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Enterprise hits & misses - June 2

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed June 1, 2014
Jon's cheeky weekly review of which articles hit (or didn’t) on diginomica and beyond - for the week ending June 1, 2014.

A cheeky weekly review of which articles hit (or didn’t) on diginomica and beyond.

Cheerful Chubby Man
diginomica hit: Enterprise social - fail or (modest) success? Contrasting views by Den Howlett and Phil Wainewright

quotage: 'Regardless of where I look, the loudest voices in this conversation have utterly failed to understand why social, even when aligned to ideas around collaboration, are doomed to failure. The big surprise is that companies reportedly continue to engage in this topic in the manner they do.' - Den

myPOV: The diginomica week began with a caustic and original piece of anti-social commentary from Den, Newton and inertia – why our enterprise social efforts continue to fail. Later in the week, Phil posted a (somewhat) more optimistic piece on enterprise collaboration, 5 keys to unlock success in enterprise social collaboration.

Though this was not a formal debate, diginomica would do our readers a disservice if we marched in lockstep. I've never seen anyone incorporate the laws of Newtonian physics into a critique of enterprise social before (see Phil and Den's exchange on this point in Den's comment thread). That thread also surfaces a biting graphic from Martijn Linssen as social business can't keep up with unicorns.

I suspect my own position lands somewhere in between. No denying the millions of dollars wasted as Den asserts, but like Phil I have seen enough practical use cases to know that collaboration can work, though in more modest ways than the 'collaboration krishnas' might like. Culture eats lots of social software, and burps loudly.

Happy children eating apple
Diginomica picks: Digital governance - informed rants and analysis, from Stuart Lauchlan and Derek du Preez.

myPOV: digital governance coverage was another strength this week, with Stuart squeezing out e-government lessons in Europe’s e-government shortcomings are a lesson to the rest of the world, and Derek following up on his prior (productive) muckraking in The truth about what’s wrong with UK government’s Digital Services Framework. Derek then unleashed a thoughtful (and very enjoyable) rant in Governments need to realise they are not a special case in this digital revolution.

Vendor coverage:

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer
Developer engagement do's and don'ts - by several dudes

quotage: 'This is a critical aspect that vendors need to understand – allow developers to contribute back to the community and further the evolution of product. It is not easy – developers can be pretty brutal when they give feedback.' - Vijay Vijayasankar

The thorny issue of engaging developers picked up some blog steam this week. Vijay Vijayasankar of MongoDB posted his take in Developer Communities: A Perpetual Work In Progress. Vijayasankar's contrast between MongoDB and SAP's approach to developers is worth a look - plus he adds some basic rules of engagement which are not so basic when you realize that it ain't easy to execute on this (e.g. the quotage above).

Martin English dug in on the SAP side with an ambitious four part series entitled Does SAP really want non-SAP developers. The first three parts were a hands-on tour through the SAP developer rampup for a non-SAP type (not a pretty picture, at least in this case). The final part recommends how SAP can reduce the complexities. On diginomica, Den published a video with Andy Piper of Twitter on the need to enable developers. When you consider even leading SaaS darlings struggle with this (see my piece with Narinder Singh for more), we may see more crummy/dull apps - or struggling enterprise apps stores - for a while longer.

Other standouts


Overworked businessman
Den stole a bit of my whiffy thunder with Cheesy – Huge guy gets paid for dicking about - hard to top laboring almost three months over a freaking tweet. Oh, and new rule: next person to write navel-gazing clickbait about 'Why I quit Facebook' - if you do that, you don't get to come back. You are gone - like Yahoo gone. And - does telling the Mexican president to do something very wrong with his mother qualify as a Twitter whiff? I'd say so.

The latest brand of success porn is bugging me. If you have the stomach for 15 minutes of blandness  you can see what I mean for yourself. Getting paid to be weird isn't a new aspiration, nor is it easier to pull off now just because you can launch I'm a huge believer in weird - no surprises there - but advising people to get their freak on without warning them about the heat they are likely to take is either naive or irresponsible.

Officially off-topic

If you don't feel like shelling out for success porn, perhaps $8 ice cubes are more up your alley? And speaking of 'weird' success, a good case study will be this farmer from China who designed a motorized suitcase you can ride to the airport.

The weirdest headline of the week was also the best: Macaulay Culkin storms off stage at UK gig after fan interrupts kazoo solo. Teleportation also dominated the headlines, though in this case it's a genuine scientific breakthrough from the Netherlands.

Whether that teleportation advancement will lead to anything beyond moving data crumbs remains to be seen, but real monetization is occurring in Canada, where struggling mines are being converted to underground marijuana farms. Now there's an economic argument for weird. See you next time.

Which #ensw pieces of merit did I miss? Let us know in the comments. Thanks to Phil and Den for featured hits and misses links.

Most of these articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed. “myPOV” is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.

Image credits: Cheerful Chubby Man © RA Studio, Happy Children © Anna Omelchenko, Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, Businessman Choosing Success or Failure Road © Creativa  - all from

Disclosure: SAP and Workday are diginomica partners as of this writing.

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