I started this entry to praise the effort that Greg Reinacker was willing to put forward to help me and then went off on a tangent (although quite parallel if I do say so myself).
In my blog yesterday (http://weblogs.asp.net/kentc/posts/41278.aspx) I briefly mentioned the Newgator product and some instability I believe Outlook was having as a result of using it. After the post, Greg Reinacker, the father/author of NewsGator commented my entry. First, I'm not sure how he even found my blog (he must have Google searching for every instance of the word “NewsGator” ). Second, he was concerned that it wasn't working for me. I posted to his “contact me” page and sent me an email with an answer and what a workaround to extend the trail expiration date).
I really don't care if it works or not now. I have become so underwhelmed by the overall lack of customer care or outbound kindness in almost every facet of my life (my wife and daughter notwithstanding) that I'm going to send $29 to him just on principle and as a monetary way of showing how much I appreciate his effort (this blog may not may not be enough ).
Our company is trying to become more customer centric. We're objected on it, we have money available to us when we need to make things right because the customer isn't having a positive experience with our product, and all (well at least most) of our senior management's pay is tied to Customer Satisifaction. However, I'm not sure if its possible to get everyone in an entire company to basically change their behavior. If each one of us were like Greg think of how people would look at us! I have a tremendous amount of respect for blogs. In our case, people outside of the company are getting to read the unspun thoughts of what we're collectively trying to do. I really think most of us take our motto very seriously: “To enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential.” Also, its cool to have millions of people see your work.
I love movies where someone does something that isn't about themselves. Don't get me wrong, I loved Seinfeld which was supposed to be the most about the most self-centered people on television, but movies such as Its a Wonderful Life, Finding Nemo, etc. are the ones I most try to emulate.
Consider this: If each person on this planet put some effort into giving something back to everyone else on the planet we would eliminate a lot of problems. For example, kidnapping--virtually eliminated, we'd each care about everyone else's kids as much as we care about our own. The amber alerts are a great way to see this put into action. I've been meaning to send an email to our .NET Alert folks about getting a .NET Amber Alert to expand the reach even further. I admire the people who have created community watch groups to take back their neighborhoods from gang members who pray and destroy their communities. As a group working closely together it seems to me that they'll eventually get their way. There's too many people and scale is a strength. The kids who have gotten into these gangs would ultimately come face to face with their own parents and doesn't that stop the violence? It does take a tremendous amount of commitment though. They've (we/I) have got to be willing to get involved even if it simply means “are you OK?” or picking up the phone and calling the authorities.
I'm guess an idealist (but I can be one sarcastic dude).