You Are Not Special

By Ken Phelan
Posted in Infrastructure
On October 28, 2015

Facebook announced a program this week to have their employees live with 2G data access speeds on Tuesdays (2G Tuesdays). This gives their employees perspective on what it’s like to use Facebook in an emerging market like India.

I love this.

How many times have you complained to a developer about the speed of their product only to hear them tell you how great the product performs for them? Well, good for you and your super-high-end PC with the local data store.

A few years ago, I abandoned my notebook computers and began to use virtual desktops as my primary computing devices. I put terminals into each of the offices I inhabit, including my home office. My staff was more than skeptical, but it’s worked out very well for me.

Every now and then, it’s time for something new. It might be a new platform like virtual desktops, a new product, or simply a new security policy like password complexity. I’ll sit around with a table of experts who will all universally agree on this new action.

Yes, it’s a great idea, but unfortunately not for me. 

Not for you? Why not?

Well you see, I’m a special case. The threat doesn’t really exist for someone like me. And I’ve got special computing needs. So it just isn’t for me. It’s really for them.

This isn’t an eat-your-own-dogfood thing. We’re not talking about using new or untested products. We’re talking about serving mush in the cafeteria and saving the steak for IT & executives.

And people wonder why IT departments are sometimes unpopular. Would you eat at a restaurant where the staff avoided eating? Me neither.

There is no them. We are them.

Get your IT staff (and your executives) on your IT products and processes. Either the product or process is bad, in which case nobody should be on it, or it’s good. Either way, get everybody on it. Trust me, when your IT staff is forced to live in their offering, they’ll refuse to accept a bad technology product. They’ll fix it or make you dump it.

Ken Phelan

Ken Phelan

Ken is one of Gotham’s founders and its Chief Technology Officer, responsible for all internal and external technology and consulting operations for the firm. A recognized authority on technology and operations, Ken has been widely quoted in the technical press, and is a frequent presenter at various technology conferences. Ken is the Chairman of the Wall Street Thin Client Advisory Council.