November 2011


Have you ever worked for a technology leader who over promises and underdelivers? I know that in my career I have (quite a few times actually) and it leaves your customer (internal or external) underwhelmed and over time, completely frustrated and exhausted when having to deal with the technology department. Your customer may react in many different ways through this experience…from “bad mouthing” your leader, or to worse, bad mouthing you as project manager andI have seen it get so bad that the customer has “fired” the internal IT department and gone outside to get the work done.

Practicing good micro technology stewardship is not always about making the right technology decisions (as discussed in prior blogs), it’s almost always more, let’s look at the definition again:

“Micro Technology Stewardship is the use of people with enough experience of the workings of a business or department to understand its technology needs, and enough experience with technology to take leadership in addressing those needs.”

Good Micro Technology Stewardship also includes “looking inside” at your self to make sure you are using your “experience” to understand the needs of others and properly addressing those needs. When you over promise and underdeliver you are really saying “I understand what you want, I know it can be done, but I am not a strong enough leader to make sure you are educated on why it can’t be done in the manner or timeline you expect.”

I have seen so many bad product executions that could have been avoided if the technologist had only educated the business leader on the realities of delivery.  What about you, are you in a company where your leader over promises?  Have you ever found yourself having to over promise because you felt you had no choice but to “comply”

If over promising and under delivering is so bad, what about the “formula for success” of under promising and  overdelivering?  Will your customers catch on? Will they then set expectations high, or worse yet, raise them each time you exceed your own self-set commitment?

The One Chart You Need To See To Understand Mobile.

ComScore has data out on the US phone market and Asymco breaks it down on the evolution of the US phone platform install base.  It highlights a few key points, some of which are already known, but some of which don’t get talked about enough:

  • The Blue Ocean is still HUGE.  AppleGoogle, RIM, Microsoft et al. is winning in smartphones, the biggest opportunity remains the Blue Ocean of getting smartphones in the hands of non-smartphone users. 


  • Android! —the other thing that jumps out is how big and how fast growing Android is. Google’s open-source, broad distribution strategy is textbook disruptive innovation, and at least so far, seems to be working just like it should: i.e., it is eating the market.


  • Yes, Apple should be worried; but no, it’s not over, far from it. First of all, Apple is huge and still growing very nicely. Second of all, because the mobile wars are platform wars, smartphone marketshare undercounts iOS marketshare because of the enormous successes of the iPad and iPod Touch, which aren’t phones but are still mobile iOS devices. And thirdly, this chart doesn’t count the two big potential gamechangers Apple has recently introduced: the iPhone 4S, which looks like an excellent device and could be a record-breaking seller; and, less flashy but at least as important, the FREE iPhone 3GS, which allows Apple to have an offering for the bottom of the market and be competitive with Android. How these devices perform could make things look very different three months from now.