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Brickfish Campaign Chosen by Microsoft Celebrates Windows Brand Ambassadors
,----[ Quote ]
| Brickfish, the social media marketing solution, and Microsoft have teamed up
| for a three-phase social media campaign around its Windows and Windows Live
| products. Located at http://www.brickfish.com/Windows, the “Windows Brand
| Ambassador” campaign will begin with a Call for Entries, in which entrants
| are asked to create photos, videos or blogs that showcase why they use PC’s
| and / or should be Windows Brand Ambassadors. Of all eligible entries, the
| top 200 highest scoring entries will advance to the Semi-Finals where they
| will be voted on by the community. From the top 100, as voted on by the
| community, the Windows Social Media Team will choose 40 Semi-Finalists as
| Windows Brand Ambassadors for the next eight weeks. During the next eight
| weeks, the 40 Windows Brand Ambassadors will receive weekly video challenges
| from Microsoft. Each week’s challenge will highlight a different way the
| Windows Brand Ambassadors use Windows every day. The winner of each challenge
| will be selected by relevancy of their response, creativity, and the volume
| of viral buzz they generate during that week’s challenge. The Windows Social
| Media Team will choose one of the “Windows Brand Ambassadors” as the grand
| prize winner, and will reward them with a trip for two to Microsoft's main
| campus in Redmond, WA.
General Mills Recruits "Mommy Bloggers"
,----[ Quote ]
| "We don't tell them not to write" about bad experiences, "but most want to
| only write positive things," said Stacy Becker of Coyne Public Relations. She
| was talking about General Mills' new blogger network, "MyBlogSpark." Coyne
| built the network of "more than 900 bloggers -- over 80 percent are moms,"
| and General Mills will "feed them free products and enable them to run
| giveaways for their audiences." General Mills requires participating bloggers
| to "contact the MyBlogSpark team before posting any content ... if you feel
| you cannot write a positive post regarding the product or service."
Microsoft explains AstroTurfing:
Comes v. Microsoft
Due to the varying sound quality and subject matter of tapes, the
information in this transcript may contain inaccuracies. Please proof
DRG Summit–January 16, 1996
“Power Evangelism” and “Relationship Evangelism”
Presented by James Plamondon and Marshall Goldberg
JAMES PLAMONDON: We’re going to talk about the tactics of evangelism. This
is the one-slide review of the previous presentation, and that says it all
right there. This time we’re going to talk about the tactics of evangelism.
First, the role of ISVs. ISVs— independent software vendors—are pawns in the
struggle between platform vendors. They are today’s allies; tomorrow, who
knows? Tomorrow, you know, it could have been that Netscape was a little
applications company that we thought was great and we worked with, and then
suddenly they came up with this competing platform. The bastards! And you
never know which way they’re going to go. They also could join up with, you
know, IBM. We worked closely with Lotus for years. Lotus was one of our
stronger supporters of OLE, and yet, then IBM bought them. It kind of makes it
hard to work with them quite that closely any more. So we may move in their
markets; they may move into our markets, whatever.
They are very valuable pawns in the struggle, however. We cannot succeed
without them. If you’ve ever tried to play chess with only the pieces in the
back row, you’ve experienced losing, OK, because you’ve got to have those
pawns. They’re essential. So you can’t win without them, and you have to take
good care of them. You can’t let them feel like they’re pawns in the struggle.
I mean, all through this presentation previously I talked about how you’re
using the pawns you’re going to screw them if they don’t do
what they want, and da-da-dah. You can’t let them feel like that. If they
feel like that, you’ve lost from the beginning. It’s like you’re going out
with a girl; forgive me ___________; it goes the other way also. You’re going
out with a girl, what you really want to do is have a deep, close and intimate
relationship, at least for one night. And, you know, you just can’t let her
feel like that, because if you do, it ain’t going to happen, right. So you
have to talk long term and white picket fence and all these other wonderful
things, or else you’re never going to get what you’re really looking for. So
you can’t let them feel like pawns, no matter how much they really are.
OK, moving it along. Tactical evangelism is getting ISDs to do what you
want. So before you can get an ISV to do what you want, you have to know what
you want. And that’s sometimes not as easy as it sounds. I mean,some of the
Internet stuff we’re doing, we’ve just figured out what we want. We haven’t
quite figured out what we want from them, and it’s very different. So what
does the ISV want? It’s also a very important consideration. What do you both
want? Where do your interests coincide? Where can you work together? And we’re
going to talk about the channels of information, and then my favorite section
on power and how to use it.
Goals. Microsoft is a very goal-driven company. Every six months, hit those
objectives. The goal is always the same. Your…when you’re writing your review
and your-goals for the next six months, your goals should always be worded
almost exactly like this: Establish (whatever it is you’re working on, insert
here) as the de facto standard in the industry. That’s your goal. Now, that’s
different from an objective. I’ll get to objectives
in a minute. Whatever the platform is, you still have the same goal. Goals
take longer than a review period, generally speaking, and they’re not directly
measurable. And so you also need objectives. Where do you get objectives? How
do you figure out what objectives are? Well, first of all, DRG does not create
the platforms. Somebody elsewhere creates, you know, like, the Web, and we
just come to it, like. Or somebody else creates OLE, and we’ve got to figure
out what to do with it, or whatever. So someone else at Microsoft creates the
platforms. They have objectives for doing so. They know what they want to do
with OLE. Go talk to Tony Williams or Bob Atkinson or even Kraig Brockschmidt.
Find out what their objectives are for OLE, and then try to figure out how
that works with ISVs; how do ISVs play into that?
I’ve had people tell me all the time, I can’t figure out what my objective
should be. Well, go talk to the person who created the technology you’re
evangelizing. They’ll have some good ideas for you. There’s the platform
business plan. Somebody had to sell the idea of OLE to their management. There
had to be some kind of plan that went up the chain and had a group review with
Bill in the Office of the President, and it got signed off on and came back
down. Find that plan and get your ideas out of that for what your objectives
are. Find the platform product manager. Find out what his objectives are. They
didn’t think much about ISVs. Generally speaking, DRG thinks about ISVs, the
rest of the company doesn’t or to the extent that they do, they’re the
enemy,right? One time I tried to get in the early OLE evangelism, one of the
arguments against OLE was that automation messages would not be standardized,
that we were not in the business of standardizing automation messages, and
that this would be a problem. That’s when I
figured, let’s find out how hard it is to standardize automation messages,
and see if we should do it, or interfaces within a platform or application
category. So I figured, what’s an application category that Microsoft makes no
money on, so that we can possibly cooperate with other companies without
having to have big political problems? And the one I decided on was charting.
There was Microsoft chart, but we don’t sell it independently it always comes
with Word and Excel and then so on. And so there are a whole bunch of other
separate companies that have charting applications: Jendel Scientific and
Deltapoint, and so forth. They do nothing but charting. And so I went to the
various ISVs and said, “How would you like to all work together to form a
charting-OLE interface for both, you know, custom interfaces and OLE
automation interfaces?” And they said, “Great! Great!” But of course it only
matters if Excel participates, because if Microsoft Office doesn’t use that
charting interface, it really doesn’t matter. So I went to the Excel guys,
which is what I had expected to do, and said specifically to…I can’t remember
the guy’s name, the guy in Chart who was in charge of charting, “Hey, how
would you like to standardize this stuff and work with these ISVs and make it
a standard?” And his answer was very simple. He said, “Why should I work with
anyone outside the company to make their products better because all it’s
going to do is help them sell copies that could otherwise be a Microsoft copy?
Any money they’re making they can sell…they can spend on improving their
product and staying in existence, and making it harder for us to do well. My
job is to make Excel basically, like,
the only application in the world. And if it doesn’t add money to my bottom
line, then there’s no point in my spending any cycles on it. And I worked
around to that a few times; you know, you try to evangelize your way in.
Internal evangelism is always much
harder than external evangelism, and I can get to that later if anybody
wants. But it basically was hopeless. The guy’s mindset was very clear. ISVs
are something to crush. They’re no value to Office. Office exists to crush
ISVs. And so there was no hope, and the arrangement with the other ISVs fell
apart, and nothing came of it.
So when you’re talking to other platform managers, keep in mind the fact
that they probably didn’t think about ISVs, and you’re going to have to pull
ISV information out of them, or pull information out that then you then twist
and turn into an ISV perspective. But get their objectives and turn them into
your objectives. If your objectives map well to theirs, then they’ll help you
because you’re helping accomplish their objectives.
People like it when you do your work for them, or their work for them.
OK. Smart objectives. You want to have smart objectives, and that’s not
just the usual Microsoft definition of smart, which is as much like Bill as
possible. This is specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timed. So
specific means, for example, for the Windows 95 logo program and the first
wave program, we wanted something specific. Windows 95 logo compliant, since
there’s a very specific set of definitions as what you’ve got to do to get the
logo—with a few vaguenesses here and there for various reasons—nonetheless
it’s a very specific set of criteria. So that’s a specific thing, something
measurable. I don’t just want to get a bunch of Windows 95 logo compliant
applications done some time. I want to get ten of them: ten logo-compliant
applications, specifically ten that have passed Veritest, OK. They should be
actionable. What ten? Any ten? You know, my buddy’s ten? I mean, it should be
ten of the first wave apps, the
forty first-wave apps, or ten of the market leaders in this category, of
which here they are. Ten of some specific list. The objective should be
realistic. If there are forty companies you’re trying to bring over, you’re
not going to get all forty. Some of them hate our guts. Some of them are owned
by our competitors. Some of them are based on open.doc. Some of them are just
stupid. I mean, it’s not going to happen. So you’ve got to get some reasonable
subset, something realistic, and it should be timed. You want to get this done
by a certain time, so your resulting objective is, in my six-month review
period, I want to get ten out of the top fifty key applications of which there
is a list, showing Windows 95 logo-compliant versions, at Spring Comdex
in ‘95. Now, you don’t list in your objectives which ten. You list the fifty.
I want to get ten of these fifty. That gives you a little flexibility. Does
that make sense? Any questions on smart objectives?
DIFFERENT? SPEAKER: Did you ____________?
JAMES PLAMONDON: I have nothing to do with the first wave program, really,
so I didn’t. My job is, like, Apple, and I’m doing great.
What does the ISV want? This is a lot trickier than it sounds. There’s
there’s success, is the obvious thing, but what does that mean? Does that mean
financial success? Does that mean social and status success? Ray Norda and
Phillipe Kahn were not motivated by financial success. They wanted to fight
Bill Gates. They wanted to be the next Bill Gates, the guy on the cover of
Fortune magazine, you know, the guy who was considered to be the impresario of
the software industry, the guy, you know, doing stupid pet tricks
on Dave Letterman’s show. That’s what they wanted: They wanted to be the
next Bill Gates, damn it. It has nothing to do with money or other things. It
is widely…I’ll skip that one. It was about Scott McNeil. Anybody who’s been in
the industry long enough will know what I was going to say, but anyway I’ll go
Anyway, there are lots of other things that can motivate people. Sometimes
they just want to play golf with people who are really important. Sometimes
they want to impress their wife with how important they are. Sometimes they
want to make a lot of money and retire quickly, which is very different from a
guy who wants long-term financial success. Then that brings me right into the
corporate versus personal success. It is a very important thing to keep track
of. There’s stock price versus salary. If somebody’s paid on stock, then he
wants the valuation of the company to increase, if he’s paid on salary, what
does he care? He may want the stock value to increase because that’s how he’s
judged as an executive, but it doesn’t really mean anything to him, and he can
suffer a few quarters, you know, of downturn for long-term loss, unless, like,
he’s buying a really expensive house and he has to sell stock to pay for the
house. I mean, knowing these kinds of things can help you understand the
individual’s motivation and make sure that you’re tailoring the message to
him. There’s long-term versus short-term. Is this guy in it for the long haul?
