The news is out; I’m joining George Crump and the team at Storage Switzerland. If you know our history, that may leave some of you scratching your heads a bit.
George and I don’t agree on much. In fact, when we do get together we usually end up arguing about something. It reminds me of one of my favorite scenes from my favorite show, The West Wing. Democrat President Bartlett, played by Martin Sheen, is sitting down with one of the Republican leaders, played by David Huddleston.
President Josiah Bartlet: We agree on nothing, Max.
Senator Lobell: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: Education, guns, drugs, school prayer, gays, defense spending, taxes – you name it, we disagree.
Senator Lobell: You know why?
President Josiah Bartlet: Because I’m a lily-livered, bleeding-heart, liberal, egghead communist.
Senator Lobell: Yes, sir. And I’m a gun-toting, redneck son-of-a-b*****.
President Josiah Bartlet: Yes, you are.
Senator Lobell: We agree on that.
The reason that scene reminds me of George and I is not necessarily the politics of it. It’s the mutual respect that the two men show each other in that scene. They know they disagree — strongly — and yet they respect each other.
George and I first met when we butted heads over his business model, including the idea of “sponsored content” and how in the world one could claim to be Switzerland when one takes money from vendors. (Of course, Switzerland takes money from everyone, too. Maybe there’s something there.)
I don’t remember all of the events that led up to my first face-to-face with George regarding his business model. What I do remember is that he stood there with his bald head and huge smile while I unloaded my criticisms of how he was making money. Once I was done, he calmly explained how everything worked and how he was not evil incarnate. No chest puffing. No yelling back at me. Just a calm explanation with a big smile. I walked away with a better understanding of Storage Switzerland and a much greater respect for George as a person. The vendor world could learn something from George. When people critique your product or the marketing thereof, a calm, rational response trumps an angry one every time. The latter may make you feel better, but the former will win you more respect with the blogger/analyst and their readers.
I miss writing, and the way I was running Truth in IT left almost no time to write. So I’ve reorganized Truth in IT, which allows me time to write. George, in turn, has more writing work than he can shake a stick at. Sounds like a perfect relationship.
I look forward to writing for Storage Switzerland. Hopefully I can shed some light here and there that will help someone.
Actually, over the years I’ve learned that George and I agree on more than I thought and for those remaining bits I’m working on changing his mind in the process.