I spent this past weekend lying in bed sick. I don’t get sick that often so when I do, I’m just not that good at it. It seems like every time I do get sick I am flat on my back, immobile. I didn’t do much besides watch movies, drink water, and take medicine. I am actually feeling much better today but one of the things I did do this weekend was watch Skyfall, which is the James Bond movie with Daniel Craig. I love the new James Bond and I think its a perfect update. They touched it up just enough for people like me who have watched every single one and love it, to still connect it back with everything that came before it, but they’ve modernized it enough so it doesn’t come out cheesy or overdone. So one of the things that I noticed and was actually they highlighted in the film was a move away from the exploding pens and the fancy gadgets that you had in some of the older Bond films. Bond even makes a comment about it when Q hands him his special gadgets and it’s a Walter PPK and a radio device. There’s a little back and forth about him not getting these cooler gadgets and I thought it was interesting because there’s a parallel to that that’s happened more generally in technology today.
I think for a long time there was a lot of focus in technology on selling with the “wow” factor. The more you could make something look like a cross between Star Trek and The Jetsons, the better. I think that as a whole, there’s been a much bigger focus on results since then and people aren’t as blinded by the outward pizazz. People are less likely to be blown away by a really cool graphical display and more likely to ask you questions like what are the critical factors that go to helping a implementation succeed and then focusing in on the data they have to gather. I think people are a lot more aware that the glitz and the glamour only become important if you’re able to hit on the implementation details to make something work. This is a huge step forward and its forcing people in the software development community to come up with much more practical and functional implementation plans to make things work.
I think a great example of this is Troux. They have some great graphical user interface elements but they’ve paired it with what they call an “accelerator program” and I think this is something that every software vendor should take a note from and follow. They essentially paired their offering with several plans that help you achieve specific goals and they provide you with a set of training wheels to get you to the desired result. I think it’s just brilliant in terms of helping them help their customers and it helps them help their channel partners help their customers. When you make it easy for people to get results, not surprisingly you end up with clients who get results. That leads to buzz, word of mouth, and all the types of things that make products really successful and that’s important. So not only is Skyfall a great movie that you should go check it out but it also made me think about this movement. This movement, that at least from my vantage point, seems to be a step in the right direction. By that I mean a step towards only adding the glitz and glamour once you’ve figured out how you’re going to get where you want to go or at least understanding that getting where you want to go is dependent upon more things than just the glitz and glamour. I’m curious what folks have to say.
*Photo by Themeplus
Steampunk started as using older technology to get better results. I’m an early steampunker because I take a lot of notes, and fountain pen inks are faster to write and easier to read. After some early inspired hacks, steampunk devolved into exposed pipe and non-functional valves and gauges to show how “punk.” Tracks with your glitz.