As the SBS world turns…


A little while back I decided not to play a role in the neverending SBS world drama and perpetual line of jackasses posturing for attention and influence (but seemingly uninterested in doing any real work). I’ve done so primarily to optimize my time spent at work but mostly to give myself some focus and stick to the plan – what I’ve found out is that the most successful people in this business do not play in the drama either, they are taking money to the bank and Friday’s off.

But a part of this gig and keeping the conversation open is talking to my partners, my employees, random person that guessed my work extension or got the bat phone from one of my IT friends. And so even indirectly I get to feel some of the drama. I am going to share just the three top jackasseries of the week so you can see just what you get when you become rich and famous in the SBS land and everyone brings you their dirt. Here are the three mini-blog stories:


Congratulations to the SBS team for releasing SBS 2008 to manufacturing! Although we’ve made a business decision not to make SBS a part of our business going forward, you can’t say no to free training and we should be familiar with the product regardless of whether it’s going to be raised in a support request twice or make $20 mil a quarter. So I sent the link to a few folks:

What is shameful here is that all the seminars are free and that the negative commentary came from my own team. The complaint was that it was a very basic and at best a sales presentation for SBS. Now this is shameful for two reasons: 1) Of course it’s a sales presentation, Microsoft’s webcasts are always dripping with sales junk and worthless notion of “market size” and “opportunity” selling the dream of fortunes to those only clinging to the hope of success and 2) most SBSers are not highly skilled IT engineers that will ever concern themselves with anything out of the scope covered by a wizard. So Microsoft designed the first training to target it’s core SBSer base – stop whining, it was free and you got paid to learn. Worth checking out.

Successful Sale of Jealousy

Got plenty of jealous (some even angry) commentary about Arlin selling out to Microsoft. Oh dear god no, more people will try to use Grove now! 🙂

Personally, kudos to Arlin. He has done what no other SBSer organization has been able to – to sell Microsoft on committing some serious support to the SBS community and actual business training. In a single step he’s set a bar to entry into the training and an application to make sure people really focused on growing a business aren’t stuck in a conversation with guys like Geek Squad Dave pounding their chest at how great of an ethical consultant they have become.

Seems like a good deal to me. Personally, I feel this one is more about jealousy that someone finally managed to bring Microsoft to the table and put their pen to the checkbook. To be honest, I’d throw some of my people into this if we hadn’t already packed our schedules. Worth checking out.

Triumphant Ignorance

This one belongs in a class of its own so I’ve saved it for last:

No matter how you want to score this, my request for comments from those who found the last Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference to be worth the effort has yielded no responses. What it did get was yet another Inner Circle member, who reported that the 2008 event was a waste of time. There haven’t been many reports from smaller VARs. But if I were Microsoft, I’d worry considerably about the number of award winners and Inner Circle members who said they only sent skeleton crews, or even just one person

If you are going to the Microsoft World Wide Partner Conference for presentations you’ve failed. Miserably. At concept and at understanding the opportunity:

“Let me see. The richest, most successful IT company in the world. The most successful IT companies that have partnered or won with Microsoft all in one place for a week. The $2K entrance fee keeping out the riffraff. Ability to communicate and try to find opportunities in this pool. My god, a person could transform their company through the relationships made there. So much business, so many relationships to st..

But nah, screw it, I’m here for the great breakfast and PowerPoint slides I can watch later!!!! I am here for Microsoft!!!” FAIL.

Folks, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again and I will keep on repeating it no matter how many of you don’t have the balls to admit the following to yourself: If you want to be the best, you have to strive to be like the best and the only way to do that is to learn from the best. So another fall comes, another collection of riff-raff festivals where people will fall over one another bitching about the exact same problems they had the previous year, at the exact same point in business maturity as they had last year, with the exact same process they had the last year and next year they will come back to the same place, albeit marginally richer, to bitch and moan about the same troubles they have had for years without an ounce of motivation or ability to make something better of themselves.

You gotta aim higher. There is no shame in being successful. But for that to happen you need to let go of your insecurities and the need to be the king of the wadding pool and maybe strive to be the last person in the Olympic race. Not everyone is destined to be IBM. But don’t sell yourself short either.


This is the life and times of SBSers. Is it any surprise that the more successful people don’t pay attention to it? As you can see, not really.

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