Dr. No and the Agent’s of Smother

The very first James Bond movie was DR No and I just could not help but draw some comparisons here. SPECTRE was the evil brainchild of Dr No and he was going to hold the USA Mercury Space program hostage. So I get to thinking about how this was meant to stifle a program “on the way up” (if you will pardon the pun) and considering my favorite CAD program which is also on the way up. SPECTRE was however an imaginary evil and I was considering a current and real evil. May I present to you my current real life evil genius and his cohorts. Dr No (identity unknown) and the Agent’s of “Siemens Muzzling Of Talent, Hindering Erudite Revelations” or SMOTHER for short. SMOTHER’s sole mission in life is to prevent any change or breath of fresh air or creativity in any way shape or form materializing in the Siemens ecosphere as it relates to websites, the public or customers. Now I am going to say here that the developers of Solid Edge itself are brilliant and forward-looking people and I don’t want anyone to think in any way shape or form I include them in this mess. This is a Siemens driven thing.

This fall I showed “CAMWorks Handbook 2013″ by Michael Buchli to one of the guys at Siemens Solid Edge division. I was stating that it was a great format for training and that perhaps SE should look into contracting with this guy to make one for CW4SE. He liked it and suggested I go and speak to an individual on the second floor in Huntsville. So I go there.

Here is the paraphrased conversation that ensued with the cubical guy or CG

CG, OK why are you here?
Dave, I thought you wanted to see the handbook and how it was done?
CG, well no not really, but show me anyway.
time passes as we get this from my flash drive to his pc where he can view it.
CG, So what am I supposed to see?
Dave, Is this not cool, look at all the info and imbedded videos in here that show exactly what is going on and how to do it.
CG, OK so what do you want me to do about it?
Dave, Huh?
CG, Look we have done studies that show that everything we do has to be in five minutes or less or people won’t watch.
(These people have studies for everything apparently but little ability to make use of data or even to ask the right questions to begin with and rely on this to make decisions after the prerequisite thousand meetings.)
Dave, Are you serious???? You cant begin to do much of anything in five minutes when you are teaching someone how to use a program. Five minutes covers one part of one thing!
CG, Oh, you mean this is a (pause for emphasis) TRAINING (pause again for emphasis and change back to normal tone of voice) video and we are not set up to do this. Besides we would have to translate this into all these different languages. And you know this changes every year and how would we keep up?
Dave, Wait a minute. Are you telling me that Micheal can by himself do more than you guys can? (by now I am losing my patience and not really caring to much about CG’s feelings)
CG, huffs along and says well we are not set up to do this. And we have a program that translates things but it all has to be checked for accuracy and if we can’t release it to all languages we cant do it.
Dave, OK look, instead of coming up with excuses for why you can’t do it why don’t you figure out how to do it. You do this in English and it immediately covers what, 60% plus of your customers? Then you go to each other language country and find VAR’s or Siemens staff people to proofread and you are done. So whats the problem here?
CG, mute silence and the appearance of gastric distress ensues.

This sadly is what I found. CG was used to one thing. They have apparently had sixty million zillion meetings over all this and THE WAY IT IS DONE is carved in stone and the mere idea of deviation from this made CG get really nervous. I hope I adequately conveyed in a polite way to him my contempt for his mindset. I am certain he was a secret agent of SMOTHER even though his badge said Siemens. I went downstairs and told the guy who liked Buchli’s book and he just shook his head with a disgusted expression.

So, this is for you all you SMOTHER secret agents.

How is it that something that steps outside of your extraordinarily narrow view of worthwhile content has the all time highest number of views hmmmm? How is it that Micheal Buchli, a single guy on his own can do more than a whole Siemens department apparently can according to the world view of the esteemed SMOTHER Agent CG? You people are the single largest impediment to what should be explosive growth in SE and I can’t fathom how this mindset has acquired such pervasive presence with Siemens and such tenacity of resistance to common sense. You people are very good at figuring out ways to say no and using THE BOOK and THE RULES as an excuse. I just wish you could take the same amount of effort and apply it to figuring out how to make it work.

4 responses to “Dr. No and the Agent’s of Smother

  1. Agents of SMOTHER? This makes coming back to the office for the first time in a new year entertaining, I’ve got to say. If I didn’t know you better, and didn’t know that you don’t live in Colorado, I’d wonder if you were smoking something.

    I agree that the video was successful because it stepped out of the lines. I don’t know how much business it attracted, but it got a lot of attention, which has got to be a good thing.

    • Stoned
      Matt, from what I have been told this has led to a LOT of interest especially driving the by the month stuff which will lead to full seat sales I am sure. It is a great way to try something out and even though not free you can do a study over multiple months and get a good idea if this is the software for you without buying in to the whole thing.

  2. There’s this stuff you can get… they call it “open source software development tools.” Among these tools are some really interesting ones that let you manage the translation of software and documentation. They make the process really easy.

    I hear these tools are mostly used by programmers and other people who work in first or third floor offices, but not second floor offices. (Those people can’t understand things that don’t cost anything to buy.)

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