RE: cluetrain

Subject: RE: cluetrain
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2006 16:31:47 -0600

Ned Bedinger wrote:

> [The intent of the following is to frame the Cluetrain
> Manifesto in historic context. <snip>
> Once upon a time, in a business model not so far away...

And what a lovely fairy tale that is. ;-)

Sure, there were some scammers -- always are. But the
_overwhelming_majority_ of "dot-bomb" companies crashed not because of
thieves, but because of eager, idealistic geeks who didn't realize that
their clever technology wasn't backed by a sound business plan and had
no realistic path to profitability.

These "new entrepreneurs" typically had idealistic business management
ideas (they idolized Ben & Jerry), but insufficient skills to implement
them. Their companies generally had a flat corporate hierarchy, and they
generally did the 12x7x52 thing alongside everyone else. They weren't
sharks taking advantage of the gullible, they were mostly

[IMO, the investors bear much of the blame. Too many bankers and venture
capitalists, unable to understand the technology, got caught up in the
enthusiasm of the True Believers and trusted in "visions" that they
should have looked at with much more green-eyeshade skepticism.]

The people who wrote Cluetrain and enthusiastically signed onto it in
'98-99 were the _very_same_people_ whose "new way of doing business"
companies -- brimming with technology and enthusiasm, but bereft of
revenues and profits -- crashed and burned two years later.

> The remedy for this plague on the dotcoms was (come on,
> everybody--you say it with me) OPENNESS. And of course, the
> dotcom bust was like a bath of fire--none but the true
> believers would try to start up a dotcom in the wake of the bust.

No, the remedy was hard-headed realists saying, "You're no different
than a brick-and-mortar business. Show me realistic revenue projections.
Show me how and when you'll achieve profitability." It's the True
Believers with their "new age" business model who were shown the door.

As for what open-source software has to do with it, if anything: well,
Peter Neilson mentioned "disconnected comments that attribute human
desires to inanimate objects, to software or to 'the market'" -- I stop
listening as soon as I hear the words "information wants to..."

BTW, don't get me wrong -- I thought Cluetrain made some very worthwhile
points. Somewhere between Peter Neilson's half dozen and Stuart
Burnfield's 15, I'd say. :-)

"It's my opinion and it's very true."


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word features support for every major Help
format plus PDF, HTML and more. Flexible, precise, and efficient content
delivery. Try it today!.

Doc-To-Help includes a one-click RoboHelp project converter. It's that easy. Watch the demo at

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- infoinfocus -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Previous by Author: RE: cluetrain
Next by Author: RE: Enumeration question
Previous by Thread: Re: cluetrain
Next by Thread: Re: cluetrain

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads