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The blogged wandering of Robert W. Anderson

Time is on our side

Steve Gillmor posts provocatively about attention, standards, timing, and Office, in Time is on our side.

I posted before that the work that the AttentionTrust is doing is very interesting with powerful connotations.

One valuable, pragmatic, insightful (and inciteful) thing they’ve done is to put together a way to track attention without standards bodies. Sure, those can come along, but nothing revolutionary happens through standards bodies. First you show it is interesting by doing real work (e.g., the AttentionTrust Extension, ATX; or ROOT Markets). Then let the interested (and threatened) get involved. Even in this case, the first format for attention data will soon be superceded by OPML.

I do want to point out, though, that I wasn’t slamming Steve for saying office is dead, exactly. It was I who brought up Office at the TechCrunch party. I was trying to poke fun at Steve about Office “already being dead”. This came from our earlier argument at the Berkeley Geek Dinner. He has been arguing this and Robert Scoble refutes it. I think what it comes down to is that Steve is saying that Office is dead (see Office Dead) meaning that the writing is on the wall for Office. I don’t think he isn’t saying people won’t upgrade to Office 12 (though he probably doubts that the numbers are significant); however, I see plenty of sales and opportunities for Office for both Microsoft and ISVs regardless of the Office Live strategy. In the mid+ enterprise.

Anyway, I think that Steve’s post supports that he views time differently then many. For example:

. . .when someone tells you how long something is going to take to make a difference, divide by 10. 10 years, 1 year. 5 years, 6 months. A year, a month and a half.

Most of us think in opposite terms: we tend to under-estimate how long something will take to make an impact. And I think the difference is, again, that Steve is talking about the implication of the “something” versus the practical, mass adoption of that “something” (or irrelevance of the alternative). I’ll leave that to him to refute, agree, or ignore.

And, I wish I hadn’t brought up Office, because we were having a much more interesting discussion about attention . . .

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