Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Crossing the Chasm - or falling in?

Interesting post regarding MIIS SP2/ILM 2007 Timeouts, Out of Memory Errors and the Dreaded BAIL: MMS" over at Brad Turner's 1dent1ty cHa0s blog. I have been a long, long believer that MIIS is too complicated and suffers from being over-engineered and over-designed. It was okay when we released it in 1996 but now, 11 years later?

Time for some serious simplification in my humble opinion. Metadirectory and directory synchronization are mainstream technologies now and they must be simple to use. Unfortunately, nearly every solution has evolved from the mid-90's and has brought that over-engineered and over-designed architecture and philosophy of the "technology enthusiasts" market with them.

The solutions that win in this market will be easy to use. They may not do everything and solve every little issue but they will be simple to use.

Geoffrey Moore's seminal book titled "Crossing the Chasm" is a must read book. I recently had the opportunity to send the following snippet from his book to some folks...

"The Other Crack” (emphasis is mine)

“There is another crack in the bell curve, of approximately equal magnitude, that falls between the early majority and the late majority. By this point in the Technology Adoption Life Cycle, the market is already well developed, and the technology product has been absorbed into the mainstream. The key issue now, transitioning from the early to the late majority, has to do with demands on the end user to be technologically competent. Simply put, the early majority is willing and able to become technologically competent, where necessary; the late majority, much less so. When a product reaches this point in the market development, it must be made increasingly easier to adopt in order to continue being successful. If this does not occur, the transition to the late majority may well stall or never happen.”

I'm not sure that MIIS will cross the chasm successfully. The fact of the matter is that the market may be stalled - in fact I believe it is - due to the fact that many of the products out there are still too complicated to use.

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