Why ask the Product Managers?

Splendid discussion today, over at Peter Presnell’s site about the new “Ask the product managers” session at Lotusphere this year. I skimmed the post, and read the comments: lots of good points being made in there. One comment stands-out, from John Head:

A customer with tens of thousands of seats will always be able to call up their Lotus contact and have more influence than someone posting an idea on the web.

He is spot-on. And for me, therein lies the rub: this is why Notes is in the mess it is today. Oh, and another thought: if John’s assertion is true, why bother with “Ask the Product Managers” at all?

Peter Presnell, Ask The Product Manager: Making It Work.

Update: if you attend, be sure to have your bingo cards at the ready!


  1. Right, you might as well come over to BP203 and see a session about plugin development in the Notes Client, for XPages and DDE :-)
    See details here: Lehmann#
  2. :-)Volker Weber#
  3. Ben - thanks for the highlight. But is this really the reason "this is why Notes is in the mess it is today" - if you (the audience, not just you Ben) believe it is. Show me a company that doesn't prioritize the large customer or their own view/direction over large scale community efforts/sites. Microsoft, Oracle, even Apple - all prioritize that way.

    I think the session is there to create another communication vehicle. Get as much info as possible and weight it in total when making decisions. The more the better, right? And I bet there are people who would come up to a mike at a session that would not post anything on-line for fear of their name (or really, their employers name) being attached to a complaint/request.

    I don't want to shut down the conversation and/or effort in any fashion. On the other hand, it doesn't hurt to go into the room with some perspective. I mean - does anyone really think that product managers set marketing initiatives at a company like IBM? will we really hear people complain about marketing to another group (Ask the Developers being the first) who can't do anything about it?

    See ya in two weeksish.John Head#
  4. True, I sincerely hope there won’t be any marketing-type questions: that would be a waste! I think Ed is moderating though, so that should be fine.

    (Sorry, but you won’t see me at LS11; I am one of the missing [smiley frown] )Ben Poole#
  5. Vot? You cancelled? Too bad. Volker Weber#

Comments on this post are now closed.


I’m a software architect / developer / general IT wrangler specialising in web, mobile web and middleware using things like node.js, Java, C#, PHP, HTML5 and more.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. You can read more here.