There is a term in the industry known as “Drinking from the firehose”.The firehose for many has been the notion of being able to consume and have access to much more information than is possible to digest. Moving to a vendor there is a plethora of information to digest. About certain products, how it works and engineering documentation. If there is something you want to know about or learn about you can.

In Star Wars there is the notion of The Force. The force, leveraged by Jedi’s, is balanced between light and dark and one cannot exist without the other. Within The Wheel of Time there is a battle for time itself between Shai’tan, the Dark One, and the Creator. Both require balance and cannot exist without one another. It is possible to draw an analogy between these themes and the firehose.

I have experienced this firehose and while there are many benefits there is a danger. While the knowledge is amazing and my technology knowledge has been developed by leaps and bounds there is a darker element to it. There is a threat to a personal brand and messaging. Corporate messaging can sink in and permeate technology information and discussion. It is something that can be deemed a negative of working a vendor. Messaging from leaders, officers within the CTO, or marketing drives can alter the language used in presentations, discussions and blogging.

Maintaining perspective is an important part of drinking from a firehose. It is necessary to maintain that sense of balance and what is what – marketing or technology when drinking. Marketing influence languages used in documents. Leaders adopt slogans and phrases. This is unique to any single business and is very common across every business world wide not just IT. If you have an online presence whilst working in vendor land then be a balanced person, understand what is messaging and don’t become a vendor shill.

Some fantastic examples of people who work for a vendor and keep their life online balanced are:

Scott Lowe – Office of the CTO – VMware
Lisa Caywood – Technical Marketing Rockstar – Brocade 

Their blogs are balanced and focus on the industry or technology and not the messaging of the company which could portray them as a vendor shill.

2 thoughts on “Drinking and blogging

  1. Hmm. Very nice tips there.. Quite an intricate balance to strike. I am not at vendor but in an almost similar situation, where I look after a certain vendor within a VAD. Temptation is equal.

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