Posted by: Anonymous Coward
on May 11, 2007 07:44 PM
"Bern Galvin, a member of the board of directors, suggests that competing was especially difficult because "there ain't no IP" [intellectual property] -- meaning that, as a FOSS company, Progeny had no trade secrets to level the playing field."
Or rather, without "special secrets" there was no way to screw over or lock in those hapless customers. Earth to Galvin: in services, your "IP" is what your employees know, not the secrets of your widgets.
Having worked in a services organisation where most employees wanted to quit because they were treated so poorly by the idiot management, I've seen the way that many managers and directors overlook the actual value in the business as they focus on the only things they know: reducing costs and selling widgets. Only they aren't in the business of selling widgets, and laying people off just reduces the value of the business.
Then the widget sellers have a harder time convincing customers to buy more stuff, erm, services. Then the revenues drop, and more value is sacrificed on the high altar of a salesforce unwilling to adapt to the optimal business model. But does the salesforce and upper management get mandatory retraining or pruning to meet the reality of the business? "No, let's just fire some more engineers and have more brainstorming meetings, perhaps coming up with a company slogan to communicate to the customers what we supposedly stand for." Only the customers aren't so easily fooled...
I'm not saying this is where Progeny was headed, but the "no IP" excuse is a denial of business reality, in my opinion.