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Technology:  Can it take some lessons from the world of wine?

DrycreekchennlabelOne of my very favorite wineries in Sonoma is Dry Creek.  Their Chenin Blanc is nice, and they were (and are) doing a Chenin Blanc when virtually nobody else is, and their Zinfandel is really nice after about an hour of air.

David Stare, the founder, has announced his retirement from the operations.  In the article on Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s web site he says something really fun that belies his obvious business savvy, but underscores how down to earth he is—this on naming his Sav. Blanc:

Today,the winery is perhaps best known for various bottlings of Sauvignon Blanc,which Stare early on decided to call  Fumé Blanc, a name that had been invented byRobert Mondavi. Asked why he decided to label his wines Fumé Blanc, Stare says,“I was having lunch with Barney Fetzer [founder of Fetzer Vineyards], and hesaid, ‘Dave, Fume sells better than Sauvignon.’”

 As a counterpoint in bluster, this quote on employee morale and Blogs from Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, as quoted in Businessweek.

I have lots of sourcesof information about what’s going on at the company. I think I have apretty good pulse on where we are and what people are thinking. I’m notsure blogs are necessarily the best place to get a pulse on anything.People want to blog for a variety of reasons, and that may or may notbe representative.

It’s important in my job that I understand broadly the pulseof the company. Over a third of my time, I’m spending with our peopleinteracting with their work.

Aside from the humble-ness that smacks you in the face from Mr. Stare, you can draw your own deduction on the level of respect afforded to people who blog—Ballmer, in my estimation, basically demonstrates that Microsofties that blog are not people whose opinion he values. 

Now, granted, this isn’t an apples to apples comparison, but is it any wonder that people would want to pursue their passion instead of the corporate drone life?  I mean, what, with all the respect that is granted to those in the cube life.

Who would you want to work for?  Compensation being equal, is it really a choice?


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