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Dave Mccomb

Thanks for the kind words Richard. Yes, unfortuneately I find far too many parallels with the Object Oriented industry. I was in relatively early (86) and while I got a few good projects out of it, certainly didn't strike it rich. There were a few pure plays who did do well, Rational, I'd say was the poster child in that regard.

But my real caution was to companies that are in the space in any capacity (tools, infrastructure, consulting, whatever). When the market is small I think there is an even greater temptation toward manic behavior. I took the article to be more of a caution to avoid one variety of tempting manic behavior: jumping from complex sale orientation to volume business or vice versa, as the organization is likely to be genetically unable to make the shift, even if the market looks attractive.

For me, that means stay away from the mass markets.

All the best.

Richard Ordowich

Dave, before I comment on your blog, I just wanted to say that I found your book, Semantics in Business Systems insightful and helpful in my work.

I too read HBR and find their articles enlightening. However I think your use of these articles in reference to the business of semantics maybe a bit premature. Besides which, the HBR articles are typically a historical view of an organization's success. Did Microsoft or Apple have a real "plan" for success or did they just do the right things at the right time and luck affected the outcome. There are so many variables and changes that occur during the formative and growth years on any organization, that I am skeptical that there is a "grand plan" for business success. Certainly there are lessons to be learned but the success formula for one company or even one business sector does not translate to a formula for success for a business as specialized as semantics. I hope we all become rich and famous in the world of semantics but I don’t believe anyone really became rich and famous in the object technology business, which is perhaps a better business model to examine. Semantics will perhaps have its 15 minutes of fame but its not clear it will catch on even to the degree that object technology did.

I think semantics is somewhat too abstract for most business people to appreciate and it is also difficult to relate the benefits in terms of ROI.

That said, we will continue our mutual pursuit of fame and fortune and perhaps even more important, our pursuit to reduce ambiguity in the world of business and government.

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