Robert Scoble, made quasi-famous for blogging early and often while an employee at Microsoft, now rarely revisits topics that revolve around enterprise computing. But this weekend, in reaction to comments recently made by Bill Gates, Scoble opines about why enterprise software isn't sexy or more specifically why it doesn't garner the attention that consumer-centric software does.
He comes to the following conclusions:
- Bill Gates is right, bloggers and journalists DO prefer to talk about consumer technologies
- The buyers of enterprise software are a minority that doesn't consult with the majority of the users before making decisions
- Media are paid to deliver eyeballs; and talking about consumer topics generates a lot more of them
He concludes his missive with a question:
Any of you have any ideas on how to make business software sexy?
I wonder what the Enterprise Irregulars think about this? (They are a group of bloggers who cover business software).
Scoble asked what we Irregulars thought, and boy did he get some answers:
- Michael Krigsman, one of the newest Irregulars, offers a passioned response and suggests that Scoble is asking the wrong question
- Dennis Howlett reminds Scoble that sexy is far, far different from influential
- Vinnie Mirchandani is "damn proud to be unsexy"
- Anshu Sharma offers five types of software that turn CIOs on
- Sadagopan also emphasizes that that blog traffic in no way equates to influence in the real sense
- Dan Farber explains that enterprise topics are worth blogging about, quality of readership trumps quantity
- Ross Mayfield thinks enterprise software developers can/must and will do better
- Craig Cmehil reminds us that those consumer technologies everyone gushes about are provided to us by enterprises
- Phil Wainewright reminds us that software is boring, and always will be, for most of the population
I am really proud of the diversity and thoughtfulness that many of my fellow Irregulars brought to bear on this topic over the last 48 hours.
<=== I'm no George Clooney, but my wife finds me sexy (I hope!). Heck, even Bea Arthur managed to get married...TWICE!
The consumerization of software is underway; but it's absolutely a SLOW GOING process within large enterprises. I think it's vitally important to keep perspective.
Good software, whether it's sold for millions of dollars to a Fortune 500 CIO or distributed freely to millions of users directly and paid for by advertising, is only as good as the processes it enables.
It can't be said enough...it's not about the code, it's about the PROCESS!
Make users lives easier. Sounds simple, but it's really not.