Critical Section

Sunday,  03/09/03  02:26 PM

Want to read a real crock?  Check out Why We Need a High-tech Shakeout.  This article deserves a thorough fisking, but it is too vague to rebut logically.  It is [as Bohr said of Heisenberg's quantum theory] "not even wrong".  Read this as a perfect example of why blogs are gaining popularity and are more reliable than "the media".  (Have you ever noticed than whenever you read a media story about something you really know, they get it wrong?) 

This article is also a great example of a sheep in wolf's clothing.  It was written by a retired McKinsey director named T. Michael Nevens, and was published without attribution under the McKinsey Quarterly name.  Then CNet picked it up.  So we have the aura of CNet and the respectability of McKinsey, but under the covers it is still just one person's opinion.  Which doesn't make it wrong.  It just means you can't buy it without thinking about it...

The biggest problem is evident in the headline.  What the heck is "high-tech"?  It could be anything from computer equipment to IT services to Internet commerce to software to biotechnology to, well, you name it.  Any conclusion you reach about a subject so broad can only be vaguely useful.  Here's a sample observation: "Customer spending will probably pick up when enterprises become convinced that they can get top- and bottom-line benefits from their technology investments".  Wow, brilliant!  After some serious buzzword dropping and piffle, the author opines "most likely the industry will require outside intervention".  Huh?  Which industry?  What would be "outside"?  What would "intervention" look like - acquisitions, capital investments, consulting, government regulation?  No answers follow, just more words.  Sigh.

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