I never “celebrated” 10 years of Spatially Adjusted mostly because I forgot about it. I was cleaning up the site earlier this week and noticed there was some good content back then, it definitely had a different tone but hey, I’m 10 years older now. I’m going to post a “best of” link every week to a 10-year-old article for the rest of the year. Some of it will be thought-provoking[footnote]disclaimer: probably not[/footnote] and some of it will be laughable. At any rate 10 years ago this week there were a couple posts about hurricane tracking that were interesting given that it was about Katrina, but this one caught my eye.
All the openness in the world won’t make any product successful, but listening to your customers will. The feeling that I’ve gotten from ESRI over the past year is that they have finally begun to realize that their road to continued success is supporting users like us. Don’t confuse the hype surrounding Google Maps/Earth with them being open and listening to their customers. There is no company that likes to hide behind their logo more than Google and they will do whatever it takes to not have to be open. There is a reason people are beginning to realize that Google is the next Microsoft (while Microsoft seems to have becomethe next IBM). Believe me, ESRI has a LONG WAY TO GO before they are as open as we’d all like them to be, but they do listen to their customers and that is a start.
Well the whole post is sort of like that, me claiming that Esri has been more open than Google or others. The context with this is they started allowing their employees to blog and contact people directly, it was a big shift from the traditional call a phone number support. So we were all so excited to see Esri employees blogging and responding to our articles. Well eventually it all collapsed into a corporate marketing blog cycle but at that moment it looks like we felt like Esri was changing.