What Happened to the Tech Community?

You know what’s really starting to annoy me? Seeing people sell out to the companies they’ve joined. The word “annoy” is quite mild. It’s actually really starting to make me quite fucked off.

I’ve been on twitter for quite a while, and in the last 18 months or so I’ve noticed a horrible trend. People join a new company. They drink koolaid, and suddenly their previously valuable content turns to marketing drivel. At a certain level I can appreciate what happens (i joined VMware in January 2013), but from a personal point of view it makes me sad. People who I like in real life I am beginning to hate on twitter. You know what scares me more? That the koolaid you drink from vendor A tastes an awful lot like that from vendor b. The colour may be a little different, but your being asked to suspend reality and live in a world where the only possible solution is your</strong/> solution.

Last week as I took the train home I began to imagine a world where people had no comp plans. Can you imagine that? A world where there was no material impact on whether your product sold or not. A world where I could say “hey, we can help you with x – you should talk to company y about this other use case”. Imagine a world where you didn’t have share options, or a world where you weren’t about to IPO. A world where you admitted that your competition had a viable product. What would that world look like? Yes, I know – I’m fighting against capitalism. I’m also an idiot if I think it’s going to change. And yet here I stand, with people who I can call friends that work for my competitors – Microsoft, AWS, Cisco and Red Hat. Companies who are partners but also frenemies. I can sit down for a beer with these people and talk about how their products are impacting customers for the good – without trying to hammer them on competitive differentiators.

I’m not even sure there is a point to this post, I just needed to get this off my chest.

For my friends in the vendor community – thankyou for being human. For my friends in the partner community – thanks for taking the time to share your experience, and the chance to help you do more. For those who feel the need to pursue your company agenda – try taking some time out to spend with your friends and family – remember what matters.

Maybe one day we will grow up to the point where we can focus on the positive, and share our experiences with the wider community.