Taking risks on software (ISC)

Piercarlo Grandi pcg at aber-cs.UUCP
Tue Dec 5 09:05:02 AEST 1989

In article <273 at odicon.UUCP> jlg at odicon.UUCP (John L. Grzesiak) writes:

     ... for any CEO that does doesn't understand risk and diplomacy as well
     as a plethora of legal conditions is an anachronism in today's business

Precisely. The original poster for this thread was complaining bitterly that
after having sunk a couple grand in ISC sw they did not solve his problem
with some brand of keyboard ASAP (or at all), and that his CEO would not be
pleased. I wrote a reply in the same stroppy style, as a parody, but making a
serious point, that given the current technical/legal environment,
commercial sw performance should never be taken for granted, and that this
is a risk of which CEOs should be made aware, because it entails, among
other things, a much greater commitment of capital...

     As someone matures into CEO material they have a balance of Assertive
     business sense coupled with an acceptance of reality.

If they are told that reality is such that with most sw products you are
utterly on your own. Otherwise a CEO may well reasonably expect that sw
comes with the same backing by the supplier as hw. Incidentally the CEO in
question is the CEO of a company supplying sw, so he/she should have known,
and formed more cynical expectations than those attributed to him/her.

     They also KNOW what it is like to have been given sales pitches, and
     sold a bill of goods. Anyone who expects perfection from ANY employee
     in light of reality is both immature and irresponsible.

That is why any mature/esponsible executive likes to know where his/her
risks stand, e.g.  as to contractual obligations of suppliers, to form
realistic expectations as to the product.

     (And not likely to rise to the position of CEO anyway)

Unfortunately, according to many sources, not least of which Fortune,
Novermber issue, many American CEOs seem to be on an extended ego trip, and
this is not good for US industry... But this is entirely another topic from
not expecting too much of current sw products, and knowing it.
Piercarlo "Peter" Grandi           | ARPA: pcg%cs.aber.ac.uk at nsfnet-relay.ac.uk
Dept of CS, UCW Aberystwyth        | UUCP: ...!mcvax!ukc!aber-cs!pcg
Penglais, Aberystwyth SY23 3BZ, UK | INET: pcg at cs.aber.ac.uk

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