DysfunctoSoft is looking for new markets to pollute, and thus the Cranky Product Manager has been researching new but related markets for her product. She's been trying to understand the technologies, the lingo, the vendors and the products. … you know, that kind of crap.
And let the CPM tell you, it is far more difficult to figure out than it should be. She can't image how difficult it must be for customers.
Why? The Cranky Product Manager blames it on the Product Marketing Geniuses and their noxious habit of relabeling older products with the latest buzzwords. ESPECIALLY when the product doesn't actually do that new thing that everyone is all hyped up about.
Example: Today more than a few vendors claim their products support "content feeds" for alerting and letting users know about new content. Well, in the year 2008, "feeds" directly implies "RSS feeds" – a standards-based, pull technology, where the content can be pulled and displayed by a slew of standards-based client programs. Unfortunately, when you scratch the surface on some of these so-called "content feed" features, you'll find some 10-year old proprietary "push technology" crud, a la PointCast (remember them?).
Why did these Product Marketing Geniuses recast their push crud as feeds? So they can claim they are Web 2.0 — an umbrella concept that usually includes RSS feeds somewhere in there, along with tags and other user-provided meta data, drag/drop web apps, etc.
Kind of reminds you of a 42-year old guy who dresses like a skateboarder, yet doesn't skateboard, doesn't it? Who does he think he's fooling? 20-something babes? Riiiigggghhhht.
Another example: the term "storage virtualization." The CPM can't put it better than Alessandro Pirelli. He says the term means nothing at all: "Depending on the vendor you are talking to, storage virtualization is
the abstraction of the directories, of local volumes, of the remote
volumes, of the array, etc. So even well known concepts like RAID
or distributed file systems become storage virtualization and get sold
as brand new, cutting-edge technology enhancements."
The CPM asks you, WHAT the HELL are we doing to our customers when we, as product managers and product marketers, engage in this type of crap? So many of us are the source of this problem…. But then the CPM had a thought. Maybe together we can help fix this situation and undo some of the wrongs we've inflicted on the world. Maybe we can come up with a "No Bullshit Glossary" of the most frequently abused buzzwords…
The Cranky Product Manager invites you to submit examples of Buzzword Abuse — situations where a company deliberately tries to put lipstick on a pig and claim their old crud is actually the new stuff that is so "hot" right now.