Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems, blogs about the difficulty of getting people to see their new technology and programs.
I feel his pain.
When I was in Montana I met people who hadn't heard of blogs, podcasts, or Second Life (or even Windows Vista). You know, normal people. People who have other things to care about than what is on TechMeme.
Heck, today I spoke to a group of PR professionals and only 2 out of the 40 or so that were there watched TechMeme (they really should, since they are PR pros in the tech world).
So, if you were talking to Jonathan what ideas would you give him for reaching the unreachable masses?
Disclaimer: the other day Jonathan invited me to have lunch with him (thanks to Tim Bray). That'll happen soon. He's the first CEO of a major tech company to invite me to lunch. I am very honored and hope to learn a lot from one of the few CEOs who blog.
My tip? I'll ask him why he doesn't do a video blog ala a Channel 9. So many people come up to me and tell me Channel 9 changed how they viewed Microsoft that I know there's some real power in amateur, shaky-cam video.
I wonder if that team he spoke with (a Fortune 100 tech team) knew about Windows Communication Foundation or Windows Presentation Foundation, or what's in the latest Sharepoint, or what Microsoft Dynamics does?
In the Yankee Group's annual server reliability survey (not sponsored by Microsoft) they found that Windows 2003 Server led the popular Red Hat Enterprise Linux with nearly 20% more annual uptime.
Guess what's built starting with Windows 2003 Server's code base? That's right, Windows Vista.
If I were in Bill Gates' office right now wondering how I'd deal with Google, one of my first proposals would be to take a deep look at why Technorati is succeeding in the marketplace on Google's home turf: search.
Technorati has taken quite a bit of my search time away from Google and Live.com.
Why is that? Well, Google has the same disease that Microsoft has: it can't see small things.
Blog search is a small thing.
Not enough users to get product managers at Microsoft or Google excited. Instead they look at the big audiences and the big money.
I can just hear Eric Schmidt at Google telling his troops: "let's go after Microsoft, cause that's where the money and users are."
And I can hear Bill Gates at our offices telling us "let's go after Search, cause that's where the money and the users are."
In the meantime Technorati is sticking its tongue out at both of us saying "you suckers, you can't see the small things and the small things are important."
Technorati is a proof case that Google is vulnerable on search.
Now, it's up to us to start seeing the small things. Give Dave Sifry a call. He'll show the way. Tom Foremski of ZDNet sees it.