"If it is all a lie about computers becoming easier, more
productive, and less time-consuming, what is the practical result? The
result is more products, more people to support those products, more
consultants to support end users.
I am not kidding about this. I have been CEO of a software company and
have developed a lot of software. One of some software company strategies
was to NOT make the software too easy to use. Make people believe that it
is easy to use, but create a marketplace for consultants, contractors and
programmers who sell services to support your software. SAP grew like an
out-of-control virus epidemic when its customers were paying contractors
$400,000/year to install their software.
The point is that the lack of usability coupled with the promise of
productivity creates an economic generator. It is a fundamental component
now of our economy. Just think, I can use PowerPoint pretty well, but I
used to make my own (...) truly effective presentations. If you were going
to compete with me on a presentation, you would have been wise to hire a
creative marketing firm. All I needed was some flipchart paper, two or
three colored markers, and a flipchart stand. Sometimes I wound up
standing the flip charts on a chair.
Now, I need a laptop, a projector, MS office and a lot more time working
with the software than I ever had to spend with the markers. There are at
least two orders of magnitude of money involved and relatively speaking,
my presentations are no better at all. Absolutely speaking, they seem
better - a lot nicer looking, more pizzaz, etc. Still, simplicity is
powerful and when I was doing flipcharts they were much more impressive
because, (1) people recognized and appreciated my creativity and effort,
and (2) there was less competition in matters of style as opposed to
To me, the bottom line is that I spend a lot more to accomplish a lot
less, but Bill Gates makes a lot more money."
Hela denna text av Ralph Barhydt finns på Netfuture - Steve Talbotts nyhetsbrev med kritik av hi-tech-samhället; ibland rätt flummig och självgod (med en olycklig antroposofisk slagsida), men ibland högst relevant. Det roliga är att en hel del nät-höjdare, som Kevin Kelly, Langdon Winner, Michael Goldhaber och Alan Wexelblat uppenbarligen läser vad han skriver, och med jämna mellanrum kommenterar det.