Mea Culpa, I am Not A Hat

I used to read The Little Prince, Antonie de Saint-Exupery’s masterpiece book, to my oldest daughter (my youngest preferred Goodnight Moon) at night before she went to sleep.  I read it in Spanish, English, and French (poorly).  It’s a great book that discusses the way different people perceive the universe and what’s good and bad about it.

One passage from the book that has always stuck with me is the part where he presents one of his drawings to the “big people” (he never called them adults or grown ups in the original book, just referred to them as “big people” – I digress)

“I showed the grown ups my masterpiece, and I asked them if my drawing scared them.

They answered: “why be scared of a hat?”

My drawing was not a picture of a hat. It was a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant.”

By now you are asking yourself why I am droning on and on about books, hats, and elephants (and why I am so pretentious about reading the book in three languages).  There are two answers:

  1. I am a Porteño
  2. Turns out I am a boa constrictor trying to digest an elephant

Let me explain.

Earlier this year I posted my agenda for the year – including a list of 30 research notes I wanted to do, and six research projects.  It was my attempt to elucidate on the key questions that enterprises are wrestling with currently: how do I move forward with this “business transformation“?

The topics and their interrelation are still the same.  Nay, they are growing more critical the more hype we throw at the problem: maybe a handful of vendors understand artificial intelligence enough to deliver value, most of the rest are simply marketing confusion.  Two handfuls of vendors truly get how to use data in the enterprise, the rest are just selling more ways to store data and compounding the problem.  And virtually nil of them can help enterprises figure out their platform needs, mostly because it goes aginst their stated desire to sell more software.

I know, I am crusty, grouchy, and many other terms – including a curmudgeon (been called worse, keeping it PG).  We are at a crucial point in enterprise software whereby adopting good strategies and slowly improving what we have we can build a different future.  Or we can continue to buy licenses for access to hosted software.

I will continue to build the content to answer the question and continue the research I started a few months ago by talking to practitioners, but I won’t be able to deliver 30 notes (I am a tad behind, but will deliver the research projects).

I took on more than I could deliver: the infrastructure I had at Gartner to build research notes and distribute them is not easy to replicate – nor desired in this day and age as I am finding.

I will instead use this blog and (most likely) LinkedIn to deliver brief (6-8 pages, yeah – brief by me) compilations of insights and stories and what I learned to share with you.

Will take it from there.

Thanks for reading, still.

disclaimers: there is a little controversy about whether the book The Little Prince is public domain or not.  it is in its native language (french) and most everywhere else – except in the US where the law says it will be in 2019.  if you are reading this in the US and is before 2019 – then the quote above and the picture are the property of the estate of Monsieur Saint-Exupery.    the picture comes from my good friends at Amazon, so I will let them deal with the right-to-use aspects of it and will give them credit (link at the bottom of this).  my statements about vendors not knowing much are, of course, exclusive of my clients and friends – and you know who you are!  everyone else needs to figure out that this is not about selling more licenses but co-creating value for customers and enterprise by letting organizations build impressive platforms that may or may not use your software.  the world has changed and will continue to do so.  get on with the new.

little prince image credit: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41rJAtZH0vL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

elephant in snake image credit: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/literally-psyched/files/2012/03/ElephantInSnake.jpeg