Follow up on Summers’ resignation

More on the resignation of Larry Summers earlier this week.

But student response to the ouster suggests another long-term outcome. Although the activists of esteryear may have found a temporary stronghold in the universities, a new generation of students has had its fill of radicalism. Sobered by the heavy financial burdens most of their families have to bear for their schooling, they want an education solid enough to warrant the investment. Chastened by the fall-out of the sexual revolution and the breakdown of the family, they are wary of human experiments that destabilize society even further. Alert to the war that is being waged against America, they feel responsible for its defense even when they may not agree with the policies of the current administration. If the students I have come to know at Harvard are at all representative, a new moral seriousness prevails on campus, one that has yet to affect the faculty members because it does not yet know how to marshal its powers.

Google could learn a few things from Microsoft

I was talking with someone yesterday who is considering coming to work for SAP, he also has an offer from Google. One of the interesting comments he made was about how Google has a lot of people who are very good at creating new products but not accustomed to maturing them. In other words, look for a wave of hiring for product managers and engineers who are strong at incremental product planning, release planning, and upgrade development work. That is assuming of course that Google actually moves their popular services out of “beta”.

The latest example of Google rolling out a new product and either underestimating demand or simply having a ham handed approach to maintaining scale on their beta is their Web Page Creator and the move to turn off new user registrations.

Well, here we go again. Google announces a new service and then within hours (about nine according to InsideGoogle) of annoucing it temporarily stops people from registering to use it.

The other really amazing example of poor product planning by Google is their Desktop v3 product and the issues around security that enterprise customers raised. I guess Google figured they were in the bad on this one so they did something surprising and just admitted that there was a security risk.

“We recognize that this is a big issue for enterprise. Yes, it’s a
risk, and we understand that businesses may be concerned,” said Andy
Ku, European marketing manager for Google.

But the question I had when I read this was more basic “what, someone didn’t think about this before you developed the product?” Another example of Google being tone deaf to concerns their customers have. Google rather lamely says that security is an issue that companies themselves have to address. Yeah, they might want to chat with the guys up in Redmond to see how well that messaging works. SAP’s network prevents anyone from downloading Google Desktop, so I guess we did take responsibility for maintaining strong security policies.

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