Everyone who read my first blog knows that I love to snowmobile. This year, however, has been the worst snow year in memory. There just simply isn’t much good snow in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, or Montana. However, I’m beginning to think that recently I’ve become a “snow magnet”. About a month ago I was in Boston and they got about 2’ of snow in the city. Almost didn’t get in and took a while to get out. Now I’m in the beginning stages of a European VSTS tour where I’m meeting with customers in several European cities and its down right cold, and snowing… Last week the European tour started in NY (I know, its not in Europe but its on the way when you’re from Seattle). It snowed. About 10” in the city. I gave a presentation to the NY/NJ Architect Council and even though there was about a foot of new snow on the ground in NJ where the talk was held, a few folks braved the weather to hear me speak. It was a great opportunity to talk in a small group setting with some of our potential customers about the Team System. I received a lot of useful feedback about the product and what people wanted. Top takeaways for me from the day were:
From NY I flew into London (and it snowed) but I just spend a day in the MS Soho office before heading out to Italy. I spent a couple days in Venice and it snowed. 6”, not just a dusting… Over the last couple of days I’ve been in Milan where we (myself and Ajay Sudan) a day long set of talks and demos of the Team System in action. Did I mention it snowed in Milan, but didn’t stick… Anyway, Ajay tells me he’s going to get some of the video from the presentations posted in English in the next few weeks for people to see. Stay tuned on the Team System site for those. I’ve also spent time with some major customers in the Milan area and again got some very useful feedback including:
My favorite question so far, though, came from a professional journalist for the Italian magazine “DEV”. He asked me since I’ve been working on the project for nearly 5 years from inception to now, what has been the hardest thing… my answer was “building the integrated system that had productivity out of the box day one was so much harder than I expected”. We new we wanted a “pay as you go” model where to use the initial tools, you didn’t have to invest a lot of “intellectual capital” (think brain power). And that as you needed deeper, richer, more powerful functionality, that you should be able to get at it by investing some more of that intellectual capital. However, we couldn’t expose those more complex scenarios to the beginning or basic user of the system. Getting that right (and I wouldn’t say we got it all right in version 1 by the way), has been tremendously challenging. Add to that the fact that there are nearly 250 people working on the Team System and their work output had to be integrated and you start to understand my answer…
Well, flight attendant just told me to turn off the laptop, we’re about to land in Vienna, Austria. I’ll write more when I get a few minutes.