Whilst I’m on the subject of emigration, my compatriots drew my attention to the often hairy landings to be experienced at Wellington International Airport – truly “wild at heart“.

Whilst we’re on the subject of aircraft, being an aeronautical engineer, I personally loved the video below.  I can’t think of any better place for a beach holiday.

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Unsung Heroes

June 29, 2007

According to Wikipedia, emigration is “the act and the phenomenon of leaving one’s native country to settle in another country”.

Having being a “Pom” (Prisoner of Mother England, apparently) living in New Zealand for the last 10 years, I often get asked “are you here for good?”

I think that New Zealand is a wonderful place and I think I will always have a base here, but the kind of people my family and I are (well, at least my wife and I), we always want to broaden our horizons and see what this wonderful planet of ours has to offer. It would be a shame not to. Emigration is not in my vocabulary.

But that’s me.

For every person I know like myself there are as many that are as content to stay in the same place, doing the same job, drinking the same beer at the same pub, in the same seat. They’re as happy as me. If not more. And happiness is a good benchmark of success. The world needs both types of people (plus more). It’s a kinda Ying and Yang thing.

You have to respect that.

An organisation cannot live with rock stars alone. It needs the steady eddies to keep the “lights on”.

So often these people are overlooked, and they shouldn’t be. They are often the foundation of your organisation. Rarely noticed, but when they’re not there the whole house starts falling to pieces.

Please. Don’t forget them. They’re the unsung heroes.

Big Ass Table

June 22, 2007

I actually think that Surface is pretty cool, but I laughed when I saw this:

[link]

Hat tip to Rakesh

CRM: Leading by Example

June 20, 2007

I can’t recount how many times I have had the following conversation.

Caller from existing IT supplier: “Hi.  I’m Joe Bloggs.  Let me introduce myself.  I’m your new account manager from ACME Company.  Can I tee up a time for a coffee?”

Me: “Sure.  How about next Monday 9am?”

Caller from existing IT supplier: “Great.  See you then.”

Me: “Oh, can you email me your details just in case I need to reschedule?”

Caller from existing IT supplier: “Erm.  Actually.  Can I have your email address?”

Me: “You should have this in your CRM!”

Caller from existing IT supplier: “Yeah, but….(range of lame excuses)”

It’s disturbing that so many IT companies, many of which sell and consult on CRM systems,  can’t recall my email address.

They say that everything has to come from the top.  Well, if our CRM suppliers can’t even recall an email address, what hope is there for others to get their CRM nailed.

OK, I’m kinda exaggerating, but I hope you get my point…

Webstock

Big thanks to the dudes over at Webstock for putting on another great Webstock Mini last night.

It’s fantastic, and so refreshing, to see such a bunch of passionate web professionals really having a good time – truly loving what they are doing. If only more “business” was approached with such vigour and energy. If there is anyone out there that loves the internet then make sure you get yourself along to the next webstock events that are scheduled for October and February.

The victorious Phil and MiramarMike both have coverage on their respective blogs.

When the video recordings are made available on the Webstock recordings section I promise you that you’ll die laughing when you see Mike Brown’s presentation. Pure quality. I won’t spoil it for you.

ITILITIL version 3 was recently launched this month.  Whilst the fundamentals largely appear the same, they’ve rejigged it to adopt a more pragmatic “business” view as opposed to “process silo” view which caused so many issues in the previous version.  ITIL is good.

They’ve released six new books, which supposedly cover all the aspects required.  They’re downloadable from the TSO Bookstore.  These replace the old books of version two (of which there were plenty).   They are BIG, BIG books so I can just about see how they justify their £299 (yes, pounds) price tag!!  The printing cost of the books would be pretty significant.   They’re equivalent to a small tree.

But check this out…  Their PDF version is a whopping £351.  Yes – 52 quid more expensive!  And the PDFs are DRMed!  Check it out!  Astounding.  How can a DRMed PDF cost more than six whopping tree resembling books?

I thought that standards were out there for people to adopt.  Why the f**k should we have to pay £351 for a individual PDF license?  Jeeps!  It’s even a British Government standard.

Maybe I’m missing something here, but if Governments et al (British, Kiwi, whoever) want everyone to adopt these standards then why charge like a wounded bull.  Make them free.  Drive adoption.

SaaS and Security

June 7, 2007

Phil from Xero makes a great point about online security, and how more people are coming around the the fact that “online” is safer.

Having run quite a few big money transactional sites over the years I would absolutely have to concur.   Any SaaS vendor that has any wits about them knows that protection of data and security is massive.  It’s key.  You screw that up, you lose your customers’ trust.  And it’s game over.

I know the lengths that you need to go to to protect customer data, at all levels of the stack.  It’s an expensive business.  It’s hard to maintain.  It’s just hard, full stop.  To try and do this level of security yourself just ain’t gonna happen.  So when you think about it, opting for a reputable SaaS offering will most likely provide you more security (and generally more uptime).

It baffles me how much people still resist SaaS, because “it’s not in our data centre”.  Running your own data centre and maintaining security and availability sure comes with a lot of hassle.  And I’m pretty confident that hassle is not your core business.  So why bust a gut?