17 November 2006

Boys and their analogies....

If you’ve tired of counting the amount of breast glances a marketing manager steals during a meeting and you never found bullshit bingo very interesting in the first place, why not try analogy analysis?

It’s a simple game based around the only analogy that’s ever used in the wonderful world of tech. Cars. And also, at a push, roads.

The greatest Hackneyed Carriage of them all, of course, is the information super highway. Like Ford Fiestas, examples are cheap and plenty. Speaking slowly and loudly to its old and disabled customers, BT splutters a laboured analogy with the reckless abandon of a pensioner on a Sunday afternoon drive..."You can think of broadband as a massive motorway which brings all kinds of information very quickly straight to your home. The motorway is never closed. "

But can you get a dodgy coffee and a Ginsters every 40 miles?

Cheap Broadband Providers, meantime, gives a souped-up chavesque opening line for its description. New Zealand’s TVNZ recently trotted out this horrific pile-up of a quote from Ernie Newman of The Telecommunications Users Association:

"If you expand the access ramps onto a motorway, you can get a lot more traffic onto the motorway. But that doesn't mean that when you get on there you're not going to slow to a crawl."

Operating Systems is another favourite area where the dear old car is used in place of any truly rational explanaion, especially in comments and forums where it’s used in wonderful pub-logic arguments:

On Microsoft and Novell patent cross licensing deal

On upgrades

And on services packs

When tired of using home security analogies, IT security people find their next inspiration in the garage with trite rhetorical questions such as:

“I have always enjoyed the analogy of the guy who owns an expensive car like a Porsche, yet keeps it secure in a garage with a door lock that's barely worth $100. If the threat of the lock being broken so the car gets towed away in the middle of the night is high enough, how much should he spend on a lock? A thousand dollars? Ten thousand?”

"Enjoyed the analogy"? I've always taken pleasure in the odd analogy, but to be honest it's metaphors that really give me a hard-on.

However, in pole position with car analogies must be AMD which is about to launch its 4x4 chip architecture and, separately inspired just about the most tortured car analogy ever.

So let's ditch the car anlogies once and for all; send them to the scrapheap. If you hear one in a meeting, put the brakes on...flash red lights everywhere.

We know you can do it. We are, after all, the industry that brought you SMART objectives.

1 comment:

Fiona Blamey said...

Hoo-fucking-rah. I once tried to liken some back-end enterprise software to a gigantic box of fluffy kitten-heeled mules, but the client wasn't going for it. Shame. I had pictures lined up and everything.

PS What's all this party nonsense? Bloggers don't go out.