Is this guy committed to the company? Is he a true believer in the company? Is
he going to suffer through hard times with the company in order to get ahead,
or did he come here when the stock was going up and it looked like he was
going to make a quick hit and a lot of money, and as soon as it goes down
again, he’s out, right? Knowing whether this guy is going to be in for the
long haul tells you whether you
should sell him with a long-term argument or sell him on a short-term
argument. If it’s going to last more than six months and he’s a short-timer.
you’re not going to sell him. You’ve got to sell him on a short-term argument,
not a long-term argument.
Then there’s good for product versus good for resume. This is totally,
totally important when you’re talking to engineers. Engineers very rarely care
about the long-term health of their company, because engineers change jobs on
average about once every two years. There are some engineers who live and
breathe a specific product and are going to be with that product for ten year
—people on the Word and Excel team, for example. Many of those guys have been
working on no products but those for years and years and years, and that is a
wonderful thing and it’s one of the strengths of Microsoft that we can give
people that we can give people that kind of product focus. But most engineers
are not like that. They’re just doing what’s interesting. They always want to
work on the interesting, challenging, fascinating stuff They want to be at the
cutting edge. They don’t want to use C, they want to use C++. Now they don’t
want to use C-f-I-, they want to use Java. They don’t want to work on word
processors; they want to work on HTML processors. They want to do what’s cool,
what looks great on their resume, ‘what looks good when they’re talking to
their buddies. “Yeah—I’m working on…on a Java compartner(?). I’m cool, boy.
And you’re still working on that COBOL interpreter!” You know. So figuring out
what the person you’re talking to wants, and put the sale in those terms,
because we evangelists are just salesmen, right? We don’t usually think of it
that way, but we’re just salesmen, and the technologies…what we’re selling is
OK, so you’ve talked the guy into it He’s going to do what you want. Now
what? Just because the guy has decided he’s going to support OLE, for example
(my favorite example), we’ll use the Internet. Say we have an Internet
strategy, we’ll say hypothetically, just for the sake of argument. OK, and
we’ve talked somebody into supporting our Internet strategy or some specific
piece of it. In order for them to do so, they now need to, like, do something.
They have to have software developer kits; they have to have training in what
our strategy is. They need to have documentation. They need to have compilers
and tools that support it. There’s all sorts of stuff they need. This is the
evangelism infrastructure. This is the stuff you need in order to turn your
sale into a shipping product. Building that infrastructure is part of
evangelism. It’s easy to poke fingers around and say that it’s those guys’ job
or it’s these guys’ jobs or whatever. This is especially true with training.
We have this group called Microsoft Educational Services that has been
notoriously pathetic at shipping courses early, but their way of dealing with
courses in the past has been, if we want a course on FoxPro, we wait until
FoxPro ships, and then we get some of the lead developers to help us put
together the course on how to use it.. Well, that may make sense in an end
user product scenario, of which FoxPro isn’t really a good example, but for a
system software product, where as soon as you roll out the technology you’ve
got to have ISVs already supporting it in order for it to build the momentum
and so forth…That means you have to have the course done before the product
goes into beta, let alone afterwards, after it ships. And so we have had just
the worst time trying to pull courses out of Microsoft Educational Services.
It’s just been lame.
Well, it’s been reorganized now to where it’s under Doug, OK, so there’s
some hope that, you know, this situation will turn around.. But, like, don’t
count on it! Work with the MS…Microsoft Educational Services guys. Try to get
them to build a course in what it is you need, and if that doesn’t work, if I
may quote myself, “Screw ‘em!” And find some out-of-house vendor, some
training vendor, who will develop the courseware for you and then you can
point people at him, right? You’re building business for him. He likes this.
This is good. He can give little short courses at conferences and stuff, build
up business. He’s the expert in this area. Come to me and get trained, OK. So
you’ve got to build this infrastructure yourself or you will fail in
accomplishing your objectives. So, since after all we’re very goal driven,
very objectives driven, if you want to accomplish your objectives then build
everything you need. Don’t just point fingers and whine. Whining…we don’t give
people good reviews for being really good whiners.
Very often, I don’t know how it works in the field, but certainly in
Corporate, people get bad reviews if they point out problems and they say,’
look, we’re going to fail if this isn’t fixed. This must be fixed or else
we’re going to fail. Well, that thing doesn’t get fixed, let’s say, and so we
do fail, and the evangelist thinks he’s going to get a good review because he
pointed out the problem. But the evangelist in fact gets a crappy,review
because he didn’t fix the problem. He didn’t go out and bang on people and
bang on people’s bosses and go to Bill and do whatever was necessary to solve
the problem, all right? We’re in a weird position here because you’re
responsible for the whole thing. If OLE’s screwed up, if the Internet story’s
screwed up. if whatever it is you’re working on
is screwed up, your job is to fix it. Don’t whine about it; fix it! OK,
build the infrastructure first.
Let me go back to that one for a minute. Create supporting evidence. When
you’re thinking about our Internet strategy, the main thing you want to think
about is the presentation you’re going to give to an ISV that says, this is
why you should support our Internet infrastructure and our internet
technologies instead of Netscape’s. You should support ours because of these
three reasons. There are always three reasons. Rhetorically speaking, you
should always have three reasons. And for each of those three reasons, you
have three bullet points that say why that’s true. These are the supporting
evidence. OK, you should support Point Number One because of this, because of
this, and because of this. You need to know what your becauses are, and if you
don’t have any evidence to support them, create it Find some third-party
vendor who will say that this is true. Do an independent third-party study
that will support those arguments. Create the evidence you need, don’t just
rely on it to come out of the ether. Don’t just wait for somebody to write the
article that says it’s true. Find somebody. Say if you’ll do this for me, I’ll
do this for you. Get it done. Then you’ve got your data points. So create the
evidence you need.
Infrastructure. More infrastructure. There’s decision support materials.
How do you make the sale happen? And once you’ve convinced one person, how
does that person cover his butt when he tries to sell it to his boss? Right.
Covering your butt is a very important thing in the industry. Microsoft people
forget that, because generally speaking
at Microsoft you can do the right thing and ask for forgiveness later, and
usually get away with it. Most companies you have to prove that it’s the right
thing to do before you can get started, and that’s very hard. Proving that
it’s the right thing, though. is not literally what you have to do. What you
have to do is prove that the person who decides to approve it won’t be in
trouble if it goes wrong, OK? That’s different from showing that it’s the
right thing to do. You need to be able to prove to this person and show to
this person that you’re trying to convince, that if he goes along with you and
does what you say, he’ll be OK. Nobody ever went wrong for buying…got fired
for buying IBM. That kind of thing. That’s cover your ass materials, right? I
can talk more about that if you
OK, so you want white papers, demos, testimonials, analysts’
report..Analysts are even better than consultants, OK? Consultants are just
people who go around and give their advice, and help people do their job.
Analysts are people who do nothing but come up with scenarios arid hypotheses
arid projections and estimates and stuff that people pay a lot of attention
to. I mean, when Dataquest says something is true, ooh! They must have really
done their homework and come up with this number. That’s not true. Dataquest
said we’d sell 30 million copies of Windows95 before the end of ‘95. Oops! Not
But, boy, it looked good on paper there for a while. I mean, we could
hardly even manufacture them that fast. That was stupid. They never should
have said that. I think they lowered their estimate to under 20 million now,
and now, funny thing, they’re tight.
Nothing like having some data, you know, on which to make a projection.
The analysts…the financial analysts particularly carry a lot of weight. We
may think that, you know, Christine Comerford and Jesse Burst and other people
who write in the Windows magazines are important, but the most important
analysts are the guys who work for, like, Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers
and the other financial analysts.
And if you can influence those guys’ opinions…and they almost never hear
directly from. like, evangelists, and so when they do you have to be real
careful. You don’t want Bill calling you up and saying, “What was this I saw
from your _______?“ You have to be real careful. But going to those guys and
giving them information can be very, very leveraged, because, you know,
everybody reads PC Week, but the VPs and above, those guys are reading the
Goldman Sacks analyst reports. They’re the guys, you know, really making the
OK. Training resources. Once you’ve sold the company on implementing your
technology, their developers have to be trained in how to do so. That’s where
the documentation comes in. Sample code on how to do it. Mike McEwan just
spent how many months, Mike? Writing the sample code for OLE control
containers and OLE control samples. I mean a bunch of time.
MIKE: Oh, it took me a week, but l had ____________________________
JAMES PLAMONDON: The thing was 90% done in a week, OK. Books and articles.
I mean, Kraig Brockschmidt had a heck of a time convincing DRG at the time
that it was a good use of his time to write a book—the Inside OLE book. It was
a darn good thing
he did it, because nobody else was doing it. I mean, the OLE documentation
certainly wasn’t going to get anybody to support the code. So getting books
and articles written is a very good thing. Courses. A lot of people just can’t
learn unless they’re locked in a room for a long period of time….Never mind.
DIFFERENT SPEAKER: We’ll open the door_____________ .
JAMES PLAMONDON: Infrastructure. There’s more infrastructure.
Implementation resources. You need consultants. I’m going to talk more about
consultants later. Developers who you can point at a problem. The porting lab
is a wonderful infrastructure that you can bring people into the Microsoft
Porting Lab and have people leave…Who here does not know about the porting
lab? Don’t be shy. Good, you already know it. Tool support Debuggers.
Compliance testing. All of this is important infrastructure.
There’s more infrastructure. Marketing resources. Events, catalogs, press
releases, press tours, CD samplers, joint advertising. These are all things
that you should arrange to have in place before you start your evangelism
campaign. OK, that means you’ve got to do a lot of setup work beforehand, but
it’s by far the best way to get going, because you know all of the things you
need to do a course…along the course of time, are already getting set up.
Mind share. Mind share is the most important concept in evangelism. To
control mental output, you have to control mental input. You’re going to
control what the developers
write, the code they write. You have to control what they’re thinking,
which means you have to control the input to their brain. The way you do that
is by taking control of the channels by which the developers receive their
information. And in that I’m including the marketing slime and the VPs and
execs and so forth. Thus you control mind share, by controlling input.
There are many channels of communication. There’s one-on-one. This is the
staple of evangelism, where you and a bunch of people go sit down in a room
and you sell them on your idea. You should support Microsoft’s Internet
technology because of these three reasons…OK, and so forth. That’s why you
should do it, and we’ll make it easy and we’ll ensure that you make money and
we’ll give you lots of exposure and it’s the best thing for you.
You can do those in a number of ways. You can do it in person, which is
extremely expensive and time-consuming. If you go to fly somewhere and talk to
people…my brother’s been flying all over the dang place, out to Toronto and
Boston and in the middle of a blizzard, and Nova Scotia, for crying out loud.
I mean, how many people here have been to Nova Scotia? OK. Actually, that’s a
higher percentage than I expected. And are you two from Canada?
DIFFERENT SPEAKER: From Canada.
