Stories by Jerry Gregoire

Should innovation stay in-house?

For many years I've used this forum and others to fret about the decline of IT as an engine of innovation and competitive differentiation. For those of us who love the job more than the title, love to design and code systems more than plan budgets and write performance reviews, it's been painful watching hundreds of ersatz CIOs, transferred in from other departments, chop off bits and pieces of IT and throw them overboard. Sadly, most IT departments are now tasked with coordinating the installation of somebody else's software and negotiating contracts with outside companies to keep systems running on networks that are being monitored by yet another collection of third parties. For most CIOs, this voluntary and catastrophic loss of internal capability is worth the comfort of knowing that they need not worry about a shortage of IT talent and that keeping up with everybody else is simply a matter of being skilled in contract negotiations. As a result, most IT departments are now staffed by people who know how to work things but don't know how they work.

Written by Jerry Gregoire11 April 07 21:06

A seat on the board

Get a few bucks in the bank and your name in a magazine or two, and solicitations for "angel" investors come at you faster than you can pretend to read them. Another prospectus arrived today, and there's a lot more wrong with this one than the fact that its covers are too far apart. The gold rush is never over, I guess. It's kept alive and kicking by rich/bored entrepreneurs who were smart enough to cash out of the dotcom rush early, poor/determined ones who weren't and the ever-hopefuls who missed the last wave completely.
A few good ideas and lots of bad ones. The worst ideas feature all the untested assumptions (and promise to repeat all the mistakes) that made the dotcom crash so inevitable. The big difference now, of course, is that it's OK for investors to ask the hard questions without being accused of not "getting it."

Written by Jerry Gregoire25 Nov. 02 22:00