Archive | March, 2009

Do you need to hate your enemies?

11 Mar

(Image courtesy of aaardvaark)

Do you need to hate your enemies?

Business is all about competition. If someone buys your solution, they’re not going to buy from your competitor, and vice versa. So do you need to hate your enemies?

Recently, Kristine, PBwiki’s customer evangelist, struck up a Twitter conversation with the product manager at Microsoft that is responsible for SharePoint’s wiki. In other words, a competitor.

She shared with him a video about how PBwiki handles linking via a simple dialog box (which, by the way, is way ahead of SharePoint’s current practice of requiring users to memorize certain codes and paste in URLs).

One school of thought would say, “That’s providing aid and comfort to the enemy!” That school of thought says that you need to hate your enemies, burn their cities to the ground, put their women and children to the sword, and salt the earth so that nothing returns.

The other school of thought says that the greatest competitor isn’t a company, it’s doing nothing.

Kristine posted her Tweet to answer a user question about linking (Microsoft’s PM just happened to interject himself into the equation).

That user, and anyone else following the conversation, will see that the team here at PBwiki is confident in who we are, what we do, and that we will win any fair fight, and most of the unfair ones.

That’s how I feel. Being open, honest, and helpful, even to your competitors, is the best way to show one’s confidence and strength. That doesn’t mean giving away the crown jewels; save those for yourself. But providing a pointer to a publicly available video, allowing competitors to sign up for the product, and focusing on solving customer problems rather than worrying about some imaginary scoreboard versus the competition makes good business sense.

Even World Class Talent Needs to Communicate

9 Mar
Image from derok.net

Image from derok.net

The National Basketball Association has finally reached the quarter pole of the 2008-2009 season meaning that teams have played about 3/4s of their total games.  At this point, it’s pretty easy to tell which teams have a chance of winning the championship and which teams are already dreaming about next year.

The Boston Celtics is one such team that is vying for a championship.  Lately, they’ve been in a slump due to the injury of one of their best players, Kevin Garnett.  With Garnett’s influence, the Celtics are the class of the league, without him they are just another “very good” team.  Like most NBA superstars, Garnett is blessed with supreme athletic ability, willpower and drive.  However, what the team misses most when Garnett doesn’t play is his ability to communicate during the game.   Garnett keeps his team working as one cohesive unit with his incessant chatter and masterful communication skills.

It’s interesting to note that on a team full of world class talent, it takes a strong devotion to communication in order to achieve the next level.  This holds true in many situations, whether it is a basketball game or the execution of corporate strategy.  At PBwiki, we strive to make that communication easier and more effective.  Check out some of the ways that other organizations have utilized our tools.

Have Fun Storming The Castle

4 Mar

Through a long chain of events, I ended up constructing a castle around my office. Last night, while I was out of the office (at an important meeting, I might add), a young Canadian hooligan destroyed my beautiful edifice.

Oh, the humanity.