JAMES PLAMONDON: OK. So, anybody here who wasn’t born in Canada who’s also
been to Nova Scotia? OK. So it’s very expensive to do these trips. It’s. ..a
lot of times that you could be doing something else. You could be
doing. ..Well, I’ll get to that something later. So you want to leverage that
as much as possible. The time you’ve spent organizing the materials to go talk
to one person.. .you want to spread that time over
as many people as possible. So you fly out to the East Coast as far as you
can get and start flying back, doing as many ISV meetings as you can on the
way back. That’s the way to deal with the time shift as easily as possible,
and you just hit as many ISVs as possible. You spend a couple of days in
Boston hitting all the Boston ISVs; you go to Chicago if you’ve got some
there; you come back to the Bay Area and spend a few days in the Bay Area, and
hit, you know, Des Moines or Fargo or whatever else you care about on the way
Videoconference is even better, if you can swing it. All Microsoft sales
offices are wired for teleconference, for videoconference, and so you make an
arrangement with the person in the regional office—that’s hard—for this third
party to come into their office in Houston or something, and they’re on one
end of the videoconference and you’re on the other in Redmond. The advantage
of doing this is that you can have all the technical resources at your
disposal in Redmond, or your remote site, and get these people talking, you
know, just exactly the right people, rather than just you doing it with no
technical backup. Videoconferences can be very good. I like videoconferences a
lot. I use them a lot, but then there’s a videoconference office, like, three
doors away from me.
Telephone conferences are almost as good. A telephone meeting is different
from just calling somebody up on the phone and talking. All right, it’s a very
different thing. When you just call somebody up on the phone and talk, which
you should do, all the time, to your various ISVs, especially the low-level
engineers, because they just bil-ell, they just blab all over the place. Oh,
we’re…Netscape was here just the other day and it looks like we’re going to go
with their plug-in model in stead of OLE. Oh, really? OK. Now, the president
of the company would have said, “Yes, we’re considering all of our various
alternatives and we don’t expect to make a decision for some time.” The
engineer doesn’t know anything about security and so he’s just blab-blab. So
just call in people. Just call to your buddies every now and then. You know,
they’ll have questions and they’ll say, Hey, I need this STK. Boom! You send
it out there, right? So they always look forward to your calls.
But a telephone conference is a very different thing. You send email, you
schedule it, it’s an official meeting, it’s as if you’re right there in
person. You’re just doing it by telephone. And so they get four or five people
in a room with a speaker phone in the middle, and they, you know, have…you’ve
got the meeting agenda, you have objectives that you want to accomplish in the
meeting, it’s just like you’re having a one-on-one physical meeting except
you’re doing it by phone. And I have had better luck with these…there are some
reasons why it’s in fact better than a person-to-person meeting. You can have
somebody in your office taking notes who the other guys don’t know is there,
all right? And he’s writing notes, and you’re writing notes to each other and
forth, all this kind of stuff. It can be very, very useful. So keep
telephone conferences in mind.
Conferences. When you actually go to a conference, leverage the crap out of
those. Always get some kind of a meeting room. We did these at the December
PEC in 93. We had a bunch of meeting rooms set up and called our ISVs
beforehand and arranged (at least I did) to pack the meeting rooms with ISV
visits during the show, because developers coming to this location from all
over the world, let’s leverage the hell out of that and meet with people who
are so far away we don’t want to go there, OK? And it’s also an opportunity to
just sort of put up a sign that says “The evangelist is In,” and if you want
to talk to the evangelist, you know, schedule some time here. Those can really
random and a complete waste of time, but every now and then they can be really
interesting. They can be companies that are up-and-coming. And, you know,
they’re very interesting companies to work with. They’ll be a good source of
quotes and magazine articles and stuff, but they won’t do a lot in the market,
OK? But you never know about these guys unless you let them come to you. We
are not all-knowing or all-powerful. We cannot select everything as well as we
might let them come to us some.
Trade shows. I work the crap out of trade shows. My favorite thing to do is
to get the map of the trade show, and you photo-reduce it down so that it’ll
fit on a notebook, something like a clipboard, so that you can see the whole
show floor at a glance. Then you find out…you look at the program guide to see
which companies are there, and you figure out which ones you want to see. And
you arrange those in a numerical list by
booth number. Then you mark all the booths that you want to visit on the
map, and you draw a little line that’s the shortest path through all those
booths, and I hit over fifty ISVs at a trade show that way, in two days.
That’s 25 ISVs a day. Over the course of an eight-hour show that’s three an
hour…twenty minutes—I mean, that’s an amazingly leveraged use of time, to hit
all those companies and say, thank you for supporting Windows (always). Thank
you for supporting Windows, we really appreciate your support. People are
blown away by that. Wow! Microsoft is thanking me for supporting their
platform. That’s amazing—I mean, it’s not like I have any choice, but we’re
thanking them. So we love that. And then you say, you know, I see your product
here and it looks great. You read the little blurb, you know, thirty seconds
before you come up, so you know what company it is you’re talking to and what
they’ve just shipped and so on. And I’d like to know, you know, is there
anything I can do to help you? You don’t ask, ‘What are your plans for your
future version?” because they might not want to tell you. But if you say, is
there anything I can do to help you with your next version, then suddenly they
say, “Yeah, we’re having problems getting a Windows NT, and there’s this,
this, tha-tha-thatha,” and you say, “That’s all great, but I can’t really
write that down right here? Can you send me an email? Here’s my card,” right,
that pushes all the action items off on them, which means if it’s really
important they’ll do it, and if not, they’re not wasting your time. And all
you write down is when they expect to ship their stuff. When they expect to
ship your stuff, and if there are any major blocking items. And then you’ve
just gathered wonderful information, and you know an awful lot more about
these companies than you might have before. And you check out, you know,
whether they have any “Windows 95 Sucks” stickers in their booth or anything
like that, and you just write
down some brief notes like that. And those are very, very leveraged. Work
the heck out of trade shows. Don’t just go to a trade show and wander around
the booths, right? Terrible waste of time.
Channels of Information. There’s one too many presentations where you’re
actually giving a presentation at a conference. You should never give a
presentation at a conference. Nobody from Microsoft should ever give a
presentation at a conference if we can possibly avoid it, because you could be
doing something else then. Furthermore, you’re not objective(?). Nobody’s
going to believe anything you say. Get a third party to give the presentation
at a conference. It’s valuable to a consultant or an analyst to give a
presentation at a conference. It gives them exposure; it’s good marketing for
a consultant; they want to do it, and you can get something in return. II you
write this article for me or this sample code, I’ll arrange for you to speak
at this conference. Oh, yeah, can I do that? They love that. So when you’re
giving a presentation at a conference, you’re throwing away an opportunity to
get somebody else to do something for you. OK, so you’re not only waiting your
time, you’re wasting other time.
Road shows. Road shows are…DRG used to do this a lot. We’d put together a
road show and do a twelve-city tour presenting the same all-base seminar over
and over. We’ve shifted to a model more recently where we broadcast the road
show content by satellite to theaters all over the world, and that works a lot
better. So you pay $25 to go into the theater and sit in a darkened room with
a whole bunch of other dweebs eating popcorn and watching Bill. It’s a thing.
It’s a tribal thing.
Trade show booths. You can get a booth at a trade show. I mean, you can
have “The Evangelist is In” booth at a trade show and just say, here’s
Microsoft Developer Relations, if you have any problems, come talk to us. The
problem is everybody has problems and they all want to talk to you, and
they’re all random, and you really can’t do anything about them because they
have to do with, you know, I have this bug in my program, or, you know, I
don’t understand what this particular call in OLE does, and there’s really
almost nothing you can do to help those guys. And so you end up saying over
and over, you know, here’s MSDN, you should, you know, buy a subscription to
MSDN, here’s how to get this information, here’s information about technical
support I-can’t-help-you, I-can’t-help-you, I-can’t-help-you. And so it’s not
a very positive message. So we’ve done these before, the trade show booths,
but I don’t recommend
them unless, like, you’ve got a couple of really super-technical people who
really can answer all these guys’ questions, but then you’re going to have a
line so long the rest of the trade show is going to empty, and nobody’s going
to like that.
Developer conferences: Same kind of thing. If somebody’s putting on a
developer conference, say Symantec or Borland is putting on a developer
conference. Boy, we want to help those guys a lot, because they’re going to be
talking about how they support OLE and how they support out Internet stuff, or
how they do various things, and if they’re not, we’re screwing up big-time,
because that’s what they should be saying. So any time there’s a developers’
conference, we want to be involved like crazy and leverage those things like
Developers’ special interest groups. There’s a special case of one too many
meetings because there’s one guy giving a presentation, and there’s a whole
bunch of other people meeting, or listening. So it’s as if you had a whole
bunch of people sitting around a table and you’re just selling. That’s the one
case where it’s good to have Microsoft speak, is at a developers’ special
interest group, because they don’t get it very often. Usually they get a
vendor of a developer tool, or I went…in most places, it’s “I went to this
conference and here’s what I found out,” and it’s, you know, kind of boring.
Very frequently…and so having somebody from Microsoft actually come to their
developers’ special interest group—it’s like, Man, we must be important! We’re
cool because Microsoft is coming,
OK? Any time you can make somebody feel cool, that’s good. The sig leaders
are very important people. They are people who choose. They choose who speaks
and who doesn’t speak at these sig conferences. They set up the agenda. They
have influence over twenty, thirty, a hundred, however many people come to
this sig. And however many people are on the mailing list, which is also a
valuable commodity. So those sig leaders are like consultants. They are very
valuable people that you want to schmooze with.
I don’t know if everybody recognizes that word “schmooze” there at the
bottom. Schmooze is, I think, a Yiddish word. Basically it means suck up to,
socialize with, take care of; love and so forth, go to dinner with, get drunk
together, talk about your girlfriends and boyfriends and whatever. I mean,
just socialize like crazy, and pump for information, and leak little bits of
tidbits of information that think…make them feel
special that they’re hearing it and work the crowd and so on. Schmoozing is
a very important part of an evangelist’s job, and the better you are at it.
the better, because everybody who meets you should think—you know. OK, I hate
Microsoft like everybody else, I’m a good member of the Computing Society, I
hate Microsoft, that’s what you have to do to get in. But, you know, I like
the individual people I’ve met from Microsoft. You know, you’re all
ambassadors of Microsoft, and they should…if we can’t help them hating
Microsoft, at least we can have them like the individuals, and that’s a big
step in the right direction.
I, for example, was once a Macintosh developer. I developed Macintosh
software. I never worked for Apple, but was…wrote a lot of magazine articles
and stuff in the Macintosh community. I developed…I formed developer groups, I
spoke at conferences, I was the kind of person that you want to find as an
evangelist, because I was an unpaid guy who goes out and spreads the word.
Right? Any time Apple could get me to say something it was more credible than
when they said it, and! was out there doing this and I wasn’t even costing
them anything. It was great. Well, I left the Macintosh world and started
doing Windows stuff and became this notorious heretic, OK. But on the other
hand, I was just such a hell of a nice guy—you know, you guys know that’s not
true, but they didn’t—I was such a hell of a nice guy that they’d go, You
know, that damned Plamondon, you know, he’s working for the Evil Empire, he’s
seducing people to the Dark Side, but, you know, he’s such a hell of a swell
guy…you know, I hate Microsoft, but he’s OK. Yeah, actually, it was…so you
just want to be a heck of a nice guy. Being a heck of a nice…this is…One of
the things I like about evangelism is that it’s one of those
few jobs where being a nice guy is valuable. And it wasn’t of any value to
me as a programmer. They don’t care how nice you were, they just want to know
how many lines of code you write, that’s all. So, anyway.
