Hard to Understand in the Big Easy

What's the most obvious need at Appsworld? Clarity.

February 23, 2001 -- I'm a hopeless information junkie. I spend a day at the office endlessly ingesting information from countless Web sites only to go home and spend several more hours doing the exact same thing under the guise of relaxation. I also have a fairly good memory. Usually, I'm using that memory to remember jersey numbers of football players from 20 years ago, rather than remembering anything of any actual utility, but it's a good memory nonetheless.

So why, even with my information junkie-ness and my memory, am I now sitting at my desk trying to remember what I saw and heard at Oracle's Appsworld in New Orleans? And alcohol doesn't even enter into the equation.

The problem is that I was surrounded by what seemed like a never-ending parade of companies, that all of which use tons of money and time to expound on what their companies provide. I don't doubt that their companies are capable of truly amazing things. The problem is I heard the same buzzword-encrusted phrases so much it was like attending a Dalmatian convention and counting the spotty remarks. Everything was best-of-breed; end-to-end; robust; and, above all, scalable.

Here's my point: If I'm this confused, and covering the B2B world is my job, then how confused must the attendees be who had to stay on top of the ongoing functions back at the office, convention dynamics (no small consideration at the Ernest Morial Convention Center; get caught too far from your next seminar and it will be over before you even get to the correct hall) and the latest and greatest developments in B2B?

B2B companies trying to make the cut in tremulous financial times would do well to remember what Winston Churchill once said: If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time... a tremendous whack.  To which I humbly add, Don't use 'scalable.'