The Grand Revelation

IT Business, IT Culture

Today two big, obvious, truths were revealed to those who held their sword aloft and said “By the power of Greyskull…”:

1. I am a shameless, selfpromotional opportunisitic guy.
2. I am neither Vartruth nor The Channel Watchdog.

Here is the truth. I spend a truckload of money to attend, sponsor, wine & dine, iPad-coat and act as an overall Santa to the channel. And all you people want to talk about is some tween shenanigans of stuff we all know but don’t sit around and talk about because there is something grander at hand: success.

So now you know what will happen to the next sucker who asks me about the sensationalism in the channel. First, I will tell you I know exactly who it is. Then, I will proceed to pin you in a corner and pitch stuff so hard that cash will bleed out of your ears and eyes. 

What Started This

My ex-wife sent me a txt late at night saying that she was defending my honor whenever my name came up as the obvious identity. Her comment:

“Don’t make me look stupid.”

My response:

“One way you can tell it’s not me is that everything I do is for the goal of promoting myself.”

Obviously you all think it’s me.

And since everyone thinks it’s me – and nobody has claimed Vartruth or The Channel Watchdog – who am I not to exploit it for attention? It registered more people than the last corporate webcast I ran.

You’ve seen this blog for years go after Microsoft, Apple and other folks that I tried to work with. It was self-serving and opportunistic at every step – and I put my name/reputation behind it. Now I was stupid and in my 20’s and the way I justified it at the time was because I could not afford to buy the kind of publicity that things like SBS Show, SPAM Show and Vladville generated when I voiced the displeasure of the community.

But at some point I grew up (I’ll admit I’m still stupid) and found a better way to get things done. Then again, it’s easy to look back from my skybox and point a finger at a 20-something Vlad that was working 20+ hours a day.

Faceless destruction for the sake of damage makes no sense to me. Even The Channel Watchdog asked:

“I have a load of stuff on Chartec, Labtec, and SMB Nation that I am putting together for release. Attacking Harry worries me a little though because everybody thinks he is a saint and my politics are shakey right now”

My response:

I’m not sure what your motivation for doing what you’re doing is but whenever I start to second guess myself I ask “How is this going to make me money?” — if I figure out a way, I go with it. Otherwise, why bother?

You see, we all have a reason for doing what we’re doing.

What I learned from this

Just like almost everything else in the channel, most people are not paying attention. Which in this case is a good thing.

Surprisingly, most people found the stuff generated by Vartruth and Channel Watchdog Unprofessional / Offensive. It’s surprising to me because if I don’t find something amusing or interesting, I ignore it.

I also found out that my deep disappointment in my friends low opinion of me as a shameless selfpromotional pimping machine can be cured by 30 minutes of shameless sales pitching.

What you need to know

Vartruth has disappeared. The Channel Watchdog is still around. But if you’re offended, why do you talk about it, ask who it is, secretly snicker about it all the time.

Would knowing who it was make any bit of difference to you? Would you stop doing business with them, today? If so, it was Scott Barlow. For both. Oh and whoever runs Office 365 and Google Apps. In fact, they collaborated on the whole deal! But if you believe that, you’re an idiot.

As I mentioned in the webcast today, if you continue to pay attention to baseless rumors and support the sites that sensationalize stuff that is not immediately relevant to your business, this will continue. What’s even worse is that if you’re a vendor, it’s only a matter of time until a slow news day makes you the next target.

It’s a cycle. When you legitimatize rumor mongering vendors flock to it because they want eyeballs. They spend big money for even the smallest of banners and ads and then a magical thing happens – there are only so many ways you can touch the same press release you get from your vendors blog, twitter and Facebook. So you know what happens? You stop paying attention. Yes, the traffic dries up. There are only so many times people will care about whether they are the top 10, 100, 200 or 500 people in the industry – and then you read baseless stuff like “Hear folks are making career changes” or “Which service provider is going under next, stay tuned” – which happens ALL the time but you still click, still move stuff around and then act surprised when the very form you legitimized is somehow offensive to you because it publishes stuff that is slightly more controversial.

The marital infidelity of certain popular channel vendors is every bit as interesting as who just got fired from a major distributor as is the brand of bike or car I’m buying this week. The only trouble is when you pay attention to some of it you no longer get to choose where the line between appropriate and offensive happens to be. And by virally spreading it, you don’t get to pick who the cannon is pointed at.

So to the shocking number of people that filled out the survey and attended the webinar – I hope you enjoyed the prank. Remember what I said: At this very time dozens of great seminars and training opportunities are taking place and you chose to hang out with me. I hope I made it worth your while. It’s not that we as grownups don’t like a juicy rumor, it’s that we as grownups have a responsibility to focus on business first and foremost.

Who the folks behind the avatars happen to be doesn’t matter to you one bit. What matters is whether you choose to be sucked into it or choose to run a business.

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