Channels of information. There’s more of them. Developer conferences. There
are two kinds of developer conferences. There’s those that are controlled by
the platform vendors, such as our PDC. We control everything that goes on
there; nobody says nothing that we don’t approve beforehand. Same with Brain
Share and Lotusphere and Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, and I’m sure
IBM has such conferences. Or there are independent conferences such as
Software Development, Window, Mac Hack, various Comdex, so forth. At enemy
conferences you gather intelligence. You go to the enemy sessions, see what
they’re saying, talk to people, be nice. Just be super nice. You never say
anything rude; never, never, never. Stand up at the microphone at an enemy
conference and say, “Excuse me, you’re full of shit,” you know. “You’re wrong;
that’s not true; if you looked in our documentation you’d realize that wasn’t
true. You just said that OLE doesn’t do irregularly-shaped objects, that OLE
doesn’t do multiple active simultaneous objects, that..you know…that they’re
all heavyweight and have to live out a process. You said those things and
they’re all demonstrably not true. In fact, I have a
demonstration right here on my laptop…” You know, I mean, that’s just…it’s
absolutely pointless. You gain nothing, you look like an idiot, it looks like
Microsoft is just, you know, raining on their parade. You just never, ever say
anything like that. You can occasionally go up and say, “Hi, this was a really
great presentation. Thank you very much for doing it. I had a question about
one of these things. You said it would be
shipping by when, exactly?” OK. That kind of thing is OK. You’re just
asking for very general information that anyone else could have asked. But
even then it’s better to get somebody.. .some shill to go up and ask the
question for you. I mean, if you’re at a conference like that, hopefully you
know some people there. Get them to go ask the question for you,what the hell.
So at independent conferences, or rather those controlled by the enemy
vendor, just gather information. At independent conferences, subvert them.
Find the people who choose who goes on the agenda and who doesn’t. Send that
person all the free software in the world they want. Find out if their kids
are in school, find out what school they go to, send them free software; see
what kind of car they drive, send them a little keyring with that car’s logo
on it, you know. Anything, anything. Love those people. Just suck up to them
so hard your face collapses. I mean, those people…those people are so valuable
to you, it’s beyond belief, because they control who goes on that session or
not. At last week’s Macworld expo, I had a session added to the conference
agenda called Windows95 Programming for Macintosh Developers. At Macworld! Can
DIFFERENT SPEAKER: How was attendance?
JAMES PLAMONDON: It was pretty crappy because they didn’t put it on the
main agenda, unfortunately. It fell off the list. I’m sure she did this on
purpose. She was returning the favor to me by putting, making the session
happen, but she was covering
her butt with Apple by not putting it on the Conference At a Glance sessio
—er, listing, right? The main bulletin, or the detailed description was there,
but it wasn’t on the Conference at a Glance session, right, so it was kind of
funny. Last year I had a similar session that I did on my own in a meeting
room that I rented rather than being part of the agenda, and it was packed the
whole time, you know. I carefully made sure that press and analysts came by
and peeked in the door and saw that it was packed, you know. But this time it
wasn’t so good.
But nonetheless, I mean, Windows 95 programming for Mac developers on the
conference agenda at the Macworld Expo—I mean, you couldn’t pay enough to get
that. And all it cost me was some free software, and her husband had had a
stroke and I sent her some articles about recent therapy and research in
strokes, went to the library and looked it up. I had a problem with that one.
I mean, that one was…you know, I care about her as a person, I’ve known her
for years, you know, I was truly sorry that her husband had a stroke; my
grandmother died of a stroke. I was kind of interested in the topic. I went to
the library anyway, I found this information. I was about to fax it to her,
and I said, “Wait a minute. This is, like, totally scummy. I know I’m doing
this for a purpose!”
DIFFERENT SPEAKER: I go back to my former question. How do your-sleep at
JAMES PLAMONDON: Well, it turns out that the information was actually quite
valuable to her. I mean, it was talking about a drug and a therapy that she
was not aware of, and that her doctor wasn’t aware of. So, I mean, I actually
helped her and everything. She also owed me and she put my conference sked…she
put my session on the conference agenda. I mean, what can I say? I’m just too
nice of…OK. So you want to love those conferences to death. I’ve killed at
least two Mac conferences. First there was the Mac App Developers Conference.
I was on the Board of Directors of the Mac App Developers Association long
ago, and after I left I worked to try to turn it into a cross-platform
developers conference, and I did. I managed to make it.. their last conference
was very cross-platforn, both Windows and Macintosh, which of course turned
off their Macintosh audience; half of the conference was irrelevant to them.
They didn’t care about Windows. They were a bunch of Mac guys. Which diluted
the value of the conference. And they didn’t know how to advertise the Windows
guys when the Windows guys showe dup. So they lost money that year and the
group folded. Oh, well. One less channel of communication that Apple can use
to reach its developers.
The other conference was called the Technology and Issues Conference. it
had been going on for, like, ten years. It was an independent conference. it
was by invitation only. They invited VPs and above at all the major Mac
software companies. And they always held it in, like, Yosemite or Vienna or
Hawaii. It was a big junket thing. And it was always…they held the conference
the last few days of the week before Fourth of July weekend, right, so it was
just a junket trip. But Apple always hated this conference because, you know,
all of their ISVs got together and received a message that they didn’t
control as much as they would have liked. Well, I sponsored a dinner and I
brought…because once you sponsor a dinner, right, you get to talk to them
during dinner. You get to do a dinner presentation, OK, once the clatter of
knives dies down. And we were there being so helpful. Apple was still nickel
and diming its developers to death. And so we’re there handing out free
software developers’ kits to everybody there, and free copies of the Explorer
PD and other things like that for their kids, because, you know, they’d bring
their wives and families along with us, and so we’d give them free games and
stuff. And then I gave them this big presentation over dinner and so on. So it
seemed like Microsoft dominated the conference. Well, Apple got so pissed off
at this that they threatened the guy that ran the conference that they were
never going to send anybody again, that they were going to schedule
conferences that directly opposed it so that the VPs couldn’t go to his
conference, they could only go to Apple’s conference and so forth. So by
injecting Microsoft content into the conference, the conference got shut down.
The guy who ran it said, why am I doing this? I’m losing money on it every
year anyway. Screw Apple, they don’t need my help. And so the conference died,
so that’s two. I’m working on two other Mac conferences now.
OK, so independent conferences, love them to death. Channels of
information. They’re developer magazines. Developers love to read other
people’s experiences. I remember when I was first learning programming, I was
subscribing to a magazine that seemed to solve the problem I was working on
every month.. Every month I’d be encountering this new problem and racking my
brain, trying to figure out how to deal with it, and this magazine would come
out and it solved the problem. it was amazing. It was a very
introductory kind of magazine, though, and I got to a certain point where
it wasn’t useful any more. But there’s a zillion programmer magazines. There’s
not just Microsoft Systems Journal; there’s also…gosh, what is it, WinTech
Journal, the DOS/Windows Programmers Journal; there used to be something
called the OS/2 Programming Magazine, it was then OS/2 and Windows, which was
then Windows and OS/2, and now it’s just Windows, and.. .and so on, OK?
There’s lot’s of independent programming journals. You want to infiltrate
those. Again, there’s two categories. There’s those that are controlled by
vendors; like MSJ; we control that. And there’s those that are independent.
The ones that we control, you use. It’s an opportunity for consultants and so
forth to get their stuff published, right? You can say, if you do this…if you
join this beta program, I’ll give you early access to the technology. Your
deliverable is a magazine article, OK? I’m not asking you to ship a product by
a certain schedule, but you must ship me an article with sample code and so
forth, which I will then get published in MSJ, which will then establish you
as an expert in the field, which will help your consulting business. Everybody
wins, OK? So that’s how you use journals that we control. The ones that third
parties control, like the WinTech Journal, you want to infiltrate. You want to
get yourself onto the advisory committee that picks out which authors are
published and which ones aren’t, or which topics are covered and over these
special issues, things like that Just be so helpful that they can’t do without
you, and then make sure that things go your way. Just help those magazines
like crazy. Encourage new writers. Magazines…technical magazines face the same
problems that we do in hiring evangelists. They’ve got to find people who are
both very technical and know how to string words together in sentences that
make sense, and people are not usually trained in
both. You usually get one or the other. It’s like…when I was going to
school, I was…you know, I was a science major. I wasn’t going to take any of
these artsy-fartsy language and stuff classes. That’s for those losers who are
in Liberal Arts, and basket-weaving classes. And so most people don’t do both.
So when you can find somebody who can write an article well and point him at
one of these magazines: Ooh, that’s great. Magazines love that. They owe you.
And any time you can add value to the independent magazines, they love you
to pieces. One time I paid 20 grand (peanuts in the grand scheme of things) to
get 20,000 CDs made up that had the Mac OLE Software Developer Kit on them,
with some sample code and documentation and so forth. And I made a deal with
the Mactech magazine, the only independent Macintosh prograimming magazine, to
put this CD into the magazine. They’d never done that before, so it was
blazing a new trail for them, and it was my primary channel of distributing
Mac OLE to the developer community. I mean, we don’t have an MSDN/Mac. We
don’t have a way of reaching Mac developers. So I used their magazine as my
primary channel, which is great for them, because it adds a lot of value to
their magazine. You’ve got to go buy the back issue if you don’t already
subscribe, in order to get the Mac OLE SDK.. Their business in back issues
went up dramatically. They hand out…I timed it to be the issue that they
handed out at a developers conference, at one of the big Macworld expos, and
so, you know, they’re wow! Come by our booth and get a free copy of the Mac
OLE CD and the magazine. It was a big deal for them. So I was adding value to
the independent magazine. Any time you can do that, they love you.
Channels of information. There’s Jots of them. There’s online forums, the
Usenet groups, watch the way the Pentium Pro, or the Pentium ______ Point bug
blew up on Intel. It was almost exclusively through the Internet, because the
Internet chat groups just, you know, beat that one to death. There was a
session going on across the hail here about how to be a good spokes-creature
for Microsoft on the Internet, and I…that was actually my first claim to fame
before I started doing presentations and forming users groups and so forth,
was that I was really good on the Internet. And the main thing I did was that
I was very formal and polite. It’s very easy to piss people off on the
Internet, because all they can read is what you wrote. They can’t watch the
fact that you’re smiling when you typed it, they can’t see that. And
imodicons(?) don’t work because you can’t tell whether the imodicon is serious
or sarcastic, right? Yeah, tight! What a moron! So always assume that you’re
wrong when you’re writing something on the Net. This is the point..the way I
always did. I said, “1 seem to misunderstand something. You’re saying that
this is true, and this is true, but I thought that this was true. What am I
missing here?” And they’d say, oh, gosh, you’re right! I guess we have to fix
that. Whereas if I’d said, “You’re morons! This is true and this is true, and
this is also true! You’re idiots!” They’d go,“No, we’re not You’re wrong.”
Right? Nobody wants to be attacked like that. The immediate response is to
defend. Whereas if you’re saying, hey,
I’m missing something. I’m just a lowly guy, you know, whatever, then
people are much more willing to say, oh, no problem. I can help you with that.
It’s like this. Right? That gives them the opportunity to be the, you know,
big important guy. So that’s good.
Developers tend to be impressed by very clear, very polite, very concise
communication. If you write an email that long in which there’s only one key
sentence, you’re a moron. You’re wasting the guy’s time. All you needed to do
was write the one sentence.
So don’t waste their time. Don’t look like you’re trying to snooker them or
something, and don’t sound arrogant. Microsoft people have this.. .It is going
to be presumed that you’re an arrogant asshole until you prove otherwise. So
be nice and polite on email.
Books. There’s a very active book market..by the way, how much time do I
DIFFERENT SPEAKER: Another ten minutes.
