Every tech oriented corporation wants to be associated with the latest and greatest innovations. It is as if the mere mention of a technology buzzword makes the company a player in that space. You see it all the time. Just watch commercials or listen to the statements of CEO’s.
Cloud, SaaS, Big Data, Augmented Reality (or “AR” if you’re really in the know)… just work these into a sentence and it appears as if your company is a driver in those technologies. Look a this recent quote from a CEO in a major Fortune 500 company:
“If you think of where we are going, we are pivoting toward cloud, SaaS [software as a service] mobility, and big data… There is no better place than the valley to find that talent or for that talent to breed itself.”
Let’s analyze this catchy quotation.
Gee… can you pack any more buzzwords into a single sentence?
- Pivoting towards the cloud? What does this mean? Are you saying you are putting your applications and data on centralized servers? Nothing new here. This was standard practice back in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s.
- SaaS? So you are saying that you are offering your software, based on a server somewhere else, with a monthly licensing fee. What is so new and wonderful there? In the 1960’s and 1970’s, that was the only way to run software.
- Mobility? I have personally been involved in the development of mobile computers and related commercial applications since the early 1990’s.
- Big data? Wow. That is exciting. So you mean that working with data sets that strain on the limit of computing and storage technology is new and of inherent value in growing a company? Hasn’t that been the history of databases since the dawn of computing? The only thing different now is the scale of data has evolved.
You can’t tell what this executive really has in mind with what will grow his business– or yours, for that matter — other than to spout catch phrases. All I can say is that, in the same number of words or less, I could offer real substance as to how we strategize to grow business.
The last point is extremely interesting. There is no better place than the valley… Do you mean to say that the talent to work on the buzzword technologies has something to do with geography? Is there something in the food or water that make talent more able to perform this work out in “the valley” than anywhere else in the US (or the world, for that matter)? Are the engineers taught a different version of physics? Is it the climate? There are strong technical talent centers all over the US… Boston. Seattle. Houston. Chicago. NYC. Raleigh… to name a few. Our firm has grown incredibly fast in, of all places, Long Island, NY. Yes… in the heart of suburbia outside old school NYC. And, no, we do not have any problem finding world class talent (topic for another day).
I’m sure many of you have seen or heard similar statements on the business pages, in TV interviews or at conferences – and groaned silently, if not out loud. It is much easier to spout buzzwords than to figure out how to create true business value within a company or for your clients. We’ll take the hard road.