of explosive growth reaching $10B in revenue that year. Product “pivoted” from individual to enterprise purchasing and IT deployment. It seemed extremely secure.
Competition from prior gen (Lotus/IBM, Borland, WordPerfect) still “existed”. New competition was “Open” Office which was an open source copy. We were confident in execution abilities that lesser/free product wouldn’t pose material threat.
1/ “Often Copied, Never Duplicated” is a great way to describe challenges learning and operationalizing best practices from one company/team to your company team. Thoughts on applying best practices…(ie, are you writing a Six-Pager as we speak?)
Here as a reminder is Jeff Bezos' description of the Amazon "Six-Pager". A full replacement for PowerPoint at meetings designed to "improve results through the simple act of teaching scope" sec.gov/Archives/edgar…
Reading this new description having heard from many Amazon people over the years about this, I immediately though about executives all around the world embarking on two initiatives:
1/ “Writing is thinking” is my favorite saying in “how to work” in a company. It is very interesting to dive into this a bit because I often get so much pushback, especially from startups and/or those focused on agility.
Writing is super hard. It takes more time to write than it does to talk. It also takes more time to write a page of text than a single slide. Let’s look at one example, the paragraph on handstands from Jeff Bezos’ annual letter.
I made a slide in about 5 minutes that simulates what it would be like if I had this story in my head before a meeting (Note: I continue to live developing a perfect handstand).
This is typically what you’d see in a team meeting on this topic.
1/ “Apple warns employees to stop leaking information to media” /news/articles/2018-04-13/apple-warns-employees-to-stop-leaking-information-to-media // Leaks are not fun for the Co. Many might read and think how awful/overbearing. That’s not really fair. Some thoughts…
“Transparency” is such a positive buzzword in business yet companies maintain secrets. That’s because companies can’t really be transparent—companies are translucent. They have secrets because they have strategy.
A strategy is a plan that requires execution. Execution is sometimes unpredictable and so the strategy changes. Sometimes you change your strategy and then change execution. This is all hard enough on the team and doing so with a universe of others impossible.
1/ This post made me think of some Internet/Web history that I wanted to share (well, my blockchain friends encouraged me). The thing is, doing a tech tear down is easy… medium.com/@kaistinchcomb…
When faced with a new technology, approach, tool, API, etc. there’s an almost universal “first reaction” from some people to document all the ways it fails. This is the “tech buzzsaw”. Every single tech I can think of was subject to this. One in particular…
was the Web/Internet. Back in late ‘93, early 94 when the corporate tech world was first confronted with these “new” technologies, the first reaction was “there’s no way that this free, university developed, flakey,…network can work”. How did I see this happen?
The Canon F-1 mechanical film camera from 1971 had over 10,000 parts. It was designed to compete with the Nikon F released 12 years earlier (with fewer parts) and despite the complexity was not really a competitive risk.
The Canon "system" (1) was designed to compete with the Nikon F system, which had 10 years of ecosystem growth.
Less than a year after Canon, Nikon released the culmination of a 5 year project, the F-2 (2), which overwhelmed Canon which barely resembled 1962 Nikon System (3).
Nikon took a very conservative approach to adding features having secured (and defended) the professional market. 8 years later they released the Nikon F-3 which *required* batteries for the *first time*, but even had a backup mechanical shutter release that was heavily marketed.
What is going on with Facebook and privacy is very challenging for not just FB but many—consumers most of all (more than FB), but of also makers, regulators, marketers, and those relying on platforms. This is not unsolvable. But status quo won’t work…
Software has been the most magical ingredient in economic terms and clearly the biggest “economic revolution” to have taken place in history. Compared to the industrial revolution there has been one key difference…
The industrial revolution was very dangerous, physically. As it progressed it created a world of regulations for safety, employment, and then for products and then using products. What would factories or cars and driving be like without those regulations?
Remote versus central/HQ work comes up often. Very emotional debate. Pits many forces “against” each other: SV v. other tech centers, modern v. old school work styles, work-life balance, etc. Many thoughts follow (HT to friend @ManuKumar for thoughtful thread on topic) 1/many 😱
First, everyone lives/works a reality on whether remote “works” or “does not” so everyone has a [strong] opinion. Challenge: when something is working (as often things do) careful about correlation OR causation. Product dev is a social science—never one right answer.
Remote v HQ is not binary despite how it is phrased. What is missing is a time dimension. My experience is the stage and product development process maturity are biggest factors of what works and when.
Today is the 25th anniversary of the launch of Microsoft Visual C++ 1.0 (1993). This was a very exciting and pretty innovative product at the time. It was also my second product release and I was just a kid so it was pretty memorable for me! Indulge me a bit 1/
It was the first Windows-based development environment for C++, but more important (haha, this was my part) it had the first C++ class library for C++, Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC). Wheeee! Microsoft had really fallen behind Borland in tools/languages—this was catch up!
MFC had a whole interesting backstory in that it was originally to be a cross-platform library across DOS, MAC, OS/2 (!), and Windows (and later 32 bit Windows)—called Afx. We spent a year trying to make that work but it didn't (slow, fat, ugly).
1/ Apple has a software problem. Here's how it plans to fix it. bloomberg.com/news/articles/… via @markgurman // Let’s take a step back and talk about the broader context and product development at scale. Lots follows…
2/ Several important points are conflated in the broad discussion about Apple and software:
• Pace of change
• Features “versus” Quality
3/ Scanning the landscape, it is important to recognize that in total the work Apple has been doing across hardware, software, services, and even AI/ML — in total — is breathtaking and unprecedented in scope, scale, and quality. Not saying that lightly or trolling. It just is.
1/ // This is a great @twitter add. Some saying “what took so long” or “twitter still very slow, where is <x>”. Adding features is always easy. Adding the right ones is super hard. Some thoughts… theverge.com/2017/12/12/167…
2/ Always easy to add features (trust me I get ‘bloatware’). If you have product-market fit, adding features is the biggest product dev challenge you face. Why?
3/ Turns out when you have P-M fit, it basically means whatever you add/change (not) will almost certainly not be a game changer (!). Yep, that’s pretty depressing to consider, but upside of P-M fit—do let this sink in.