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Eulogy For The Google 20
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TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
9/13/2013 | 5:41:12 PM
re: Eulogy For The Google 20
Thanks for reply, Lorna. But point is, this IT boss Sculley didn't want this. He wanted all existing ERP installs to become Burning Platforms to validate his decision to move to this other ERP. All this work I did to write new system didn't by itself add business capability, just replaced what we already had with software I COULD (and have) added new features to in future. Because we can now do that again, we are not in danger of becoming a Burning Platform, saving spending all this money on new ERP. But IT boss Sculley didn't care, not his money. He gets his salary from mgmt fees charged to our biz unit. His motivation was to have his idea look good to the high level business managers, nothing else. Beating my chest as to what I did, to him or the high level business managers would have accomplished nothing. I do not want his job. :-)
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
9/10/2013 | 6:02:53 PM
re: Eulogy For The Google 20
I hate to drag out the "engineer as introvert" cliche, but in my experience IT pros do have a hard time publicizing their accomplishments. Everyone in your company's management team should have known about what you did! Maybe it's your boss, maybe not, but perhaps the answer in future is to find a champion -- someone who has the ability and inclination to be a booster and help communicate good work up the chain.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
9/10/2013 | 4:57:19 PM
re: Eulogy For The Google 20
Good stuff Coverlet, as usual. I've lived a piece of this when Sculley at Corp HQ decided to sign a license agreement with our ERP vendor which cutoff any rights to source code on a customized install, insuring no upgrade could ever be done because he wanted to switch ERP systems. So I spent 6 months of 60-80 hour weeks writing a replacement ERP system for our IBM i5 server so I could make changes our local business unit needed to make going forward. This also makes sure we don't have to spend another million changing to new ERP system. My local business mgmt is very appreciative but Sculley at Corp has no clue what I accomplished, all to cover up his mistake.
Years have gone by and there still is not a successful full scope implementation of this new ERP vision Sculley had. He neglected to consider the lack of talent to implement the first ERP system correctly in most business units was still the problem, not the software itself.

But I have no illusions I own a single line of this code I spent hours of my own time to write, I'm sure my employment contract is quite clear on that.
Coverlet
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Coverlet,
User Rank: Strategist
9/9/2013 | 9:56:11 PM
re: Eulogy For The Google 20
Thanks Joshua. This is the nicest compliment I've received in a long time. My favorite eulogies-- if it's ok to have favorites-- are the ones that make me laugh and cry.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
9/9/2013 | 8:48:28 PM
re: Eulogy For The Google 20
Google doesn't really need 20% time anymore since it decided to dispense with its various labs and off-the-wall projects. Larry Page enforced focus at Google, which is both good and bad. It's good for shareholders but it means we're unlikely to see a Google employee think outside the search box.
JoshuaG834
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JoshuaG834,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/9/2013 | 8:46:12 PM
re: Eulogy For The Google 20
This made me laugh and cry.
EVVJSK
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EVVJSK,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/9/2013 | 8:15:10 PM
re: Eulogy For The Google 20
Real innovation seems to be dying in the IT arena. Many of the big companies have gotten so bloated and "bottom line" driven that they have realy innovated much in the last 3 or 4 years. Add to that the silly patent wars and it is why the industry has really been pretty static the last year. Interesting to see if a company comes along that can shake things up.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
9/9/2013 | 7:03:13 PM
re: Eulogy For The Google 20
Instead of stopping 20% time, Google should give the time only to people who have earned it -- by proving that they are Steves, not Sculleys. I'm not sure what the metric is, but not using phrases like "more wood behind fewer arrows" should be on the list.
Somedude8
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Somedude8,
User Rank: Ninja
9/9/2013 | 5:27:52 PM
re: Eulogy For The Google 20
Amen to that.
Having been both a Steve and a Scully, I can say from experience that it is too too easy to slide down a slippery path to becoming a Scully, and not even realize it. If very very lucky, one day a bit of perspective hits, and one realizes what they have become.
The path to reclaiming my soul has been as an hourly Freelance Steve, convinced that the soul loss process begins as soon as one accepts a salary deal.
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
9/9/2013 | 2:51:23 PM
re: Eulogy For The Google 20
The keeper paragraph, in my book, is the one about the top exec who "convinced himself that generating ideas was as important as building, that saying 'let's cure cancer' was as meaningful as curing it." How often do the doers at a company get superseded by the "visionaries" who throw off big ideas but have little grounding in how work actually gets done?


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