Thursday, December 07, 2006

How to blow up a 100 Million+ user base

"I remember when I worked at IBM, Steve Mills, the VP in charge of all of IBM software and one of the largest software businesses in the world, he came to Iris to tell us about IBM's great plans for Lotus Notes and us former Iris employees working on it. He actually said we were the “user experience” people, and the other groups at IBM (like DB2 and Websphere) were the heavy lifting, back-end people.

He couldn’t have gotten it more wrong."

I suppose I wasn't with Lotus/IBM any more when Steve made these statements. Anyhow, how IBM Software Group managed to throw away the lead in the Notes/Domino vs. Exchange race and offend many people in its huge installed base about its future strategy (Domino vs. Websphere) still boggles my mind to this date. A textbook case for how an exec that doesn't need input from people working on a product for ages and manages to get a software business of the tracks.

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