Andrew Pollack's Blog

Technology, Family, Entertainment, Politics, and Random Noise

Lotus - The Mike Rhodin Years

By Andrew Pollack on 04/03/2008 at 04:22 PM EDT

By now, if you don't know Mike Rhodin is leaving the Lotus organization and being replaced by Bob Picciano from the DB2 side of the house, you probably aren't someone who cares and will want to skip this posting. I don't know anything about Mr. Picciano other than what I've read on other people's blog posts, but it seems he comes from a technical sales and executive background and has very high credibility within the IBM organization. Those are good things.

While I didn't agree with Mike Rhodin in some very big ways -- primarily related to Workplace and Portal -- he leaves Lotus further along than we he took it over. You can't really always compare management at that level in terms of one being "better" than another in a general sense. You can only make a statement on how the person did in the job in relation to what was needed at the time. From that standpoint, Ambuj Goyal probably wins the "best" category as he was able to bring some very widely separated design approaches and plans together into a strategy that was viable. That strategy was in place when Mike Rhodin took over, but far from being completed and working. Mike's tenure can be described as one in which the key strategy of his predecessor was brought to market. His wasn't as much a creative or visionary tenure as much as a one of follow through and capability. During his time at the helm, Lotus has moved to its rapid prototyping approach and the pace of change has been pretty amazing. Not everything about the new pace and the heavy emphasis on rapid, visible change has been good -- but overall its been successful.

So, we've gone in recent years from a "Visionary" approach, to a "Highly tactical" approach. Both were critical for their time. Without Goyal's work, Rhodin wouldn't have been able to focus on tactics but if Rhodin hadn't had that tactical focus, we might still be waiting for Notes 8. The question to ask now is simply "What is the focus we need now, and is Bob Picciano the man who can provide it best?"

Now that we've had the vision, then the tactics, is it time for a sales push? Is the idea of a sales focused leadership a radical cultural change for the entire Lotus organization (other than Ed and a few key regional guys)? Its interesting to have a guy with a heavy sales background taking the leadership controls just after we've had a guy with a heavy technical background take on the marketing ones.

We'll all be watching.
picture of Rodan from the old monster movie


What do you think? Do we need a sales focus now?


There are  - loading -  comments....

re: Lotus - The Mike Rhodin YearsBy Nathan T. Freeman on 04/03/2008 at 06:17 PM EDT
Sales, user-awareness and channel focus, absolutely. The technology is in good
shape. Engineering is delivering, albeit occasionally roughly. But public
perception is almost nonexistent and ISV relationships are basically in tatters.

I don't envy Bob. But he does have some great technology to build on.


Other Recent Stories...

  1. 05/05/2016Is the growing social-sourced economy the modern back door into socialism?Is the growing social-sourced economy the modern back door into socialism? I read a really insightful post a couple of days ago that suggested the use of social network funding sites like “Go Fund Me” and “Kickstarter” have come about and gained popularity in part because the existing economy in no longer serving its purpose for anyone who isn’t already wealthy. Have the traditional ways to get new ventures funded become closed to all but a few who aren’t already connected to them and so onerous as to make ...... 
  2. 04/20/2016Want to be whitelisted? Here are some sensible rules for web site advertisingAn increasing number of websites are now detecting when users have ad-blocking enabled, and refuse to show content unless you "whitelist" their site (disable your ad-blocking for them). I think that is a fair decision on their part, it's how they pay for the site. However, if you want me (and many others) to white list your site, there are some rules you should follow. If you violate these rules, I won't whitelist your site, I'll just find content elsewhere. 1. The total space taken up by advertisements ...... 
  3. 12/30/2015Fantastic new series on Syfy called “The Expanse” – for people who love traditional science fiction[] “The Expanse” is a new science fiction series being broadcast onthe Syfy channelthis winter. It’s closely based on a series of books by author James S. A. Corey beginning with “Leviathan Wakes”. There are 5 books in the “Expanse” series so far. If you’re a fan of the novels you’ll appreciate how closely the books are followed.TIP: The first five episodes are already available on Syfy.com. If you’re having trouble getting into the characters and plot, use those to get up to speed.The worlds created for ...... 
  4. 10/20/2015My suggestion is to stay away from PayAnywhere(dot)com  
  5. 08/07/2015Here is one for you VMWARE gurus - particularly if you run ESXi without fancy drive arrays 
  6. 08/06/2015The Killer of Orphans (Orphan Documents) 
  7. 06/02/2015Homeopathic Marketing: Traveler on my Android is now calling itself VERSE. Allow me to translate that for the IBM Notes community... 
  8. 03/17/2015A review of British Airways Premium Economy Service – How to destroy customer goodwill all at once 
  9. 02/26/2015There's a bug in how @TextToTime() and @ToTime() process date strings related to international standards and browser settings. 
  10. 01/21/2015Delivering two new presentations at Developer Camp (EntwicklerCamp) 2015 in Germany 
Click here for more articles.....


pen icon Comment Entry
Subject
Your Name
Homepage
*Your Email
* Your email address is required, but not displayed.
 
Your thoughts....
 
Remember Me  

Please wait while your document is saved.