JAMES PLAMONDON: Shit OK. Do books. Consult books. Books are really
important…a channel…consultants are really important. Consultants are
independent evangelists. They’re people who are out there doing our job for
us, or doing somebody else’s job against us, without even being paid for it.
We don’t even have to pay ‘em nothing! This is great. We don’t even have to
give them stock options. They must be on the bleeding edge in order to sell
their services. The only reason you hire a consultant to do something is
because you don’t know how, because consultants are, by definition, these
expensive guys who help you go around and help you do something That you
haven’t figured out how to do yet, get your projects started, and so on. So
they have to be on the bleeding edge, which means they have to be in tight
with Microsoft, or somebody else, or else they can’t do their job well.
Sucking up to consultants pays off very well.
They also have the patina of objectivity: this very thin layer, they can
say, I don’t work for Microsoft, I’m not just spouting the Microsoft party
line, but…here’s the Microsoft party line, OK? So, a very thin appearance of
objectivity. Contract programming houses are the same way. If you need some
sample code written, or a book or an article, or anything like that, for God’s
sake don’t write it yourself. Get them to do it, because then you can do
something else, like getting somebody else to do part of your work for you.
It’s not only frees you up to do something else, it’s getting them to do
something so that now they’re committed to it, right? They’ve written this
book on OLE. They’ve learned a lot about OLE. If that doesn’t pay off for
them, then they’re losing all that time, so it’s in their interest to stomp
open.doc into the ground and to make OLE successful, tight? You want to get
these people bought into stuff. You do that by throwing business their way.
Consultants are one of the primary keys to effective evangelism.
So, power and how to use it, in ten minutes. Well, I’m going to go longer.
DIFFERENT SPEAKER: That’s all right.
JAMES PLAMONDON: You guys are some of the most powerful people in the
software industry today. Evangelists sometimes think of themselves, especially
at a remote site…I used to work at Microsoft’s Bay Area embassy, OK, down in
San Mateo, a suburb of San Francisco. And so I understand what it’s like to
work in a remote site.
Admittedly I was only two hours away by air, so it wasn’t as remote as some
of you, but nonetheless it seemed pretty remote at the time. We couldn’t find
out who was in charge of stuff, we couldn’t get things we needed, and soon. So
I understand how that works.
Nonetheless, you have a great deal of power. Power is the ability to get
things done. The source of power is the ability to control the distribution of
valuable resources, because there’s this fundamental concept of psychology and
sociology that’s called reciprocity.
When I do something for you, you’re supposed to do something for me. It’s a
fundamental characteristic of human nature. You see it in primate societies
and all sorts of stuff like that. I’ll do something for you, you’re supposed
to do something with me. It’s not like a law or anything. it’s just a
fundamental characteristic of human nature. if you don’t do something for me,
you’re a scumbag, all right. You owe me, you bastard. You see this all the
time in the Hollywood thing. If you see, like, movies like The Player or
whatever where people are…it’s about Hollywood. Hollywood is all about the
exchange of favors and he acted in my movie and therefore I have to put him in
this other movie, and so forth. And what you see is people on the phone
saying, “How can you do this to me? I was at your bar mitzvah! I was…put you
in the movie! I went to this play with you! I was at your daughter’s, you
know, whatever, and you’re not going to let me
be in your movie? You bastard!” Right? You’ve done all these favors. You’ve
been…the person owes you, and not to return the favor is terrible.
Trading favors: If you help me, I’ll help you. I do this, you do that. You
always return favors, right? Always. If somebody does something for you. even
if you didn’t ask for
them to, you have to return the favor. It’s a rule. Otherwise you’re the
scumbag. Never work with somebody who fails to return a favor…for a while,
anyway. There’s this rule in game theory that says, if somebody screws you
over, then you should screw them over back, as hard as you can and as soon as
you can. Then you forgive him, because you’re even now, right? That clears the
decks and you go forward. So never work with someone who has failed to return
a favor. Be sure to screw him as hard as you can as soon as you can, and then
make sure that they understand what happened, and then you clear things and
can go forward.
Help people. Help people as much as you can, because then they owe you a
favor. One of the first things I did when I started doing evangelism to the
Mac community is, I started giving stuff away like crazy. Sending them the
compiler; sending them the STK, sending them documentation. I had this thing
that got to be known as the Plamondon Love Kit. It was this big, heavy box
full of books and compilers and goodies, and Mac developers started talking
about the Plamondon Love Kit, and how, you know, if you sent off to James and
said that you were going to do something on Windows, he’d send you this
Plamondon Love Kit. And Apple was just—arrggh, like that, because they
couldn’t afford to give stuff away like that. It was very irritating to them.
But then they owed me. tight? Then all those guys owed me something, and I was
able to get quotes and some things out of them in return. So you want to help
people so that they owe you back.
You have many resources. Remember, it’s the exchange of valuable resources,
control over the distribution of valuable resources that makes you powerful.
You are powerless
if you do not have resources. But you do. By working at Microsoft, you have
resources up the wing-wang. You have resources coming out of your pockets all
over the place.
You can create your own resources. Information is the ultimate resource,
and that’s what Microsoft has in abundance. We have specifications, betas.
Early access to betas are, like, worth their weight in gold. If you give
Company A the beta, but his competitor, Company B, doesn’t have it, Company B
is at a competitive disadvantage. You control the distribution of that
valuable resource. Free products. Sending off the compiler. That’s $500 you
don’t have to pay. Or, in the case of the cross-compiler, the PC-Mac
cross-compiler, that’s two grand. That’s a lot of money! Costs us ten bucks.
What do we care? Free products, knowledge. We know things they don’t know.
More resources. Job placement. 3,000 people are about to be laid off from
Apple. I can help those guys find jobs. Then they owe me their livelihood.
They owe me their car payment, their mortgage, their daughter’s braces, and
that’s a lot to owe somebody. ISVs are looking for people. I know of companies
that are looking for people who have certain skills. If I can fill that
position, then the company owes me. And the guy who got the position owes me.
You can give people exposure. Consultants need exposure all the time to
pull in new clients, because you can’t hardly advertise a consultancy except
by demonstrating your expertise at publications, conferences and seminars. You
have more resources. You have the one I hate to mention, which is cash. I hate
to mention it for two reasons. First of all, you probably don’t have much.
Secondly, because the ones you do have, those dollars…Microsoft dollars work
just like everybody else’s dollars, right? We don’t get a
discount on dollars just because we’re Microsoft. Just because we’re
Microsoft we can’t buy them for 80 cents each or something like that, OK? So
DIFFERENT SPEAKER: Just in Canada.
JAMES PLAMONDON: Right. You guys, you three guys ignore that comment. When
we spend a dollar it’s not any more leveraged or any more valuable than Apple
or Netscape or anybody else spending dollars, except that we have more of them
so, like, we can bury them in dollars, which is, like, a totally stupid way to
act, all right, because we have things that are much more valuable that cost
us less. Co-marketing. We go all over the place and talk to all sorts of
people. We put ads in the paper, we have trade shows and booths and so forth.
We can get them in our booths. It doesn’t cost us very much, and it’s very
good for them. Contracts. We need sample code written. We need this work done.
We need all sorts of stuff We need applets for Windows 96 to demonstrate its
new features. All sorts of stuff We’ve got to pay somebody to do that. It’s
almost never done actually at Microsoft, so you can hand out the contracts.
Somebody’s got to get it, you know. You don’t want to just trade money for the
code. You want to trade money and something for the code, right? You’ve got to
go to a conference and talk about it too, or else I’m not going to give it to
Technical Support. Well, you know, tech support costs money, but you can
fudge a little on it. What I do is I promise people enhanced technical
support, which means that they go through the normal technical support
channels, and if PSS doesn’t satisfy their need,
then they send me the email thread of the service request. and then I’ll
send it around through channels and say, hey, PSS, why didn’t you solve this
problem? The key thing there is that they have to send me the email thread of
the service request, which means that PSS actually has to screw up for them to
send this to me. They have to go through PSS first. PSS is very good, and so
it doesn’t usually happen. So I almost never have to deal with this, but it
sounds great. Ooh, if you have a problem with PSS, escalate it to me. Cool.
Sales force. You say that our sales force will have access to your beta or
your demo so that they can demonstrate it to customers. It doesn’t mean
they’re actually going to do it, you’re just going to have access to it. It’s
a very valuable thing. If there’s a very new technology like some of the
Internet stuff; whoever jumps first on our Internet stuff— they’re doing OLE
controls, using sweeper and so forth—we’re dying for demos of that stuff.
We’ll include them in the demo. They’ll get demoed everywhere we go. That’s
great exposure for them.
Solution providers. We’ll give them access to the Solution Provider list.
We’ll let them speak at conferences. We can put on conferences, right? You can
have a conference just for your ISVs. An endless supply of resources. You can
have some exclusive event—I love this. If..say you’re in Japan. You’ve got
fifty big customers. They’re the big Microsoft accounts in the area. You can
put on a little, tiny trade show which is…you invite in your fifty biggest
customers, and you have a little trade show that’s for your leading ISVs. By
invitation only, and you tell your ISVs that if you adopt these
technologies we’ll invite you to the trade show, and if you don’t we won’t,
but we’ll invite your competitors. Wow, you’ve just created an event to be an
incentive for these people. It cost you very little. You just do it in your
regional office or rent a skating rink or something.
T-shirts. I love T-shirts. I had this one made up, it cost me $20 each. It
says “Decision ‘95;” it’s a Mac logo turning into a Windows logo, OK? This
logo right here was actually used by Macweek magazine last year to talk about
the switch between Macintosh and Windows. So I made up a bunch of these shirts
in preparation for a meeting with Macweek. Oh, these guys had to have the
T-shirts! Oh, gosh, these T-shirts were great. So I said, well, I only have a
few, and OK, I’ll give you one, and you one. So now these guys owe me, right?
I’ve given them a favor. They owe me.
Newsletter. You can always create your own newsletter. This…can anybody
read that? You can’t read it because there’s nothing there. This is a white
piece of paper. It’s blank. You can write anything you want on this and send
it to your ISVs! Cool! So you can just make a newsletter out of nothing, and
send it to people, and generally speaking if it’s from Microsoft they’re going
to read it. You put it in a nice form size that’s easy to read in the
bathroom. You can guarantee it’s going to get read. Create it, you know, and
maybe you can mention your ISVs in it. If somebody has really done a great
job, right, then you can say, “And thanks to thus-and-such for their great job
implementing this,” or you can let them write an article about bow easy it was
to implement your favorite
technology in the newsletter. Cool. And then you can promise to send the
newsletter to your corporate customers. Way cool!
Form a developers’ group. If there’s not a developers’ group in your area,
create one. Let it meet in the Microsoft office, bring in all the developers
you care about, and then you get to say who speaks to them each time, right?
So you’re controlling the channel of information. And people have a limited
amount of time; they can’t go to everybody’s developers’ group, so if they’re
coming to yours, they don’t have time to go to somebody else’s. You win!
OK. Create your own resources. What else can we do? Oh,, we can focus on
getting things done. Am I, like, way over time here?
DIFFERENT SPEAKER: You’re five minutes over. That’s OK. Ask Marshall if
JAMES PLAMONDON: Marshall, is it OK?
MARSHALL GOLDBERG: Of course it’s OK.
