A non-standard guide to standards behaviour

by Rick Jelliffe

Patrick's forward-looking post mortem is worth a read by everyone involved in standards over the last year.


2008-03-31 14:17:06

It's a good guide for all kinds of negotiated outcomes.

Back to March Madness!

John Hensley
2008-04-01 21:48:39
I think you messed up Rick. This isn't about the standards process. It appears to be a strategy memo from Scott McNealy circa 1995.
Rick Jelliffe
2008-04-01 21:59:00
John: Made me laugh anyway :-) But I am in a fairly genial mood at the moment anyway...
2008-04-02 06:53:41
The harsh lesson is what goes around comes around. After the multiple blogs and posts about bad behavior, bad ethics, hijacks, insider dealing etc., it is IBM that was recently put on the Exclusions List for US Government Contracting because of "allegations IBM improperly obtained information about a contract it was bidding on from EPA employees".


Big company. Lots of people. On the other hand, that is the same defense that was dismissed when made for Microsoft. Maybe we should listen to Patrick and do this without the media hoopla.

"Everybody has something to hide except me and my monkey." The Beatles

Rick Jelliffe
2008-04-03 23:06:35
Len: Yes, it must be embarrassing for them, and if there is any commonality (over-competitive culture?, bonus structure?) then it needs to be looked at and the people counseled and management given the appropriate whack on the hands.

But I expect the actual two subjects have no relationship with each. Sooner or later, every large company has a problem. You know this, of course: and anyone who spends any time in the industry gets to hear a lot of horror stories and bungled procurement or delivery stories. The bottom line is that people make mistakes, and it is not fair to jump to conclusions either that this is part of some systematic dysfunction at IBM or that this is just some local SNAFU gone critical. It would be just as silly to think that this is evidence that IBM is especially bad any more than it was last week to think that IBM was especially good. All those large companies need scrutiny, and standards are just one piece in the jigsaw puzzle.

And some issues are hard: how to deal with PRC for example must be very hard for all of them (Google gets the bad press here, but other companies have similar though perhaps more diffuse problems with PRC and operating in dictatorships and totalitarian states.)

2008-04-04 06:39:52
I agree. I remember GE Ill Wind and in almost every company I've worked for, I've seen the pressure to make the numbers cause people to do dumb things. I do think the web is making this worse. A culture is emerging of 'wink wink' believing that anything worth having is worth cheating for. That is why these examples of huge losses (and losing Federal business is a big blow even to IBM) are notable. OTOH, for their competitors, it is a bonus day. Ironic but so.

The PRC is much easier. Watch the films. That's a pretty easy decision to make for an individual. For a company? Not so easy.

One irony here has been Jane McGonigal in the augmented reality games business who gave a fanciful speech at a games conference about games being the most powerful force for cultural change, that only the gamers knew how to do it, and so on. Her project was the Olympic games for the PRC. There are some real cross-generational resonances as the wide eyed march singing once more into the maw of treachery and the self-generated illusions of empowerment.

We were there too. What did we actually accomplish? Little bits of cultural shifts. Human evolution, on the other hand, is glacial.

Rick Jelliffe
2008-04-08 23:21:24
UPDATE: I think it would be unfair (not to mention hypocritical, in the light of my calls that people correct the record in their websites, to prevent slurs being continued to be propagated long after facts or events have overtaken them) not to mention that the IBM ban only lasted 1 week.