This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Ray Ozzie interview in ACM Queue

Speaking of Ray Ozzie, the November 2005 issue of ACM Queue has a great interview with him by Wendy Kellogg of IBM.  Unfortunately, it is not (yet) available at the ACM Queue interviews page.

The interview ranges over a number of topics, from Ozzie's history in Lotus Notes, Groove and now with Microsoft.  Throughout all these ventures, he talks about his abiding interest in helping people collaborate more effectively.  I particularly enjoyed the sense of perspective offered by the article. 

Some tidbits I appreciated

  • He uses the term "business practices" to refer to the loosely-organized activities that go on within business to counter the more formal "business processes."  It is in the practice that Ozzie sees the importance of humans collaborating.
  • The business is responsible for defining how collaboration happens within the organization.  They define the practice, which IT then needs to support.
  • Technology is not a panacea: "Technology can assist change, but it can't make it happen on its own."  For a while some form of this statement was required reading in KM presentations.  But it is still an important sentiment.  The discussion around this topic went deeper (about 1/3 into the interview).
  • He says that large companies are at a disadvantage with respect to flexibility in software.  New collaborative technologies are coming out, and individuals and small enterprises are using the new technology to good effect.  For someone like Ozzie, who is deeply interested in the potential of collaborative technologies, this is a concern.
  • "The platform of the internet is data."  People can do very useful and interesting things, once the data are available.

ACM Queue on Social Computing

Where is the blue light