Ben Langhinrichs

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April, 2004
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Genii Weblog


Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Fri 2 Apr 2004, 12:00 PM
A couple of weeks back, Jeff Sandquist wrote on his blog about his Seven Day Rule for evaluating new software.  This is a topic of great interest to me as a product vendor.  Our evaluation cycle for both our Midas Rich Text LSX and CoexLinks is between thirty and forty five days, depending on when the request is received, but our experience with people buying the two products is very different.  Obviously, we have a heck of a lot more experience with the Midas cycle, as we have been selling it for much longer.  Many people who buy Midas do so at the end of the evaluation, no matter how long the evaluation is.  The exception to this is people who buy it for generating HTML e-mails or generating HTML in general, who tend to prove it works and buy it, usually within the first week.

CoexLinks is different.  People usually decide whether it works for them in the first day or so.  They may take longer to buy it, but usually just because they have to get authorization.  The decision is made in the first seven hours, rather than the first seven days.

So, what makes the difference?  Why do people wait so long to decide on Midas, and take so little time with CoexLinks?  I think the key is instant value.  Midas has a great deal of power, but it is unrealized power unless there is a sample that already does what you want, like our Send It! sample, which has been the source of the most "instant" Midas sales.  Otherwise, you need to build an application around it.  People mostly buy because they build the application and lose focus on the product which makes the application work - until the eval license expires and they remember and buy.  CoexLinks has a lot of power too, but it takes about ten minutes to install and prove it, so the decision is almost entirely financial.  "Can I afford this product?"  Usually, seven hours is long enough to decide that the company can't afford NOT to buy it, since the cost of modifying functionality in various applications is so much greater.

Now, what should I, as grand poobah of product direction for Genii, do about this?  Accept that Midas is a slower sell, or turn out more Coex products (yup, they are coming, which is one hint as to my decision), or write more Send It! samples that make instant Midas sales more likely (that sounds good too).  

What would you do if you were grand poobah of Genii? (Sure, do my work for me)

Copyright © 2004 Genii Software Ltd.

Fri 2 Apr 2004, 09:10 AM
There are signs in the DC subways that read
More Security Does Not Make You More Secure;
Better Management Does!
I think the company putting the ad up is Computer Associates, but the premise is an interesting one.  It is often easy to add more security, but the real challenge is to make systems more secure.  A good example in the Notes/Domino world is ECL's, which are great because they offer a warning before executing potentially malicious code, but which don't offer anything without a certain amount of training and management.  If users simply click on the extra warning and go on, they are not protected, and they most certainly will if too many ECL warnings are displayed.  It is like having sixteen locks on your door and leaving the door open because it takes too long to lock and unlock all those locks.  I know some companies have been very happy with ECL's, and they mostly seem to have very well thought out rules about how they are used and applied.  I know other companies that basically don't use them, and they generally either started out way too restrictive or never applied them in the first place.

What is your experience?  Does your company use, or misuse, ECL's?

Copyright © 2004 Genii Software Ltd.