Following up on my flagged items – Part 6

(Part 5, Part 4, Part 3, Part 2, Part 1)

  • How do you persuade? I find that I’m more successful in persuading someone when I acknowledge strengths in alternatives while demonstrating a superior choice. Sometimes it may truly be the case that the only other alternatives are poor (or even non-existent); however, the more time goes by, the more alternatives become available. Superior choice may come from compelling feature sets, fantastic user experiences, exceptional service post-sale or all of the above. You cannot effectively articulate superiority, though, if you don’t know your audience (i.e. the customer). They say you don’t really know until you can teach. You can’t really persuade until you can paraphrase the need of the other. I want your long-term commitment to my products and services. A quick sell (hasty persuasion) does me little good over time. Valuable transactions like reference-based sales and forms of viral marketing never take hold. Basically, I agree with Robert Scoble‘s authority method of persuasion (i.e. I’m an authority and I’m looking out for your best interests). My point is that you have to know what my interests are before you can make this a persuasive statement.
  • I guess that I’m an edge case when it comes to screen resolution. Vibe: Today’s edge case is tomorrow’s mainstream user.
  • Paul Vick updated a good Top 10 list of application performance rules he wrote several years ago. Vibe: Rule #6: 90% of performance problems are designed in, not coded in. Paul
    responds to some criticism toward his rules, too (via Chris Anderson). Another good post on performance tuning comes from Rico Mariani: Bad Analysis Worse Than None.
  • Joel Spolsky offers Top Twelve Tips for Running a (Technical) Beta Test.
  • Harry Pierson learns that he really needs Documentum.
  • Occasionally I enjoy watching Charlie Rose’s interviews on PBS. Now I can listen to them while I work.
  • Why RSS is better than email and is more productive than the web.
  • Nine women ca’t have a baby in one month. This post from Michael Earls reminds me of the start of my software development career at a large defense contractor. Although our deliverables were all software, management often came from a hardware background. (There was significantly more hardware being built and shipped than software.) All too often, management would throw more bodies on a problem, expecting the results in 1’s and 0’s to follow widget production on an assembly line. Instead, the result was often further schedule delay and quality issues. As I recall, the business term core competency came into vogue soon thereafter, and the company slowly realized that pure software wasn’ one.
  • In another post, Michael asks a good question: Do you believe in your product? Vibe: If I believe in it, then I am passionate about it. If I am passionate about it, then I will make it happen, no matter what challenges I’m faced with. If I don’t believe in it, I’m more likely to give up on it and just let it die.
  • Thanks to Don Box for the pointer to this HyperCard eulogy. One of my first summer internships during college was to produce a graphical office/conference room locator for a five story office building using this product.