Tag: Customer Support

  • Supporting a Product’s Cluster Headaches

    Supporting a Product’s Cluster Headaches

    Cluster headaches are problem reports that make everyone else in the organization ask “are we seeing that too?” and pile on. Alice suspects a memory leak and files a report. Bob tags his customers to it as well. They start discussing general performance questions in a chat or a meeting with a broad audience. Charlene […]

  • Enterprise Roshambo

    Enterprise Roshambo

    Ever wish there was a simple game to explain how complex organizations make decisions? You’re in luck! Roshambo, also known as rock-paper-scissors, explains it all. There are a few productive hours in each day, and three conflicting ways to spend them. The game explains how they will be prioritized. Default rules: in enterprise roshambo, Compliance […]

  • Declaring Idea Bankruptcy

    Declaring Idea Bankruptcy

    It’s obvious that your R&D team can’t do everything at once, right? It’s obvious that items lower on the backlog aren’t going to happen unless they displace something higher on the backlog, right? And yet. Lots of those items are people’s beloved ideas. Good ideas, that would make the product better, open new business opportunities, […]

  • Supporting Ancient Software

    Supporting Ancient Software

    With another round of fixes to Windows XP, the time is ripe for bloviating about supporting ancient stuff. Every software vendor has to decide what to do about supporting what they used to ship, as well as the broader ecosystem around them. Operating systems, databases, service providers. Maximize use of your new features, minimize maintenance […]

  • Security Logging

    Security Logging

    Security logging is interesting. Detecting security and compliance issues means uncovering nasty little leakages of unintentional or surprising information all over. When you add a powerful security tool to the environment, it starts to shine light into dark corners. No one expects that temporary file of sensitive data or the password in a script to […]

  • Engines and fuel – who writes quality content?

    Engines and fuel – who writes quality content?

    In software, everyone wants to build engines, and no one wants to make fuel. A platform for executing content has high potential leverage and lots of vendors make those. The expected community of fuel makers rarely materializes. Content for software engines breaks down along two axes: simplicity versus complexity and generality versus specificity to the […]

  • It’s not a platform without partners

    It’s not a platform without partners

    What are the major decisions that a platform needs to make in order to balance incentivizing development vs. maintaining quality and control over their 3rd party app marketplace? Let’s look at this on three scales, in which the right answer for a given team is somewhere between two unrealistic and absolutist extremes. First decision scale: […]

  • Automating ERs through Support is Crap

    Automating ERs through Support is Crap

    Enhancement request tickets filed through support are a sign that the product team is failing. Here’s why. How does a product team know what to do? There are three forces at play to produce product market fit: customer requests, market analysis, and engineering research. Customer requests are the purest and most immediate source of information. […]

  • Imperfect Product

    Software vendor people have all sorts of different backgrounds… while lawyers and architects might have pretty similar educations, software people could have been educated in liberal arts or pre-med or hard knocks instead of STEM or EECS. Furthermore, they might have more experience in selling or more experience in servicing, or no customer-facing experience at […]