Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Essay Progress. In my 23 February entry I mentioned that my ongoing essay here was picked up as a topic in a discussion forum. A few members of that forum have made valid points that show where some of my assertions have flaws or need additional thought. For example, in my 22 February entry under Situational Analysis, list item 3 I discussed how the US steel, automobile and consumer electronics industries were world leaders when I was growing up. I later mentioned that US TV manufacturers, also world leaders at one time, are completely extinct. A reader identified as DJAgain posted an interesting and valid reason why the TV industry was a bad example:
During the Eisenhower administration, Japan was basically "given" the TV industry. The US Government lowered (manipulated) the import duty on electronics in exchange for Japan's approval to locate U.S. Bases in Japan. At the time, these bases were a strategic necessity because of the cold war with China. In addition to having 1950's -era cheap labor, the Japanese also manipulated their exported prices even lower, and made up the difference by charging their own citizens a 50-100% markup for the same TV.
He ended with a powerful observation: "American companies just couldn't compete because of our Government's manipulation of the law. Sound Familiar?"

A readner named Greg gave some well thought-out reasons why my analogy using the auto industry is a bad example. His comments have merit:

While one may argue that Japan or German cars are better quality than domestic they are certainly not much cheaper ( and many are in fact more expensive in comparable class); as for the production speed I assume it's about the same, isn't it? But even more important, these examples (cars, TV sets, steel ) are valid for mass production, "commodity" industries while most of the IT/software projects are "custom-made". I agree that in the IT areas suitable for mass production, e.g. building class libraries according to the detailed specs the competition may work better ( like building "Japan" TV sets in Malaysia according to the detailed blueprints).
I also gained insights from posts by David Cressey on Stages of International Competition and an individual named ILoveCoding, who has posted a number of well written responses. The following, titled Quality problems ... process and culture, is one of my favorites. ILoveCoding clearly has a quality-oriented background and in-depth knowledge and experience in project management and software engineering processes.

Expanding Energy. Linda and I have a symbiotic relationship. Her strengths compensate for my gaps, and my strengths do the same for her. Where I tend towards the abstract, Linda is grounded and pragmatic. We have a perfectly balanced, harmonious working relationship that complements our friendship. Kate Hartshorn has joined the mix and she's been actively collaborating with me on a number of ideas. Her fresh ideas and perspectives add much to TEAM Zarate-Tarrani, and her positive personality contributes to an interesting team dynamic. Kate has a BA from University of California, Irvine, in Social Ecology, and an extensive background in business and competitive intelligence. She is also one of the most efficient and effective researchers with whom I've had the pleasure of working.

End Note: Doug Kaye has consolidated his weblogs. His index page has the latest details, but the two weblogs that have emerged are Web Hosting Strategies and Web Services Strategies. These weblogs directly support Doug's outstanding book, Strategies for Web Hosting and Managed Services, which Linda and I recently reviewed on Amazon.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]