JAMES PLAMONDON: Yeah, he owes me. OK. Getting things done. I’m going to
focus on this pretty quick here. Focus. There is way too much to do at
Microsoft. Evangelists have too much to do because, as I’ve said earlier, you
are responsible for your technology being done right and being widely adopted,
so you have way too much to do. You can’t do it all. Don’t even try. You have
your objectives that you’ve just decided on for the next six months, right? Or
that you’re about to. and go over with your boss. Never have more than three
objectives, maybe four if you absolutely have to.
DIFFERENT SPEAKER: Well, the form says five or seven.
JAMES PLAMONDON: I know. They’re full of crap. You can never do five or
seven objectives. It’s too many. OK, so focus on your top three objectives, OK
DIFFERENT SPEAKER: ______________
JAMES PLAMONDON: Well, those are goals. Those aren’t objectives. So you
can’t ignore the rest of your objectives if you can’t…I mean you can’t totally
ignore them, but
do your best. Try, try to ignore everything but your top three objectives.
Set aside one day a week—not Friday, like Wednesday or something—for busy
bullshit work, OK. For filling out meeting reports and for, you know, telling
your boss what you’re doing and for, you know, other staff. And try to do that
only during your bullshit day. And keep a little list on your board of things
that you need to do during your bullshit day, right? And when your boss comes
to you and says, you really need to do this, you say, Absolutely! I’ll
positively do it..on my bullshit day. Well, maybe you shouldn’t tell him that,
but you say, I’ll do it Wednesday, and just do it then. That only wastes 20%
of your time, and that means 80% of your time is focused on doing your top
three objectives, right? If you accomplish your top…Remember, did you go
through this review process with your boss already? How many people have
already gone through the review process with their
boss? Fewer than will _________ is good at this point. When you did that,
all five of you, your boss said, “OK, these were your objectives. Did you
accomplish them or not?” There was nothing on there about bullshit and ______
trivia. There was nothing on returning email. That wasn’t an objective. There
wasn’t anything on other bullshit stuff, so try to get away from that. Don’t
do that if you can avoid it. Live, sleep, and eat your job…breathe your
objectives, and if it’s not in your objectives, forget it! Plan ahead. Start
too early if at all possible, because things happen so fast and there’s so
much bullshit that comes your way, that if you don’t start too early you won’t
get done in time. Everyone will tell you to wait because, oh, we don’t have
the strategy quite figured out
yet and the message is unclear, and we don’t know if this is the right
thing to do or not. Whatever.
JAMES PLAMONDON: Exactly. Right. I mean, reserve the space, talk to your
ISVs, get things going, maybe you have to back up later. Better you have to do
that, because then they really feel like they’re totally on the inside, right?
But better to have to do that than to not have your slut together early
enough, because otherwise it’ll all come down on you the last weekend, and
you’ll be totally screwed.
Use the phone, email, faxes, whatever, widely. People tend to get stuck in
an email rut here, and they only deal with other people by email, and that’s a
big mistake. Telephone—when you just call somebody on the phone, they tell you
stuff that they would never write down in an email. Email is discoverable. The
Justice Department, whoever, can say, send me every email that you’ve ever
written on this topic, right? It just gets pulled off the backup server, and
the guy who wrote it has no clue. Email is just like…you might as well send a
stamped, self-addressed copy to the Justice Department every time you send an
Faxes. Faxes are nice. It’s written, people read it, then they toss it,
right? I like faxes. I use faxes a lot, especially for marketing slime. They
look pretty. You can make a fax look really pretty, which is good for
Think ahead. Deliver a complete solution. Like I said earlier, all these
things about the evangelism infrastructure: Build that infrastructure
beforehand. You don’t want to go
out on a meeting and say, well, you should support my new technology
because of this and this and this, and they say, oh yeah, prove this is true,
and you say, well, I can’t, really, but Bill says it’s true, so you should do
it. OK? It’s not going to convince anybody. So you need to know ahead of time
what you’re going to say so that you can create the evidence you need to make
your point persuasive. Keep good notes so you know what it is you did. As I
mentioned to somebody earlier, I have, still, on. ..in recorded, every email
that was ever sent to me. Not to groups that I’m a member of, but that was
actually addressed to me, and every email that I’ve ever sent out. My MMF file
was over 300 megs, but I have a hard drive that’s set aside specifically for
that. What do I care how many megs it is? Microsoft’s paying for the hard
drive, right? This time, every time anybody asks me what happened three years
ago when this thing with Apple happened, you just go search the thing, find
the email, and my butt’s totally covered, right? I know exactly what I did. I
don’t need to keep notes, I’ve got it all in email.
Leverage. Never do anything yourself. This is the key point about
consultants. If you do anything, almost, you’re wasting your time. Get
somebody else to do it for you. It makes them your ally.
Conference presentation: I’ve already gone over this. So. summary. You Set
the standard. You have the power. Use it. Use the power that’s zapping out of
your fingertips like lightning bolts. Make things happen; kick some ISV butt,
take no prisoners: Windows! Windows! Windows! Windows!
Questions, before Marshall takes the floor?
Thank you very much.
MARSHALL GOLDBERG: Thanks a lot, James.
JAMES PLAMONDON: Oh. I have one other thing that I’m going to hand out.
MARSHALL GOLDBERG: …but I really agree with James a lot. What is
relationship evangelism? Well, I thought about this this morning. How could I
put it in one long sentence? And to me it’s really the process of establishing
relationships with key individuals at target companies, and using those
relationships—and here’s the big word— to leverage the adoption of Microsoft
technologies. Now obviously that doesn’t work at every company. In some
companies the best approach is really to get the developers on your side, and
allow it to filter up. So you get the developers on your side and after a
while the developers speak to their managers. In the space that I work in,
which is the enterprise software space, companies don’t work that way. Usually
there’s one strong boss. Also the other side of the relationship is the
relationship within Microsoft. One of the powers that you have that I notice
that James didn’t have in his slides, that I’m sure he’ll put in his next set
now that I’ve mentioned it…James sort of absorbs our wisdom like a sponge over
there. He’s become sort of the group’s theoretician, so I’m sure he’ll absorb
this. Bill Gates and the Microsoft executives consider the Developer Relations
Group to be a key strategic resource. They listen to us—truly listen to us.
We can use them as a resource. I came to this meeting directly after meeting
with Bill Gates himself, and in a sense Bill Gates wasn’t using me, I was
using Bill Gates. and Bill Gates would readily admit to that That he’s an
atomic weapon. He’s very powerful in dealing with third-party companies. Our
execs are very powerful. They’re respected. they’re listened to, they’re
smart. They’re very smart, and they’re very capable at helping you out. And
they will, in certain situations, and they do in certain situations. So the
notion of the relationship isn’t just with the target companies. It’s also
within Microsoft. So probably this relationship evangelism statement even
needs to be broader than it is.
Now what isn’t relationship evangelism? Well, when this conference was
first proposed, Avery said, “Well, James is doing evangelism as war. You’ll do
evangelism as love.” Wow! Relationship evangelism isn’t about love at all. As
a matter of fact, people that know me, and know some of the companies I deal
with, when I get upset with the behavior of a company, I’m the first one to
say it, and I say it very loudly. And one of the things that I see as part of
the relationship work I do, is when a company is really not doing right by
Microsoft, I make certain that everyone in Microsoft feels the same way. For
example, I’m having a problem—I’ll mention the company, we’re all DRG—with
Peoplesoft. Peoplesoft continually flips what we call NT sales to UNIX.
They’ll go into an account, they’ll claim to be platform-neutral. Why, we’re
platform-neutral. We support the platform that’s best for the customer—as long
as it’s H-P, UNIX and Oracle.
And somehow the field doesn’t get it, and they keep on introducing
accounts. Well, I’ll tell you, Peoplesoft doesn’t feel very loved by me.
They don’t feel loved by me at all. It’s not anything about love.
Also, it isn’t sacrificing Microsoft’s business interest to get people to
like you. Sure, I like people to like me, I admit it. But I’m not going to
sacrifice Microsoft’s business for one second to get them to like me. And it
really isn’t about giving away free software. Free software is a weapon that
we use, and it’s a power that we have to help companies get going and get
moving, and you never know where that’s going to lead you. Sometimes you’ll
drop a piece…you’ll meet someone at a conference and they’ll say, well, we’ve
never really tried NT Workstation, and you won’t even know whether it will
lead to anything, but you’ll say why don’t I send you a copy. And you’ll find
out six months later that they’re now associated with a software company and
they’re doing something useful, but that really isn’t about giving away free
software. So these are all misconceptions that people have about what I do,
and why I’m so effective.
Relationship…and notice I’ve…I used to say it was a powerful tool. Now I’m
going to use the word weapon, since I’m a disciple of James, you know, and
weapons. And the relationship is the most powerful weapon you have with most
companies. First of all it isn’t just business to me. It’s more than business.
James would say it’s eat, drink, breathe. I eat, drink, and breathe my work. I
carry a cell phone wherever I am. I answer it I get woken up in the middle of
the night sometimes thinking about problems at work and how I plan to resolve
a situation. It’s a big deal to me, but it is personal to me too. I
take it personally. And I see those relationships as a reflection of
myself. I have my own integrity, and of Microsoft as well.
So my relationship with the people I work with, whether we disagree about
an issue or not, I want it to be respectful and I want it to be a reflection
of Microsoft. So that’s very important to me, that it’s more than just
business, but it’s still business. We have a job to do. But it’s more than
just business. It’s more than just sending a cold fax to someone. I want to
know the names of their children, and I care about them., I care about their
careers. And sometimes they’ll move from company to company and they’ll
remember me, because I care about them personally, and that’s not an
affectation. It’s me as a person. That’s why I love evangelism. It’s part of
what’s wonderful about evangelism. You get to go on airplanes. You meet new
people. You get to meet new people with different kinds of companies.
But evangelism is different for the companies I work with. I work with
enterprise companies, and they almost are like old ladies’ clubs. They’re like
groups of old ladies. For example, the AS-400 ISVs: It’s like a club, the
press and the AS-400 spades, the people in Rochester, Minnesota where the
AS-400 is manufactured, and the ISVs. They all talk to each other. I was one
of the first Microsoft people in history to go to Rochester, Minnesota and
visit the AS-400 group. Within 48 hours I had telephone calls from five or six
of the AS-400 ISVs. “We heard you were in Rochester. We heard you were in
Rochester.” So there’s a club attitude about being in these various spaces, or
pick. Pick is a business operating system that Tim McCaffrey knows a lot
again, it’s like a club. When the late Dick Pick was still alive, like
everyone would call each other about his latest exploits with his rap-singer
wife. It’s really a club.
So what you want to do is, in each one of these clubs—in James’ case, he’s
been privy to a very big club, we can call it the Apple-Macintosh club, and
he’s been doing exactly the same sort of things that I’ve been doing in the
AS-400 club, or I’ve been doing in the Pick club. They’re really very much the
same; a little bit different twist to what I do, but pretty much the same.
Learn their business and their language. Join and be heard. Become part of the
club. Now, that’s exactly what James does. He goes to the Mac conferences.
They see him as a Mac person. I’m the same way in the AS-400 world. I speak at
AS-400 conferences. I know the names of all the people in Rochester. I know
all their personalities. I know their attitudes about Microsoft, and I know
the convincing business arguments that will lead IBM to support us in that
space more than anyone ever thought possible. So that’s very, very important;
a very powerful weapon.
