Posted by Brian Connolly
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Ya know when Rubel speaks and you get that empathetic tinge of discomfort that says, "what the hell is Richard thinking?" Well, at least now we've got a name for it. There's a new marketing term being bandied about the water cooler this week; it's the "cincombrandouche."
In a nutshell: In the spirit of the over-hyped marketing fad "the conversation," Cincom, a small Cincinnati-based software company, recently empowered a numbnuts product manager to the role of Cincombrandouche. The guy not only thinks it's his right... he thinks it makes the company more human if he takes a dump in the lobby (figuratively speaking, of course).
A few weeks ago, on learning that "Amanda Chapel" had retired, cincombrandouche James Robertson thought he'd take a total non-sequitur dig in the Cincom company blog. In a private conversation with Robertson, we responded in kind. And then, true to the tenets of cincombrandouche, and in the spirit of "gotcha" and lame-brained transparency, he decided to associate that, invectives and all, with Cincom in perpetuity. In effect, to get back at Amanda, Robertson decided to put poop prominently on display in the annual report.
And who is James Robertson? In his words: "I have deep experience in Smalltalk and OO development, and have pioneered various kinds of product evangelism at Cincom, including the use of blogging and podcasting as a way of expanding mindshare for the products I manage. Most of the tools I use in these endeavors are implemented in Cincom Smalltalk, as a way of “eating my own dogfood”. This work has given me a background in grassroots level PR and marketing."
In a word, cincombrandouche.
CINCOM CUSTOMER RESPONSE
[Mike Thompson] October 11, 2007 23:37:25 EDT
James, I’m sure you’re very passionate about DRM, PR, etc, but why on earth do we have to put up with this stuff getting through to the main Smalltalk aggregator?
I mean, your rants are no doubt very interesting to you and perhaps some others, and good luck to you, but I can assure you they are EXCRUCIATING boring and nutty to people like me who are simply interested in staying abreast of Smalltalk and it drives me crazy that I have to wade through all this frothing-at-the mouth bollocks. Spare us please.
Given you are endlessly on about PR, it is the ultimate irony that each and every one of your bad PR rants is polluting the Smalltalk aggregators. When I came to Smalltalk about two years ago I thought “what on earth is all this rubbish about”, how disorganized must the Smalltalk community be to allow this? By way of contrast, the python aggregator is solely about python - virtually no pollution whatsoever. You make Smalltalk look bad.
And also, please be aware that there’s a secondary effect in all this. You say you are to be a Smalltalk evangelist and a product manager and yet you appear to be conducting sandpit-esq hissy fit exchanges over pointless topics with strange people AND THEN BOASTING ABOUT IT. For god’s sake. This is unbelievable. I’m one of your customers and I’m completely horrified at this grossly unprofessional behavior. Given the complete stuff-up with Widgetry, and the complete absence of progress on any number of important fronts, don’t you think you might want to be concentrating on something that might redeem Cincom? Don’t you think you might want to be carefully explaining what happens next? Don’t you think you might, at least, want to be evangelizing Smalltalk in a positive, professional way?
[Claus] October 12, 2007 03:51:21 EDT
For a product manager, you are spending a lot of time talking about other things. This can be, but at another blog please. This is where smalltalk things should go. The rest is interesting but it should be separated.
[Kenneth Johnsen] October 14, 2007 20:33:28 EDT
I second Mike Thompson.
I thought this blog was about Smalltalk. But it's mostly about calling people in the music industry "stupid" or "idiots".
The cincombrandouche dramatically demonstrates a number of key management issues regarding "the conversation."
1. PR is NOT loose and idle; it is strategic and managed. It's about PR-esentation.
2. Too much information does NOT make a company more human. I don't want to know that my secretary is a card carrying La Rouchie any more than I want to hear what Lee Hopkins does with gerbils. There's a reason we don't talk about religion, politics or bodily fluids at work. TMI!
3. Empowerment is NOT for everyone! Certainly, when humans are repressed, that's grossly problematic; but giving the keys to the Porsche to a 14-year old, is predictable.
A product specialist does not necessarily know shit about communications or brand. A cincombrandouche should NOT be in the position of company spokesperson. Period.
STORY UPDATE 5:36 PM CST
In response to this story, late this afternoon, Cincom product manager James Robertson again took a massive dump on his company's brand. Note to Cincom customers: if he doesn't respect his own property; he's not going to respect yours.