Thursday, December 22, 2005

This Season...

I so wish I could take credit for writing this, but I can't. I've had it for years, and I think it may have been from an ad, as no author is cited. It resides in a Christmas ornament box, dog-eared and yellowed, and I mist up every year when I read it.

Mend a quarrel.
Seek out a forgotten friend.
Dismiss suspicion, and replace it with trust.
Write a love letter.
Share some treasure.
Give a soft answer.
Encourage youth.
Manifest your loyalty in word and deed.
Keep a promise.
Find the time.
Forego a grudge.
Forgive an enemy.
Apologize if you were wrong.
Try to understand.
Flout envy.
Examine your demands on others.
Think first of someone else.
Be kind.
Be gentle.
Laugh a little.
Laugh a little more.
Deserve confidence.
Take up arms against malice.
Decry complacency.
Express your gratitude.
Welcome a stranger.
Gladden the heart of a child.
Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth.

Monday, December 19, 2005

It's a Small World

Posting from my co-founder, Barb Ewen

Last week, a long time CHEN PR client, Fairchild Semiconductor, convened a meeting of its global PR agencies, which included firms from the U.S., Europe and Asia. While the agencies have worked together over time, getting together in person is always interesting, cultural and fun -- especially when enjoying delicious Maine lobsters together.

While there were differences among the regions, there were more commonalities. The media environments all over the world are changing rapidly. U.S. outlets are consolidating and moving to onlines, while the number of outlets in China is growing. The U.S. is liberally using blogs and podcasts, while Europe and China have not leveraged these vehicles yet to any great extent. Company-authored technology articles are valuable assets globally and represent a significant opportunity to share views and opinions in all regions of the world.

Some global companies choose to have one large agency handle media and analyst relations in all regions of the world. Fairchild Semiconductor chose independent agencies that best met the company's requirements and formed the best fit in each region. This approach has enabled all of us to work together as required while providing the regional focus for specific opportunities. The model has worked extremely well over the past eight years and ensures that Fairchild gets a senior team devoted to the client in each region.

Dinner conversations highlighted what a small world it really is, with topics ranging from everyone facing energy issues, hints on touring Boston for a first time visitor, the Chinese New Year and its impact on holiday sales, all the way to Netball as a great game for women in Europe and Asia, while largely undiscovered in the U.S.

Friday, December 09, 2005

BusinessWeek: Best of 2005

The December 19th issue of BusinessWeek has a terrific look back at the best of the year, highlighting Best Products (My favorite: M&Ms with custom messages!), Best Leaders and Best Ideas. Check out the Best Products for pure entertainment. Read the Best Ideas to make the wheels turn.

Some of my favorites from that section include one (#14) on reaching the simultaneous media multitasking consumer and a discussion (#18) that we're finally starting to think green. I applaud idea #3, What Business Really Craves: Simplicity. It reports: "The new trend is to strip things down to their basics and make products intuitive." Thank heavens.

I had to smile at idea #1,Treat Your Children Well But Limit Their Inheritance. (Yeah, we lose a lot of sleep over that.)

Last, idea #10: The Power And Promise Of The Open-Source Workplace, speaks to the healthy evolution to an employee-empowered workplace. I'd like to think this is the environment we've always tried to foster here.

In the old gray-flannel organization, the executive suite was where the action was. In what’s now known as the open-source workplace, power is distributed. The ceo is no longer omnipotent -- and the truly effective ones don’t want to be. The best ideas may evolve from the bottom up and sometimes from the outside in. New technologies such as private workplace wikis and blogs are disrupting command-and-control corporate structures. Any employee can create, edit, refine, comment on, or fix an idea. What some used to dismiss as a recipe for chaos is more likely a path to greater productivity.

The workplace becomes more transparent as power and information are instantly shared.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Palamida: Sharing the Ingredients in Your Favorite Recipe

This is my week for really interesting client announcements.

Yesterday, Palamida made two significant announcements, one with customer GroundWork and one with partner CollabNet.

Palamida and GroundWork kicked off an appeal for vendors to publicly disclose what's in their code. (Think food labeling, only for software.) To support this suggestion, Palamida launched, which is "devoted to providing information about the need for and benefits of intellectual property (IP) transparency in the software development process."

This is one of my favorite excerpts from the coverage (courtesy Jim Wagner at InternetNews):

What does software vendor Palamida and a box of cereal have in common? Both list their ingredients so its consumers aren't left guessing what went into the product.

