I make my living in a number of ways, all related to technology or to the technology business. I write. I give speeches. And I consult, to technology vendors, users, and investors alike. What this all boils down to is two areas of expertise:
- I know a lot about technology, especially software used by large enterprises.
- I have a lot of insight about business strategy, especially the marketing and positioning of complex products.
I already write several blogs about technology, such as DBMS 2 (database and analytic technology, mainly), Text Technologies (text mining, search, and some general internet stuff), and the Monash Report (everything else). This, however, is going to be the primary blog in which I write about strategic marketing.
I will start by focusing on two specific subjects for marketing — software products and political candidates. That may seem like an odd juxtaposition, but they actually have a great deal in common. Never mind the new cliches about marketing being a “conversation” — in politics and enterprise technology alike, marketing is a debate. (I’ll expound on what I mean by that in future posts.)
Before I launch into a marketing critique of the 2008 campaign, it seems fair to disclose something about my own political leanings. Many of my views were formed at the Kennedy School of Government, where I was a Research Fellow from 1979-81. Thus, I think government has an important role to play, but I recognize the difficulties of almost any large-scale government activity. I often find myself in agreement with The Economist. Specific examples of my views — on the technology-related subjects of network neutrality, economic development, and privacy — can be found in the public policy and privacy category of the Monash Report.
I actually considered myself an independent in the 1980s — I voted for John Anderson for President, and seriously considered asking my KSG colleague Chris DeMuth to take me with him to Washington to serve in the Reagan Administration. But as the United States moved right, in relative terms I moved left. By 1988 I was an Al Gore “raging moderate.” Ever since Pat Buchanan’s convention speech declaring a “religious war” in this country, I’ve voted a straight Democratic ticket. And while I’m not so sure about where he ranks vs. one particular counterpart, namely James Buchanan, I believe that George W. Bush is not one of the 41 best presidents in the history of the United States.