- Forrester Councils
- Councils Overview
- log in
Posted by David Johnson on September 13, 2011
When Something Is So Good, It's Hard To Imagine It Will Ever Be Matched
The famous connoisseur Jim Murray said of the 1974 Ardbeg Provenance: "This is the finest whisky I have ever tasted. As close to perfection as makes no difference." Ever notice that every once in a while, something comes along in which it seems heaven, earth and the stars were aligned? It's as if all of the ingredients came together to create something so amazing, it's hard to imagine it could ever be matched.
Microsoft Excel Is IT's Answer To The 1974 Ardbeg Provenance
I felt this way when I used Microsoft Excel in 1996. At the time I was a geologist responsible for accurately steering an oil drilling bit 3,000 meters below the surface of a Montana farm field. With Excel and the magical help of John Walkenbach's advanced Excel programming books, I could create a graphical representation of the well bore's profile from downhole telemetry data, condensed so that the drillers and I could easily see which way the bit was going thanks to Excel's charting functions and some tricky Visual Basic wizardry. It seemed there was nothing that Excel could not do.
Used In Ways The Designers Never Imagined
I am certain that the designers of Excel never envisioned that use case (I know this because one of the original product managers is a former colleague and we talked about it), but the product was so functional that a skilled user could make it do virtually anything. It saved us literally days of drilling at $30,000 per day because we could see so much more easily what was going on beneath our feet. We could drill a well an average of 20% faster than our competitors - a significant advantage when at the time the price of oil was so low, that the profit from the wells would take 5 years or more to be realized.
It Was So Good I Paid $3,000 Out Of My Own Pocket To Use It
The company didn't provide the computers I used to do this initially. I had gotten proficient with Excel while working for another company in Alaska, but when I came to Montana, the profit margins for the companies were so thin and computers so expensive, that they could not see the potential value, so I went out and bought my own, much as I did with my MacBook Air a few weeks ago. Incidentally, that's about the same as a bottle of 1974 Provenance would cost if you could find one today!
Take These Four Steps To Create Competitive Advantage From New End User Computing Technologies
I'm telling you this story as an end user computing professional because I want to illustrate how critically important it is to do four things as you look at the influx of new devices and the software that runs on them.
Lead BT Transformation
Develop customer-obsessed strategies to drive growth »
Forrester's CX Index
Predict how actions to improve CX will affect revenue performance.
Measure the customer experiences that matter most »