Each one of us, because we are a strategic resource and carry the Microsoft
message, can make a huge difference. We have a terrible reputation out there,
we really do. We can be very hard to work with. There are lots of what we call
fiefdoms: like, Microsoft isn’t really one company. It really isn’t It’s a lot
of little companies under one banner, and sometimes the little companies fight
with each other. Like one group has a transaction model that’s not the same as
Network OLE. So we have those things happen all the time. So we’re difficult
to deal with, but on top of it we have a reputation. People think Microsoft is
predatory, that the only reason we’re interested in what they do is because
we want to steal their business. So when we go into a company like in
enterprise applications, their always concern, is Microsoft going to make
manufacturing software? Is the only reason you’re here, Marshall, is to learn
about our business and then…then put us out of business. And there’s a lot of
fear of that, and at times, if you deal with a utilities company, you have to
make them aware that Microsoft may go into that business.
And you have to be very careful not to appear to be predatory, arrogant.
Microsoft people have a reputation of being very, very arrogant. I think what
happened to us and the Internet will help a lot of people become a little more
humble. It doesn’t mean you have to be falsely humble. I’m very proud of
Microsoft. I’m very proud of what Microsoft has done, and I’ll defend
Microsoft vigorously, but there’s no need for arrogance. There are a lot of
very smart people out there that don’t work at Microsoft, and there are people
that will do things that Microsoft didn’t think of,and won’t be able to do.
And the third thing that people feel about Microsoft, and we actually have
been guilty in the past, is forces unfair deals. And we’ve paid for those
dearly. And when Mike Maples was at Microsoft, when…before he became a
consultant and semi-retired, he used to say that of all the things that he
didn’t like about Microsoft is that some people felt when they were dealing
with people they had to structure a deal that was very unfair to the company
the deal was made with. One of the things I do as an evangelist is, I do
We just signed a deal—this is a secret—with the SignOn Company. That was
not an unfair deal. Anytime you make a deal, a deal with a company, you have
to make certain that it’s fair to both Microsoft and the company. Why? It’s
good business for Microsoft.
You want people who deal with Microsoft to flourish. Making them successful
using our technologies is a very important goal. So that’s kind of the
reputation we have and it will work against you.
There’s easy ways to overcome that, very easy. First of all, be candid. If
you screw up, say I screwed up. It’s easy to do, doesn’t hurt, and people will
respect you for telling the truth and not what we call spinning the truth all
the time. A perfect example was with Computer Associates. It took our PSS two
months to fully resolve a problem with SQL 6. 1 just had to brief Bill on it,
and I just put it right down. We’ve screwed up. And when Bill spoke to the
head of CA, he just said, “We screwed up.” And it’s just much easier if you’re
candid about things. Positively, too. Positively, too. Be open. Be as open as
you can be. There are ways of being open without giving people secret
information, but be as open as you can about what we’re doing and what you can
tell them. And be as helpful as you can be, even if you’re not in marketing.
You can always refer them to local office. You may be able to nag a
representative to help. If there’s one message I can get across here, though,
it’s really this last point. It’s to communicate. Communication…James doesn’t
specify communication specifically as a weapon or as a tool. I do. I believe
that that’s one of the biggest things we have going for us, and there’s a
certain cachet working for Microsoft. Cachet is…how would you put it, James?
James would know.
JAMES PLAMONDON: A name.
MARSHALL GOLDBERG: There’s sort of a glory to working for Microsoft, and
occasionally you’ll realize it. I was in Atlanta once, and the son of one of
the people that I was working with was there, and he said, “Do you work for
Microsoft?” And I said, “Yes.” And he goes, “Do you know Bill Gates?” And I
said, “Well, not personally, but I do see Bill fairly often. I know what he’s
like. He makes me laugh, I make him laugh.” “And you’re a Microsoft
evangelist?” And I said, “Yes. Look at my card.” And he goes, “Can I have your
autograph?” So there is…you carry something with you. You carry something with
you. It’s maybe not your…
DIFFERENT SPEAKER: How much did you charge him for the autograph?
MARSHALL GOLDBERG: He didn’t charge me anything for the autograph, but it’s
sort of a lesson that you carry a certain weight with you. Well, I carry a
certain weight with you, but that’s a different kind. But you carry a weight
with you, a weight of Microsoft, that means a lot to people. So you can use
it, and.using it wisely, you can really help people out and you can help
Microsoft out a lot. Make phone calls.
DIFFERENT SPEAKER: Let me just make one small note. Anybody who didn’t get
copies of Marshall’s slides? There weren’t enough. OK, so I’ve got a few more
MARSHALL GOLDBERG: Make phone calls, send email, but most importantly,
return phone calls. No one’s perfect at Microsoft on this, including me. It’s
almost impossible to return every phone call. But I’ll have to say, among the
ISVs the number one complaint I have is people don’t return phone calls and
don’t communicate. It’s really an easy thing to overcome. It doesn’t take long
just to even make a placeholder phone call or send off a quick piece of email.
Set expectations: Obviously we don’t do support. We don’t do sales. Never be
afraid to say no when needed. And don’t quibble with people. I work in a space
where it’s important for most ISVs to provide some sort of support, either to
the AS-400 or UNIX. I’m not going to quibble with them about it. I’m really
not. That’s just not worthy of what we do. And don’t excessively bash the
competition. Probably the big one there, because I’m now involved in the
relationship, is I…I’m working with IBM now. And our position with IBM…by our,
I mean Microsoft’s position with IBM…is Microsoft is making…is IBM is making a
big mistake thinking that Microsoft is IBM’s competition. We believe that IBM
can take Microsoft intellectual property—that’s software—, take our work, and
use it to leverage their own business. That’s really what we think on all
levels of the company, and what we want to see happen. Well, if you go out
there and excessively bash OS/2 or IBMor the mainframe or the AS-400, no one
wants to listen to you, so…and you’ll damage your relationship with the people
you work with. Also, understand your ISV can have different priorities. Like,
with an AS-400 ISV, they have to first take care of what puts the food on
their tables, what makes their car payments. So don’t feel badly if, let’s
say, they do their AS-400 version first, and remember we’re not IBM or H-P. We
provide more information than
IBM or H-P. but we very rarely provide direct financial assistance or
personnel to help out ISVs.
Who do I deal with, as a relationship evangelist that’s focused on the
relationship? Well, every company has a different structure. Some companies
like Microsoft, they have what we call fiefdoms or different sections of the
company that run pretty separately with an executive at the top, and they
range from being so independent it’s hard to believe they’re one company, like
Sterling Software. Does anyone know anything about Sterling
Software? Each division he does…each division has a separate president.
It’s almost like they’re completely separate companies, and it’s tough for us
because where does the decision get made, and how does an evangelist deal with
eight separate companies under the name of Sterling Software?
Identify the decision makers. In some companies it’s easy, like with
Computer Associates it’s very easy for me. There are two, the chairman and the
president No one else makes any decisions at all. That’s actually very good
news. From an evangelist’s perspective, it means all you have to do is get two
people on your side and have a good relationship with those two people, and
game, set, match, you win. And that’s certainly been true with Computer
Associates, although the relationship is difficult.
There’s no democracy in business. You can’t expect…you can’t necessarily
expect there to be votes, so even if all the developers happen to like you in
a company, a perfect example is J.D. Edwards & Company. That doesn’t mean that
they’re going to..their
feelings will translate into support for our products. Few companies are
like Microsoft, and interestingly enough, virtually everyone will say they’re
exactly like Microsoft. I’ve had companies that have been owned by one person,
where one person makes every decision in the company, and people live in fear
every day that they’re going to get fired because the boss wakes up and he’s
in a bad mood and didn’t have his breakfast, or couldn’t go to the bathroom
that morning, and then will come in and fire everybody. And they’ll tell
me, “Oh, we’re just like Microsoft.” I’ll go wait a minute, this is not true.
But a lot of people feel they are.
And actually most companies, when you look in my space, the enterprise
space, there’s some form of dictatorship. And for us, that actually makes it
easier. For example, this morning when Charles Wong was talking about CA, he
was talking about how admired the government’s structure in Singapore; And I
don’t know ii any of you are from Singapore, are any of you from Singapore?
Well, Singapore is run, shall we say, very autocratically, where one fellow,
like, makes…runs the country. So that gives you some idea of how some of these
leaders view their companies; and actually, as I say, it makes it easier for
you as long as you deal with the right people. If you don’t deal with the key
confidants and advisors, the key people that advise the decision makers, if
they don’t like you and you don’t deal with them, it doesn’t matter how good
Microsoft’s technology is. If they like Scott McNeil better than they like you
and you can’t develop a good relationship with the decision makers, they don’t
care what their customers want. They’ll use as an excuse, they’ll say, “Our
customers tell us…..” but it’s really not. It’s really what the boss tells
them. It really is the boss. So it’s very important that you infect those
key confidants and advisors and make them believe in Microsoft. And make
them believe in you and in the people at Microsoft.
Success and failure. We have only one mission here. I mean, it’s wonderful
to have friends out there in the software industry, but we must have a
critical mass of applications on our platforms. That’s our mission. All this
other stuff has nothing to do with our mission. We need commitment. We need
press releases. We need milestones. We need next steps. And of course we need
delivery. Having Computer Associates’ Unicenter for NT Shipping makes all the
difference in the world between a hundred promises versus one delivery of a
key application is a huge, huge difference. And we want exploitive
implementations on our platform, we don’t want lame ports, but I’m sure you’ve
Here are some examples of some of the companies I deal with and how
relationship evangelism has worked, and sometimes hasn’t worked. I’ll be blunt
It doesn’t always work. Evangelism doesn’t always work. Now, I remind you that
when I started working in the enterprise we had zero mind share. No one
thought Microsoft was an enterprise software company. I went to one Computer
Associates event and Charles Wong, who is the leader of Computer Associates,
said to me…he goes, “Why is Microsoft in the server operating system business?
That’s what IBM does. You people, you’re on the desktop.” And at the same
meeting…I’m at this meeting with all these chief information officers from
some of the biggest companies in the world, and I have the Microsoft badge on,
thinking gee! Everyone’s saying, “What are you doing here? You’re from
You’re the guys on the desktop. You’re not in the enterprise.” And then I
went over, and I wanted to get a sandwich, I was hungry, I go up to the guy to
make the sandwich and he goes, “Microsoft? I love them!” So we have a little
different…it’s a little different, it’s a little different when you evangelize
to a community where you have mind share, like the guy serving the roast beef.
It’s a lot easier to have him do things with Microsoft technologies than when
you start off with zero mind share and zero market share. We had no market
share. So what are we doing in this business?
So what’s happened to Computer Associates? Well, I methodically and
convincingly convinced Charles Wong and Sanjay Kumar, the president and the
chairman, that Microsoft platforms in the enterprise would dominate in the
distributed case. In distributed computing Microsoft, no doubt about it, would
be number one. And here’s why a great development team.. the NT Development
Team. Fantastic technology. Tons of money—over two billion dollars, two
billion dollars, invested in the technology. And a will to succeed.
So what’s happened since then? We now have CA Unicenter shipping their next
generation product, which has this wonderful graphical interface. 100% Windows
NT. It doesn’t even run on UNIX. It’s completely designed to Windows NT. We
also signed a
contract with CA to manufacture CA Unicenter with NT Server, and we’re
getting all their bus…major business applications, they’re all about to enter
beta. Their HR product is already in beta. That’s the difference that’s been
made by getting to just the people at the top. It hasn’t been a matter of a
lot of little tactical things. It’s been getting to
Charles and getting to Sanjay, and using, frankly, our execs who’ve been
great about this. All across Computer Associates now, everywhere you go in
Computer Associates, all they talk about is NT. NT is their standard desktop.
Exchange is becoming their mail system. They have over 1,000 users on Release
Candidate One of Exchange. So that’s the kind of difference I as an individual
evangelist have made at Computer Associates.
