Today I began testing Faronics Anti-Executable. I’m very early in the test process. I’ve basically only built the environment on a bunch of Windows XP Pro SP3 and Windows Server 2003 virtual machines and installed the app.
Now comes the fun part. Playing around until I break something.
I found a great post over at The Business Insider about how to promote your business while making enemies by Bianca Male. I think it’s a great post because she comes out and says some things that most of us would like to pretend don’t happen.
Sure, we’d all like to take the high road when it comes to marketing, but the fact is that in today’s market (or perhaps in the market always) nice guys finish last. In an ideal world, you and your business should be able to stand on your own merits, but in reality that’s not the way it works.
We have less time to make an impression and the fastest way to make an impression is to say what we aren’t. Humans are easily able to define things by saying what they aren’t. Why is AT&T better than Verizon, or vice-versa? Well, I don’t understand all that mumbo-jumbo, but if as spokesman shoots down one then I’ve got to think the other is better. It’s so much easier to say this is better than that. It’s not nearly as easy to say we are better because…
This is directly applicable to TopTechDog and lab testing. A lot of the testing we do at Sarrel Group is competitive analysis. Our clients then take that information and use it in their marketing materials to show they are better than the competition. And they can show exactly how they are better.
Speaking of showing how something is better, it’s important that the claim is legitimate. Other test labs regurgitate what marketing pays them to say. No one believes that anymore. Even the clients don’t believe it. And then the funny thing is that they fight about it. Juniper pays Tolly to demonstrate that their network gear is better. Tolly runs a specific set of tests that are designed around Juniper winning. Cisco gets mad so they hire Miercomm to prove they are better. And Miercomm runs specific tests dictated by Cisco in order to “prove” Cisco is faster.
The funny thing is that both Tolly and Miercomm have built their labs around that crap. It is crap. Cisco knows it, Juniper knows it, Tolly knows it, Miercomm knows it, and potential purchasers know it.
The thing is that when companies start slinging that crap the ones who really suffer are consumers. The companies can sue each other over “false claims”. The whole thing is a waste.
And here I am running a lab where we actually try to uncover results and tell the truth.
When you’re going to take on your competitors you’d better make sure to use facts in your attack or you’re going to come out of it covered in crap. The making enemies strategy falls apart when the entire market realizes you’ve doctored tests and lied about results.
See, wasn’t it easier to understand why Sarrel Group is better once I pointed out how bad the other guys are?
I’m writing a series of reviews for eWeek about secure ruggedized USB flash storage. These are devices like the Lexar JumpDrive S3000 FIPS, any drive from IronKey, BlockMaster, etc that uses on-board encryption and a rugged body. They have to meet FIPS 140-2 Level 3 in order to be included in my testing. Some meet MIL-STD-180 for being waterproof.
I’ve learned some interesting things torture testing the drives. Rugged is not necessarily the same as durable. I was truly amazed at the ability of the “el cheapo” generic USB flash drive to get the crap beat out of it and still hold data. The body completely shattered even when I dropped it down a single flight of stairs. The insides still worked. Smashing it between two 20 lb weights flat out destroyed it.
But then I threw it off the roof of my 4 story building.
The case broke off, but I could snap it back on the chip and it still worked.
I could bake it in the oven for 15 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit and it still worked.
One of the unfortunate consequences of the revolution in publishing brought on by the web is that journalism has changed dramatically. As barriers to entry for starting a media outlet went down from high cost stuff like paper, shipping, real art, etc and eyeballs redirected onto the web, the value of the printed word has deteriorated.
It’s great that we can go online and find whatever we want. Sure, blogging and sharing opinions, user generated content, all that stuff is great to read.
The thing is that it has all become about eyeballs. Page views. It isn’t about quality content. Sites need keyword rich content on timely topics so they pop up in search engines and news feeds. A monkey can spit out something apple iphone, microsoft, cisco, new product keyword rich.
But where’s the expert analysis? There’s no way to get expert and helpful to the top spot on Google.
Now that page views are all that matter the quality of the content has become close to irrelevant. I’m sorry to say it. I wish I didn’t have to say it. Why can’t we do something smarter like measure how long someone reads a story? How far through something do they get?
I’m all for leveling the playing field, but I know a hell of a lot of people who are out of work now because the written word has decreased in value. Editors, writers, lab techs, even sales and marketing types. don’t forget the creative art people. Copy edit has been decimated.
So it occurred to me today, where do all those smart unemployed people go? How can we harness that energy? There must be a way we can band together to preserve the value of expert opinion, well written, well edited, well produced and on target content. I still believe content is king, but the king is being devalued at a dangerous pace.