#1 Rebooting the Newsletter

I’ve fired up the newsletter engines again to bring you my picks of enterprise tech news from the past week. Things that caught my eye that I think are worth paying attention to.

Things to note

Veeam Founders Ratmir Timashev and Andrei Baronov have launched a new company, called Object First, to provide object storage that’s optimised for Veeam backup data. I had a chat to them about it and it sounds pretty neat and will likely do pretty well. The positioning is laser-focused so it’s worth looking into this just to see what good positioning at launch looks like.

GitHub CoPilot is generally available. Steve O’Grady from Redmonk wrote about it, and I wrote a response piece where I convince myself that CoPilot should really about search, not about code.

The Software Freedom Conservancy has called on open source developers to remove their projects from GitHub.

HashiCorp has added drift detection to Terraform Cloud. I want it to close the loop back to the original HCL you use, but that’s quite hard to do, so don’t hold your breath.

The Australian government tried to build an app to replace its paper incoming passenger forms, but the app sucked, so they’re ditching it. Weirdly, we should be praising this because normally they double-down on failure instead of learning from it.

The Wall Street Journal has noticed that a lot of AI hype doesn’t live up to the reality. If only someone had noticed this before now!

Datadobi has announced its StorageMAP product now supports AWS FSx for NetApp ONTAP. There’s a lot of money in making cloud look more like familiar on-site enterprise technology, but you’ve got to wonder how much overhead all this abstraction is adding.

The Shanghai police may have lost control of data on as many as a billion residents, according to Bloomberg. Bloomberg’s tech reporting is notoriously dodgy, but I’m seeing a bunch of chatter about this in infosec circles so something significant has happened. One to watch.

Weekly tip

If I’m struggling with positioning, I find it useful to position against something else, at least as an exercise.

If I’m struggling to determine what a client is it can be useful to think about what they’re not to narrow the field a little. It’s counter-intuitive, but creativity needs constraints. Starting with a wide open field with no constraints makes it harder to focus, and good positioning needs focus. Once I’ve ruled a bunch of things out, things that the client is not can help to bring what they are into better focus.

Competitive positioning can be useful to clarify your thinking, but beware of defining yourself only in opposition to others. That puts your strategy in the hands of other people. If all you do is not what those people are doing then you’re easy to manipulate. A competitor could make it look like they’re moving left, safe in the knowledge that it’ll force you to move right, straight into the trap they put there for you.

Competitive research is a tool, so use it, but don’t neglect all the other tools you have at your disposal.

And remember: sometimes terrible people have good ideas. Focus on the idea, not the source.