e-Talk Radio: Daughtrey, Taz, 31 October 2000


to major disasters. I think we've had some publicity, even since we decided on this topic. The West Coast had some problems a couple of weeks ago with software upgrades on the air traffic control radar that delayed flights. And you've heard of lots of other situations where people are inconvenienced, sometimes great financial harm may occur, and there literally have been cases where people have been injured and killed because of systems that were being run by software and problems in the software. So I think people are much more sensitive now to have their lives, at a very personal level or a very global level, to be haunted by problems that have occurred in software. And I hope they're getting much more serious and willing, unwilling really, to put up with the kinds of problems that they have had in the past in software.

Carol: And I think that the ghosts sometimes of bad projects come back, as you said, to haunt us. Several weeks ago, we had Tim Lister on the show. And one of the things that he had mentioned at one of the conferences I was at about two years ago, was, he was talking about Year 2000 projects. And that kind of opened up the presentation, where he said, "We are so date driven, to get our software out." He said, "I'd like to be a spaceman going back to 1968 or 1978 or 1988," and he said, "I'd like to be able to go back and say 'I've come from the future. If you need an extra two months on your software project, guess what? It's still running in 22 years. So take an extra two months, or take an extra five months, or whatever you need.'" Do you think being date driven is part of our problem?

Taz: Well, certainly. One of the talks that I gave at the conference that we are alluding to was on Internet Time and Internet Quality. And it's become really a commonplace that Internet Time means that there's such a compressed schedule, the expectations are that you can produce applications, you can put yourself into business, that you can ramp up with whatever kind of wonderful system you want, and you have to do it very, very quickly. I mean, even traditionally people were being driven by the quarterly reports. A publicly traded company has quarterly statistics to put out, and people are tracking on that. And the expectation that the company must do something, or show some sort of measurable result within a three-month span. But now it seems like the cycle is down to almost daily. The expectations people have, the promises that you make, and the way that you want to present yourself on the Internet. And I think a lot of people feel that first in the field, or first to offer some service, or to be able to be, seem to be responsive…Now, it's so important, it certainly has always been a "pay me now or pay me later." That, as you say, and I think that's a wonderful observation of Lister's, but if you took a little bit of extra time, in the long run you come out far ahead. But people will be haunted by mistakes they made or haunted by actions that they made, where they had to determine too quickly, "Let's get it into operation." And I think the Internet particularly has given more visibility and impetus for that. And people realize that later, if they are going to still be in business in three months, six

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