(Sigh) It’s always about the money

I get it. IT supports business, and is its raison d’etre. Okay.

But now, they want to make money with Twitter? Come on! I saw this article, and it got me to thinking (I do that). As Twitter tries to make money, what will it do to the Microblogging service? I mean it’s so cool now. I can just tweet my little IT consultant thoughts from my cell phone, and not worry about whether or not sufficient business value has been delivered. It’s just kinda cool. And it doesn’t have to make sense.

In all seriousness, though, it’s about time. It seems like whatever is hot today dies (or at least becomes irrelevant) unless the hot-new-thing can deliver business value. Looks like it’s time for Twitter to put on its big boy (or girl?) pants. Get kicked out of the nest. Start giving back.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to playing Texas Hold ‘Em on Facebook.

It’s Google Air!

You loved Google Search. You went wild for Google Earth, iGoogle and GMail. Just when you thought Google had innovated everything there is to innovate, we brought you Google Maps, Google Desktop and Google Mobile!

Does your old air leave you flat? Does this ever happen to you: you breathe in, breathe out and it feels great! But 2-5 seconds later you have to do it all again. What a drag! There’s got to be a better way!

Introducing new Google Air! It’s the revolutionary air from Google, the company that’s bringing you everything. With one whiff of Google Air, you don’t need to breathe but once every 60 seconds. Amazing! The secret is in the patented filtration nanites. They enter your lungs, providing you with clean oxygen, while at the same time destroying harmful chemicals like carbon dioxide, saving you time you would normally spend breathing out. You’ll never breathe the same way again!

And if you call within the next 30 seconds, we’ll double your order. That’s two orders of Google Air for the price of one. Unbelievable!

Act now, supplies are downloading fast!

Buckle up kids, we’re headed back to the moon

It appears that NASA’s goal of returning to the moon will happen in spite of recent economic downturns, budget cuts and the like. The plan? To use the existing space shuttle platform, but without the space shuttle. Check out the article here from the San Francisco Chronicle.

The basic idea is to save lots of money by reusing existing designs and launch configurations. Sounds good to me. A billion here, a billion there really adds up after a while.

Wow, Bing search results look just like Google search results

I can’t say I’m surprised. Microsoft’s new search engine, Bing, which is trying to compete with Google search, has results which look remarkably like google search results.

Does Bing use google search under the hood? It sure looks like it.

While Microsoft continues to try dominating, Google succeeds at innovating. I hope Bing doesn’t succeed (which, in Microsoft terms means to completely dominate all other offerings and leave us no choices), if for no other reason than I like having choices. And I choose to use google products. Not because I have no choice, but because they’re cool.

If Microsoft would try innovating instead of dominating, they might be able to survive going forward.

Bring Price in Line with Quality?

I’m no fan of offshore outsourcing, but it has nothing to do with “our jobs” or anything else political. I believe in global markets, and the price of labor is what someone is willing to pay. When I saw this article, I got to thinking about my experience with offshore outsourcing.

My experience has been that offshore outsourcing is just not worth the money for three main reasons (and my experience has been with Indian consulting firms):

  1. The skills and expertise that are sold do not align with the skills and expertise of the resources that get assigned to your project (I’ve been there and talked to – and in some cases met – the people who ultimately get assigned).
  2. The English speaking skills that are sold do not align with the English speaking skills of the resources that are ultimately assigned to your project (again, been there, done – i.e., tried to communicate verbally with – that).
  3. In general, you have two opportunities to communicate with these resources: at 7am and 7pm (neither are times I particularly want to be on a conference call).
  4. The quality of work delivered is not what was promised, but in nearly every case it was “lack of proper requirements” (and I’ll admit, sometimes that was true), so my company got to pay to have the work done again.

Okay, that’s four reasons. And I could go on. To me, if you’re going to say, “Your project will be staffed with resources with fluent English skills, minimum of 2 years experience and a degree in IT” then that is what you should get. I’ve talked to these people. They’re usually right out of school and speak poor English. Email is definitely the way to go.

So, I believe $16/hour is still too high for the quality of work I’ve witnessed. I have nothing against outsourcing in principle. But I do have a problem with sugar-coating, deception, and bait-and-switch tactics. You know, sales. If you’re going to sell something, be able to deliver. That’s all. My experience with Offshore Outsourcing has made me a lot less gullible.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to answer an email regarding a wire transfer from Nigeria. This could be my big break! What? You got that email too? Oh, man…