Another bet I took: Mark Hamm, Inc. Leading vendor of manufacturing
software in the AS-400 and UNIX camp. They were on the fence with NT Server
and their president, once again a small…a very powerful software executive,
Paul Margolis, that’s pretty much a visionary, was designing a new product,
but he had no idea why we wanted the server business. He couldn’t see how
Microsoft could make money. He kept on telling me, “Why does Microsoft want to
be in the server business? Your pricing is crazy. How do you plan to make
money?” So I formed, as James would love me…would want me to do, I formed this
Windows ISV Enterprise Advisory Board, invited Steve Ballmer, who came, and
Paul Margolis asked him the same question.. How in the world, with this
pricing, do you plan to make money? Believe it or not, we changed our pricing
model. If you’ll look back two years ago, you’ll notice that we used to sell
NT Server with no client licensing, right? So it was too cheap. He listened.
That business model was changed and now, the next generation product from Mark
Hamm is called Protean. It doesn’t even support the AS-400. It only supports
UNIX servers and Windows NT Servers. And this is secret, but they just closed
the largest deal in the history of their company on Windows NT Servers with
SQL 6, and now they want to be the first company with network OLE.
Here’s a sort of grey area. This is a company I’ve worked with in many
areas for many years, and I still can’t claim real success. It’s sort of a
grey area. I could call it successful; I could call it not so successful. J.D.
Edwards & Company, they are the top company, the top AS-400 ISV, $200 million
company, still private. They’re committed, but they don’t quite know what to
do. They have a very IBM..centric sales force, and the sales force doesn’t
want to deal with this Windows NT Server. However, by getting their internal
commitment, I had two of their executives, one of them a founder, Bob Newman,
install NT. They were so impressed with NT they adopted it internally and
wiped out Novell. And as a result even when they shipped their AS-400 version
of their next
generation software, they’ll ship an NT Server to deploy the client side
and deploy the server side of the application. They will be supporting NT
server sometime during this year, or so they say they will, so it’s a funny
victory. On one hajuLit’s hard to say really where they stand. But I’m sure
eventually they’ll support NT Server completely.
This is another showcase for me. Leading AS-400 case tool vendor, over 80%
market share. This tool is used to produce hundreds of high-performance,
reliable business applications. I managed to get through to their president.
Their president was an ex-IBM guy, interestingly enough same last name, didn’t
believe they should do NT Server. And I got through to this guy big time. The
problem that SignOn has is that with their new tool they still have to support
terminals, and they had limited resources, so they asked for a deal with
Microsoft—and this is secret—but yesterday Roger Heinen had just a degree…just
signed a contract for us to get the Obsidian tool producing Windows NT
applications. This is an agreement…I give Morris Beton a lot of credit for
driving this to completion. I started it, he finished it. The deal will be a
bombshell in the midrange community. Once people know about this deal, it’s
sort of all over in the AS-400 space. Everyone’s going to want to support NT
Server. But most interestingly, this is a business application model-based
tool that will support BackOffice logo apps and use OLE. So if you buy
Obsidian from the SignOn Company, it’ll be available next fall…this fall, you
will be able to use that tool to create BackOffice logoed apps that use SQL
Server with fully normalized tables that generate highly efficient C++ code
and actually use OLE. And that will bring over hundreds of apps. We call these
feeder IS Vs. And I love ISVs like that, because if you nail one of these
ISVs, and Doug says, “Well, Goldberg, how many applications are you
responsible for?” I say, “Well, SignOn has one application, but their tool has
generated 700.” Of course, Doug’ll go, “Well, those don’t count” But they do
count. The fact is they really do count, because that’s what people buy, and
they run their flower shops, their garages, they run their export businesses,
they run construction projects. These are very, very important companies.
Another one is V-Marig with their Universe Pick-compatible product that Tim
McCaffrey has worked with me on.
Here’s one….here’s a loss. Here’s one that I just don’t know what to think
of. Software 2000, another leading AS-400 vendor. They have a…they always gave
us a wonderful commitment. They even issued press releases. The commitment was
there; everything was there except for one thing. No software. No delivery.
You just couldn’t get anything out of them, and unfortunately in enterprise
companies, and in some companies
where relationship evangelism fails, or when you have a CEO that’s a
visionary like Bob Pemberton, believes in your platform like Bob Pemberton.
but doesn’t run the company with an iron hand, and everyone under him opposes
that direction, and that’s exactly what happened. The…Recently they literally
fired their old team. All the old people are gone. They have a new team in
place, and they are in the process of converting to Windows NT Server, but at
this point all I can say is, someday. It just hasn’t happened, folks! So I
have to them a loss, and I actually don’t work with them any more.
Here’s another one that was a loss. Lawson Software. They were an early
supporter. They did an early port. They showed up at Comdex. They were
supposed to ship early last year, and then suddenly they backed off. They said
no, no commitment from…why? There was no commitment from a top person, and H-P
and IBM didn’t support Windows NT Server. That was a big deal to them. Unless
you have H-P fully committed to Windows NT Server or IBM fully committed to NT
Server, we can’t do our software on your platform. And then suddenly I get a
phone call. Customer demand. They’ve decided to move into the health care as
their focus, and customer demand changed their mind. They hired a bunch of new
developers for the project, and as soon as I heard that I flew out there. I
went out with some other Microsoft people, and now suddenly they have their
product in beta and they’ll be delivering during the first half of 1996. The
reason this was possible, I believe, is because the people at Lawson, who even
though they knew I was angry about what happened and I was not a happy camper,
I knew they had their reasons, and they always knew they could pick up the
phone and call me. They always knew that there was still a bridge there, and
if they called me and conditions
changed, that I wasn’t going to hold it against them. And I didn’t. And now
they will ship on Windows NT Server. Their software is in beta.
So if I can say a quick summary, be personal, get to know the people you’re
dealing with. Become part of their lives and they’ll keep you in theirs. And
remember, courtesy counts. And the biggest factor that you have going for you
is, you have enormous impact. Anything you say, people may bet their business
on. That’s why when we tell companies how to program to a particular model, or
what programs to support that come out of the developer relations group, use
your own judgement and make sure that the advice you give them really gives
them good advice, because they will bet their business, their careers and
their fortunes, on your advice. And to be on the winning side of that equation
is the most wonderful feeling. When you visit a company and they tell you, we
just made the biggest sale of our company’s history on your platform, they
look at you and at that point their feeling is, you’re responsible. And it
makes you even more powerful. So this is self.feeding. Success does nothing
but breed more success, and as
you have more successes, the job gets better and better. Any questions?
DIFFERENT SPEAKER: When you go to an account in New Zealand, which is quite
a large IBM kind of house. ___________ they’re on the R6000, the guy CEO. he
sees himself as another Bill Gates for New Zealand.
MARSHALL GOLDBERG: That’s another…just like another Microsoft, you meet a
lot of CEOs that think they’re another Bill Gates.
DIFFERENT SPEAKER: He’s originally…I mean, he is successful, he does have a
lot of ______ there. And trying to understand from your side how do I deal
I met him once, but I’ve met more openly with the VP, and his personal kind
of consultant-manager, business manager he’s called, which is kind of a
youngish guy in his twenties. So I’m trying to get to him, but one of the
things I was going to ask you: Do you use a lot of, with all respect, your age
when you deal with them?
MARSHALL GOLDBERG: I don’t think my age hurts. I was with Digital Equipment
for eight years, although people that know me pretty well know that I’m pretty
crazy in outlook. But…yeah, no, I don’t think my age hurts in the enterprise
space. Having a little grey hair, being a little older, it doesn’t hurt at
DIFFERENT SPEAKER: I’m trying to relate to him, and it’s a bit hard,
because there’s quite a difference between us. I mean, I’m not young myself,
MARSHALL GOLDBERG: You look young to me!
DIFFERENT SPEAKER: So how can I approach this guy? It’s very hard to get to
him ____________ Because basically the company has two components. One of
them, which is where the VP I know ______________________ but that’s only 10%
of their business. The rest business is fully IBM and I’m trying to shill them
towards NT, but I have to talk to him because he is ______________
MARSHALL GOLDBERG: You have to get into his office. Another thing you can
do is, if someone…if a DRG person from the States is over in New Zealand, or
someone from Microsoft…Find out what the Microsoft execs’ schedules are, and
try to get into the president’s office with a Microsoft exec. And have the
Microsoft exec pitch the change in the industry, because the thing that’s
killing the RS6000, besides IBM never making a penny on RS6000s, is the whole
commoditization of the underlying platforms of the technologies. And the
companies that follow us—IDG, I believe, estimated next year we’ll create a
ten billion dollar follow-on industry that will be bigger than our own. Our
BSD will reach a billion dollars this year. The industry that follows it will
do ten. So there’s good business arguments, but it’s the nature of the change
in the industry; but you should get into his office, but use a Microsoft exec.
If you have one handy, use one.
DIFFERENT SPEAKER: Can you help me with that? Because Steve Parland(?) is1
coming to New Zealand in a few weeks’ time.
MARSHALL GOLDBERG: You certainly can give it a try. You can call up his
office. You can send him mail. You can do what I do, it’s called…something
your mother might have done. I don’t know whether…Does everyone know what the
word nag means, NAG? Yes.
DIFFERENT SPEAKER It’s an interesting question, because I’m also
intellectual _________________ We don’t have as easy a list that the resources
like bringing in
Steve Ballmer, bringing in some people from headquarters, things like that.
We don’t have that, in the same…It’s interesting to hear your suggestions on…
MARSHALL GOLDBERG: Well, the other thing to do, even if someone…and this is
almost, there’s a word for it, affectation, which is sort of, almost like a
put-on or…but you have Tim McCaffrey, who’s in London and has obviously worked
in Redmond for many years, and you can give him a title. He’s free to take any
title you want, right? And you can use him as another person for Microsoft
that’s connected to the corporation and use him in that role if you don’t have
an exec handy. We’re always on a fine line between working with executives and
telling them where…we have, too, a lot of power or not enough. Sometimes if
people think you have a lot of power it can be difficult. Bill Anderson is
perfect, perfect Bill Anderson…he speaks very, very well. He gives excellent
presentations, he’s very friendly. He knows how to dress very well in a suit.
Use Bill Anderson. Don’t be shy. That’s a super suggestion.
DIFFERENT SPEAKER: He knows all the upper execs pretty well, too.
MARSHALL GOLDBERG: And he knows a lot of the execs. You know Bill, he’s a
good person. If I’m passing through, if Tim’s passing through…but the fact is,
as I say, as an evangelist we’re considered strategic resources, and we do
have relationships with a lot of the execs. Paul Maritz invited me to go out
to him with Wang in early December, and I did. So that immediately makes the
ISV thing…well, this guy has Paul Maritz’s ear. Well, I can. I can send him
mail, or even Bill. They listen to us, because we are very.
very, very important to the success of the company. Microsoft is built on a
foundation of developers. So the developer support, creating those
applications that makes Microsoft what it is today. Our applications are
wonderful, but you can’t run a business with Word or Excel or PowerPoint.
There’s something else that’s necessary in order to run a business or to
perform a function, and that’s where all the third parties come in. So we live
and die on our developer community, and everyone knows it. All the execs know
it. So they give us very special status and they give us very special access.
But it’s not just them. It’s you, too. It’s like James, everything James
says is true. You have more power than you-can imagine to get things done and
to do things. It’s one of the wonderful things about the job. Any other
questions? Well, thank you all very much.
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