Thursday, September 3, 2009

What makes No.1 products

Joel Spolsky speaks about what makes No.1 products different from No.2's.

In brief:

* "Typical" quality aspects can bring us up to No.2, not No.1.
* To be No.1 you´ll need to:
* make people happy
* obsess over aestetics
* observe the "culture code"

Evaluate motivation in 10 questions

I've found an interesting questionaire about employee motivation, and decided to rephrase the questions for self-asessment. Very handy to evaluate oneselve's situation from time to time.
  1. What is the "primary aim" of your company? Is it alligned with yours?
  2. What obstacles stop you performing to best effect? Is your company concerned about them? Better, is someone actually dealing with them?
  3. What really motivates you? Would your boss answer the same?
  4. Do you feel empowered by the company?
  5. Are there any recent changes in the company that might have affected motivation? Maybe is the lack of them?
  6. Who is most motivated in your company? Why? Is there a path for you to get there?
  7. Are your goals and company goals aligned?
  8. How do you feel about the company? Safe, loyal, valued and taken care of? Or taken advantage of, dispensable and invisible?
  9. How involved are you in company development? Do you feel heard? Are you consulted? Are there regular opportunities for you to give feedback?
  10. Up to your experience, is the company's internal image consistent with its external one?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sharepoint in Plain English

Microsoft has just released this great video describing typical team collaboration pains and the support provided by Sharepoint. Clear, simple, and based on real life.

Well, I guess I'll have to review my presentations. I'm still using the "Knowledge Management" speech, that is clearly becoming obsolete. In the Web 2.0 era, users don't want their companies to "capture, store and publish" knowledge in centralized systems for them, they want to do it themselves! Productivity, personal and collective productivity. That's what users want.

Pitty, I kinda liked the introduction I used about mercantilism, capitalism and Drucker's Post-Capitalism and knowledge as an asset.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sharepoint 2010: Not supporting IE 6

Tom Rizzo, director of Microsoft SharePoint Server, announced at TechEd that SharePoint Server 2010 will not support Internet Explorer 6. Having to deal with 64-bit only servers was one thing, but this will be much much harder to explain to customers.

The web goes one direction, others go the opposite.

Extract DLLs from GAC easily

If you need to extract files from GAC, you can map the c:\windows\assembly folder to a new drive using the subst cmd and then accessing the newly created drive with the windows explorer.

c:\> subst j: c:\windows\assembly

To Undo, simply use

c:\> subst /d j:

Thanks Guille Kaveckis for the tip. Saved me hours.

Friday, July 3, 2009

What happens in Vegas...

Fill this Sharepoint Survey and win a chance for Sharepoint Conference 2009 pass.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

BizAgi: Cool BPM with Cool Marketing


A businessman sits at home watching TV, gets a great idea, goes to IT. IT tells him they need years to implement the feature, the guy leaves frustrated. Phone rings...

Watch the full story here or the product in action here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bing: Not quite getting it...

Sad but true.

Last Wednesday, Microsoft released a brand new search tool, But, hey, why don't I get the brand new tools when I enter the site? Because only the USA-English version has been released. The rest of us, 2nd class citizens, will have to wait a little longer.

Please, someone point this people to the word GLOBALIZATION in the dictionary.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Google Wave, Paradigm Shift and the meaning of life

We all tend to believe the world "is" the way we "understand" it. Through learning, our brain creates mental maps which help us to interpret our perceptions and act accordingly. Such maps, become what we experience as "natural", and they can be so powerfull, that they can even hide the "real truth" liying in front of your eyes.

I've read once that certain philosophers believe for instance that native americans simply couldn't see a person on top of an animal when they first saw the spanish riding horses. Their "mental map" told them to expect a feathered god-snake coming from the sea, and that's exactly what they saw when Francisco Pizarro showed up.

This natural incapacity to see the actual truth is called "Paradigm Paralysis". We are so emotionally biased that we simply don't allow ourselves to see the real (uncomfortable) truth.

Anyway, finally some enlightened person rethinks a few things and then eureka! Now we can measure the volume of irregular objects and jewlers can no longer cheat the rich. Eureka! That's exactly how paradigm shifts feel like.

Well, today when I saw the "Google Wave" demonstration, I felt I was whitnessing a paradigm shift happening right in front of my eyes. A singularity in IT history comparable to Gutemberg's print or the invention of Internet itself. Check for yourself...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Microsoft Run09 Uruguay and a UX Post Scriptum

According to Wikipedia, the word "Run" means

"Moving swiftly on foot for necessity, exercise, sport or fun, both in humans and animals."

