Almost Famous

I will be presenting at Microsoft ASP.NET Connections conferences in Orlando and Nice, France later this year.  In preparation, my picture and bio are up for the world to see on the conference web site.  There is currently only one Keith listed so I shouldn’t be hard to find.  So much for remaining incognito.

Now if I could only get them to play my theme song when I walk onto the stage. Even better I may put in a request to have Lex and DJ Gamble come warm up the crowd.


Beta is Better

Since when did extended betas of online applications become acceptable and commonplace?

Take, for example, Yahoo Flickr, Microsoft Live and Google Gmail. All have had that insidious four-letter word attached to their brands for several months or years. It is so bad the designers for each site have even included the word “Beta” in their logos.

Any respectable software engineer will tell you beta releases are hugely important parts of the product development cycle for gathering feedback and easing adoption. However, back in the old days of shrink-wrapped software, in the mid- to late-90s, betas were short, on the order of 3-6 months. Nowadays, it is common, if not downright expected, for hugely successful online applications to stay in beta for years.

Perhaps the permanent beta implies software that is never finished because it is constantly being improved. As a result, all the major players are falling in line with extended beta branding for fear of being viewed as staid or lagging behind. “Beta” is the new symbol of innovation. If this is true it is only a matter of time before one of the major players attempts to one-up the others by re-purposing “Alpha” in a similar manner.

Personally, I would be impressed with an “Omega” branding of a major online application whose tag line is “It is so good there is nothing left for us to add or improve.” That would be killer.


We Are Going to Super Bowl XL!

Actually, as of right now, we are going to Detroit at the same time as The Super Bowl and plan to bum around outside Ford Field hoping to realize one of TB’s life-long dreams of attending the game.

It is a spur-of-the-moment thing and will be a whirlwind trip to Detroit on a red-eye on Friday and returning to Seattle early Monday.  DBH and Buschick will be in Detroit during The Super Bowl as well. DBH is a Detroit native and is going to support his city; Buschick is a Seattle native and is going to support her ‘Hawks.

We will be staying with Mil, my favorite Aunt-in-Law, so I’m sure we will have fun regardless.

Keep your fingers crossed for us and if you know someone who has tickets for sale let me know.  I’m working on my “Husband of the Year” nomination.


The Art of Evangelism

Some of you may recognize Guy Kawasaki as the Apple Computer employee responsible for marketing the seminal Macintosh computer in 1984.  He is also credited with formalizing the role of evangelists (in the secular sense of the word) in the technology industry.

I first discovered Guy by reading his book, The Art of the Start, aimed at anyone starting anything, in general, and Silicon Valley technology entrepreneurs, specifically.

Guy has a post on his blog from earlier this month entitled “The Art of Evangelism” in which he discusses how widespread evangelism has become in the industry despite the absence of “a foundation of the fundamental principles of evangelism”.  His post is meant to lay that foundation by providing some of those fundamental principles.

I believe Guy’s 10 principles of how to be a great technology evangelist can be applied to other roles, disciplines, industries, etc.  Heck, many of the items could appear in a list entitled “Success in the Workplace 101”.

Quote of the Week:
People don’t buy “revolutions.” They buy “aspirins” to fix the pain or “vitamins” to supplement their lives.