While it may lag well behind Corn Flakes in the disclosure race, Palamida is leading the rest of the commercial software industry with the disclosure Wednesday of all the third-party intellectual property (IP) found in its commercial software product.

Why is this such a smart move? Because enterprise customers will increasingly demand it. Most are formulating more formal policies to ensure that the code they are bringing behind their firewalls fits under their overall IT, legal and purchasing game rules.

Take GroundWork, which is using Palamida's IP Amplifier to generate IP Ingredients reports listing all third-party code and the associated licenses. The reports help give customers confidence that they have a full view of the components and licensing implications involved when they bring GroundWork Monitor in the door. GroundWork, too, will disclose its IP Ingredients on its website.

Shifting gears: CollabNet, founded by Apache legend Brian Behlendorf, got its start with developer collaboration software that helped manage major open source communities such as and This expertise in collaborative software development is also of great interest to major IT organizations, so the company now counts companies like Motorola and Aventis Pharmaceuticals as customers too.

Palamida and CollabNet have agreed to integrate Palamida’s IP Amplifier into the CollabNet Application Lifecycle Manager. Customers of CollabNet's product will be able to click on the tool bar to execute an IP integrity analysis and add the results to the project documentation, keeping compliance chiefs happy.

See Gavin Clarke's article in The Register for a lively explanation of how this works.

As the guys at RedMonk have been saying for some time, transparency is a watchword of our times. It started with the financial side of business, but it's extending to all aspects of industry. Disclosing IP Ingredients is the next logical step.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Mindreef Helps SOA Grow Up

Over the last couple of months, we've had the pleasure of working again with Frank Grossman and Jim Moskun, the visionary founders of Mindreef. Jim and Frank also founded NuMega -- our very first client. (I've still got a copy of our very first CHEN check, which was from NuMega.) NuMega was sold years ago to Compuware and Jim and Frank moved on to found Mindreef.

We've enjoyed working with Andrea Kokolis and Jamie Manning from the internal team to launch Mindreef Coral, which debuted yesterday. We believe Mindreef Coral to be the first Web services lifecycle collaboration platform (which is why it's the headline of the press release). We've briefed a bunch of analysts over the last few weeks, and no one has disagreed with us.

With the trend to distributed development teams, many development environments are adding collaboration capabilities. But since services get shared around an organization -- and usually require input from folks in various jobs all around the place -- building a service-oriented architecture requires collaboration on steriods. It also requires a platform that can be used by these folks in different roles -- architects, managers, business analysts, developers, testers and support staff.

Mindreef Coral was built to address these issues. The product fills a market need because Jim, Frank and their team built it the old fashioned way -- they listened to their customers. Mindreef's first product -- SOAPscope (Web services diagnostics) has more than 1000 customers -- giving Mindreef a view into countless real-world SOA petri dishes.

We've been gratified by the coverage so far, which is popping up in eWeek, InfoWorld, Computerworld, ZDNet, (ok I'm tired of pasting links) Network World, ADT Mag,, Computerwire, Mass High Tech, Sys-Con, SOA Pipeline, and the Nashua Telegraph.

This line is perhaps my favorite takeway from this launch. One highly regarded reviewer termed his briefing with Mindreef, "...probably the most interesting hour I've spent all week." (For the record, it was the end of the week.)

It doesn't get much better than that. We tip our hats to the Mindreef team.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Ostranenie Reads the Tea Leaves for '06

Gavin Clarke left Computerwire earlier this year to launch a news and analysis business called Ostranenie Media. He's just issued "Five Big Bets for 2006," which makes for a fun read. Gavin tracks the open source space pretty closely, as do we, so we'll be watching how predictions 3 and 4 shake out.

3. First IP actions brought against open source: patent trolls snapped up more IP during 2005 while a growing number of open source middleware and applications start-ups joined the market. A showdown is inevitable, as litigants finally turn their attention to this increasingly lucrative market.

4. Closed source database vendor buys open source rival: an incumbent will be forced to launch a low-end open source product and pricing to drive customers to its own platform, or buy a rival to contain the competition and ride open source.

Now if, like me, you'd never heard this ostranenie word, here's a definition: Enstranged is a neologism that approximates the Russian word "ostranenie," which means "making it strange," or to defamiliarize something that has been smothered by habit.