Doing a Joint Announcement With The Competition, How to Cooperate

Recently, I’ve done joint announcements with Oracle, SAP, HP, Tibco, Software AG and HP. As you can imagine, I’ve had varying relationships with each and I’m happy to report that the state of the A/R industry is good and that we can work together.

When I was in PR, here is the link to the cat fight supreme with territorialism and turf wars. Most of the announcements I did with these companies when in Analyst Relations didn’t have that element. For the most part, the announcements were about standards, not products. So that went a long way towards working together. Still, if you include IBM, the companies I’ve named here aren’t known for being best buddies.

As an aside, I can say that the executives (who can be the source of most problems) all worked towards the cause of the best briefing possible.  They were helpful in this instance.  Many times, they are the fly in the ointment.

Some things are given, like in a certain area (we just did SOA) the analysts know the exec’s by company and the exec’s know each other so I’m happy to report they acted like grown ups.

TURF WARS

With the typical name calling (from the CEO’s) and because of the belief in your own products, the first issue to overcome is that the announcement is usually about a jointly created product or standard, not us vs. them.  That rule has to be set down first and if you don’t overcome that, you have no chance at building trust, the basis for working together.

DIVIDE THE DUTIES

One company can’t dominate the duties or it is not a joint announcement.   This also forces the companies to work together to approve what the others have created as their part of the announcement.   There are analyst lists, invitations, charts, follow-up issues and any number of duties that need to be attended to and dived up.  Once that is done, you must rely on each other and the level of trust inherently rises.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT

It’s important that the analyst see this as equal among the companies.  One company presenting more than another is a dead give away.  You can’t help Q and A as the analysts will direct the question directly to a company.

LESSONS LEARNED

You either put your differences aside and work together, or you’ll never get anything done.  It’s tough to do when your day job is to hammer the company that you are working with other than on the joint effort.  These are the days of co-opetition though.  You learn to get along or you’ll never make it to announcement day.

Are Computers Male or Female? Tech Humor

A foreign language teacher was explaining to her class that, unlike  their English counterparts, French nouns are grammatically designated as  masculine or feminine.
Things  like ‘chalk’ or ‘pencil,’ she described, would have a gender  association although in English these words were neutral. Confused, one  student raised his hand and asked, “What gender is a computer?”

The French teacher wasn’t sure which gender it was, so she divided the  class into two groups and asked them to decide if a computer should be  masculine or feminine. One group consisted of the women in the  class, and the other of men. Both groups were asked to give four reasons  for their recommendation.
The  group of women concluded that computers should be referred to in  masculine gender because: 1. In order to get their attention, you have  to turn them on. 2. They have a lot of data but are still clueless. 3.  They are supposed to help you solve your problems, but half the time  they ARE the problem. 4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that,  if you had waited a little longer, you could have had a better model.
The men, on the other hand, decided that computers should definitely be  referred to in the feminine gender because: 1. No one but their creator  understands their internal logic. 2. The native language they use to  communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.  3. Even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later  retrieval. 4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself  spending half your pay check on accessories.

Meaningful Sayings, Things You Should Know

1. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.

2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on my list.

3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

4. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.

5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

6. War does not determine who is right – only who is left.

7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

9. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

10. In filling out an application, where it says, ‘In case of emergency, Notify:’ I put ’911′

11. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

12. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

13. I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure..

14. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

15. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.

16. I’m supposed to respect my elders, but its getting harder and harder for me to find one now.

Senior Moments or What happens in my brain when I can’t recall something I know?

An interesting subject, sometimes called a brain fart.  These are not my answers, but I thought it would be interesting until you can’t recall it.

While it is not known for sure what is happening, this is how current models of memory recall would explain it:

Memory recall in the brain is not like retrieving a file from disk on a computer. In the brain, memories are reconstructed rather than retrieved. The brain is constantly augmenting what is in “working memory” with related information from the past. This is why stream of consciousness and memory recall often work by free association: The information association process is already there and we just make use of it.

When attempting to recall something specific, like a name, we “trick” the name into appearing in working memory by thinking about concepts related to it: the person’s identity, when we saw them last, what they look like. Normally this process automatically brings the information into working memory as a side-effect of filling in related facts.

When a word is missing but you “think you know it,” what is probably happening is that a lot of information about that word has been reconstructed in working memory, but not enough to trigger the production of the word itself. The presence of related information signals that you’ve “almost recalled it,” but the failure to produce the word shows that the recall is incomplete.

Often when people can’t recall a word, someone else can fill it in for them. But sometimes the “tip of the tongue” word does not actually exist. Related words may come to mind and it may seem like there “should be a word” for whatever it is. Thus the tip of the tongue feeling is not infallible.

Or: you can use this one….

A Neural Network (computer software) is just a simple model of the brain – not sure if the brain has something to do with it, but NN is composed of interconnected neurons with synapses (software model artifacts.)

Each neuron is an adder with a threshold, and each synapse has a weight. Both the threshold and the weight holds a small unit of information (could be digital or analog.) The entire NN has a certain information capacity, and used wisely (as in VOT (voice to text) or OCR (optical character recognition)) they do quite a job!

However, NN theory (and practice) shows (if I recall well) that when this capacity has been used/filled more than 11% (or something like that) while ‘learning‘,  the network starts ‘ forgetting!’

I want to stress again that I’m not aware of any evidence that the real brain works like a computer neural network – even more a computer NN would be to a brain like a dog house to New York city – but here there is something to think about…

For more information, go here.