The word has three more computer specific definitions and six sports related definitions. Eleven movies and eighteen songs are also related in some way to the word "Run".

Anyway, if you are part of the Microsoft Developers Community in Uruguay, from now on "Run" means one only thing for you: The biggest Microsoft event of the year. Don't miss it.

Run09 -
jueves, 04 de junio de 2009. 8:30 a 18:30
KDC, Latu.

P.S: Don't tell anyone, but I kinda hate the desktop-like Web UX of the site. I simply don't find the logic behind it. Why not using the good old "Document", or "Application"? I already have my Windows desktop, why giving me a second one? I only need content inside it, which is Docs and Apps. When the technology is shifting towards a zero crome browser (sorry, I had to say the c-word) to reinforce the "document"/"application" paradigm in Web, why should I be amazed by a translucent webtop? Cool tools in lousy hands.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hey dude, where's my Sharepoint licence?

Due to a bug, the MOSS 2007 SP2 installer resets the product expiration date to 180 days, as if it was a trial installation.

Microsoft is already working on a hotfix. In the meantime, you can still install SP2 and then manually re-enter the Product ID number (PID) on the "Convert License Type" page in Central Administration. Product ID numbers (PIDs) can be retrieved by logging into the Volume Licensing Service Center.

All this was announced yesterday by the Sharepoint Team. You can read the full article here.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Next Office Groove will be SharePoint Workspace 2010!

Even when we all tend to work and live in a 24x7 connected world, there are still cases in which off-line content is still needed. In Sharepoint 2007, off-line functionality is supposed to be provided by...Outlook 2007! Akward, to say the least. You can sincronize lists and read documents locally, but it is not enough to provide an off-line experience at least similar to the on-line one.

Since clearly the strategy of using Outlook as the off-line client for Sharepoint content does not scale up, Microsoft is reshaping Office Groove to become the off-line tool for Sharepoint users. Yesterday the team announced that the next Groove version will be called SharePoint Workspace 2010!

With good off-line support, a broad range of opportunities will open for the on-the-road information worker. Imagine mobile information workers sincronizing their netbooks at home before leaving, working all day long with the data without caring about conectivity and then sincronizing at the end of the day.

Having a tool that always keeps an updated local copy of content, will certainly help people to rely more on the server copies and avoid making manual local copies that lead to versioning issues.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sharepoint 2010: 64-bit only

It's been made official. The Sharepoint Team announced that Sharepoint 2010 will be 64bit only. And this means:
1) The product itself will be 64bit only
2) Will only run on 64-bit Windows Server 2008
3) Will only run with 64-bit SQL Server 2008 or 64-bit SQL Server 2005

Why? Due to performance and scalability reasons, Microsoft says. Well, I don't know. I simply can't buy the reasons...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sharepoint Error: Unable to complete this operation

We all know that Sharepoint moves in misterious ways, but well, I'm still a beliver. Today, one of our installations was throwing this error when trying to check-out a page:

"Unable to complete this operation. Please contact your administrator"

For debugging purposes, the message was less usefull than reading the coffee grounds. Hopefully, I searched for the error and the Google angel sent me this message.

"SQL Server has ran out of disk space".

First I thaugt it couldn't be my case, for the whole system would be failing, but then I found this message on the Sharepoint log:

Unexpected query execution failure, error code 9002. Additional error information from SQL Server is included below. "The log file for database 'XXXXXXX' is full. Back up the transaction log for the database to free up some log space."

And that was it. Mistery cleared. You can check what to do with a full transaction log here

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Client defined

I just came across a great definition for "Client".

"A client is a partner, someone who I have an intimate relationship, is in it with me for the long haul, someone with whom I co-invent the future, a person/organization in whose outcome I have a big personal stake, someone with whom I have an emotional bond, someone with whom I can’t work if trust is not paramount, a fellow professional who, like me, wrestles with intractable problems, the source of my reputation (for better or for worse), my No.1 “word of mouth” marketer, someone who grows with me, someone who loses when I lose, someone who wins when I win."

The greatest thing in the definition, is that it is not only descriptive, but also prescriptive. It tells you how to treat your "customers" to convert them into "clients". In português, "client" is translated into "freguês", which I love, because is the same word used for people frequenting a bar. I'm shure that if you ask a bartender, he can tell you the difference easier than an IT Sales rep.

By the way, the definition is quoted from Tom Peters book "REINVENTING WORK: the professional service firm 50". I'll go get it right away.