“Father, what we are missing in order to become saints like the ones from the past?”
St. Seraphim of Sarov
Preamble: This post is a humble addition to a comment made by someone from you. I’m sure that he knows what I’m talking about… …feel free to skip if you wish…
…On the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor (December 8, 1941, in Manila),… …Major General Douglas MacArthur was Allied commander in the Philippines. He had over eight hours warning of a possible Japanese attack on the Philippines, and express orders from Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall to commence operations.
MacArthur’s failure to take defensive or offensive action resulted in Japanese air superiority over the Philippines—MacArthur’s inaction during the critical hours has been given as the reason for “an enormity of loss no less than that in Hawaii”. A misplaced reliance by MacArthur on his air commander of only two months, General Lewis H. Brereton, has been offered as an explanation for his inaction by his defenders. Despite clear warnings of Japanese aggression, Brereton had not transitioned his air defenses to a war footing, and like the air commanders at Hickam Field at Pearl Harbor, failed to disperse aircraft properly in camouflaged revetments to limit damage from incoming air raids…
Nothing is more dangerous than relying on one’s own beliefs, disregarding the feedback which comes from the field. The man who is his own counselor is his own enemy. A community is much more than the sum of the parts taken separately. But we must force ourselves to get out from the cage of our own interests.
The shortest path to heresy is theory without practice.
St. Maximus the Confessor
…In the battle of Midway, even if Japanese forces were stronger and bigger, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz had one priceless asset: cryptanalysts had broken the JN-25 code. As a result, the Americans entered the battle with a very good picture of where, when, and in what strength the Japanese would appear. Nimitz was aware, for example, that the vast Japanese numerical superiority had been divided into no less than four task forces, and the escort for the Carrier Striking Force was limited to just a few fast ships. For this reason, they knew the anti-aircraft guns protecting the carriers would be limited. Nimitz thus calculated his three carrier decks, plus Midway Island, to Yamamoto’s four, gave the U.S. rough parity (especially since American carrier air groups were larger than Japanese ones). The Japanese, by contrast, remained almost totally unaware of their opponent’s true strength and dispositions even after the battle began…
…Japanese reconnaissance arrangements were flimsy, with too few aircraft to adequately cover the assigned search areas, laboring under poor weather conditions to the northeast and east of the task force. Admiral Yamamoto’s faulty dispositions had now become a serious liability…
We must know who we are. This is the humility. To know who you really are, not who you think you are. But one needs a lot of courage to do this.
We are… …how many? One million? We are capable to provide top-notch solutions for Windows – perhaps even better than others? Yes, I do think so. CIIW. We are capable to attract new users from other communities to use our tool by lowering the prices? No, I don’t think so. Sons, don’t put with Microsoft in price-against-price fight. Philip Kotler in his classical ‘Marketing Management’ says that “in order to win a frontal price battle, “the attacker must have 3 (three) times bigger sales force than the opponent”. And the opponents are Microsoft, C providers (among of them, Intel) and, in a certain degree, Java (among of Java companies – Oracle). Yes, perhaps many of us want in fact a “Greedy” edition but let us not be slaves of our desires – mind you, a small soul means a selfish soul. A big soul has a place for all the others in his heart.
…The battle of Midway has often been called “the turning point of the Pacific” However, the Japanese continued to try to advance in the South Pacific, and it was many more months before the U.S. moved from a state of naval parity to one of increasingly clear supremacy… …and this happened partially because Americans had new blood to replace the loses and reinforce their army both in number and technically. The brute force by itself doesn’t lead to a victory – we have the Vietnam war as a clear example – there is need for strategy.
The Turning Point
…The Guadalcanal Campaign, also known as the Battle of Guadalcanal, was fought between August 7, 1942 and February 9, 1943 on and around the island of Guadalcanal in the Pacific theater of World War II. Fiercely contested on the ground, at sea, and in the air, the campaign was the first major offensive launched by Allied forces against the Empire of Japan. The campaign marked the first significant strategic combined arms victory by Allied forces over the Japanese in the Pacific theater. For this reason, the Guadalcanal campaign is often referred to as a “turning point” in the war. The campaign marked the beginning of the transition by the Allies from defensive operations to the strategic offensive, while Japan was thereafter forced largely to cease strategic offensive operations and instead concentrate on strategic defense…
As you see, the ‘Turning Point’ in the Pacific World War II was The Unity. Till this point, the “allied” forces fought against Japanese forces disparately and were defeated in (almost) all situations culminating with the Bataan tragedy. In the Guadalcanal battle were involved soldiers from 6 (six) Allied armies against the Japanese forces, of course having the US Army as base. In Heaven you go together, in Hell alone.
However, in Guadalcanal there were a lot of casualties (more than 7000 men, 30 ships and 615 planes), a lot of time spent (7 months) for an ‘insignificant’ island lost in the Pacific Ocean. And unfortunately, each small island in the Pacific was conquered paying a very high price for a very small gain…
…till the strategy was changed.
They attacked the enemy in the places in which it doesn’t exist.
Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.
…In March 1943, the Joint Chiefs of Staff approved Douglas MacArthur’s plan, Operation Cartwheel, which aimed to capture the major Japanese base at Rabaul by taking strategic points to use as forward bases. During 1944 this was modified so as to bypass Rabaul and other heavily-defended Japanese bases, allowing the Japanese forces there to “wither on the vine.” Initially, the majority of MacArthur’s land forces were Australian, but increasing numbers of U.S. troops arrived in the theater, including Marines, the Sixth Army (Alamo Force), and later the Eighth Army.
MacArthur’s advancement of land forces westward along the 1,500 mile (2,400 km) northern coast of New Guinea was sequenced specifically for terrain selected on the basis of its ability to be made into landing strips for tactical support aircraft. By advancing in leaps always within the range of his fighter-bombers (typically P-38 Lightnings), he could maintain air superiority over his land operations. This provided critical close air support and also denied the enemy sea and airborne resupply, effectively cutting the Japanese forces off as they were under attack. MacArthur’s strategy of maneuver, offensive air-strikes, and force avoidance would eventually pay off: unlike the ground forces in the Central Pacific theater, infantry troops in operations under MacArthur’s command consistently suffered fewer casualties…
In order to be successful you must cover the needs of your user base, not to catch-up in a dog fight. We will implement what the competitors have because our user base says so, not because the others say so. But our main focus is the innovation which comes from our emerging needs, not a “me too” strategy. We must be different from the others because our needs are different. And this difference will bring up reinforcements – there are many others which have the same needs. Giving a “me too” product isn’t going to grab anything from outside.
But for this we need innovation first, and as an auxiliary weapon, adjusting the prices.
We are a skilled community. We are an old community. We do our needs with Delphi (mostly) as is. And because we already engraved some thinking paths in our brain we forget that it might be a better road. We have a great idea of ourselves so we are merciful with ourselves, and hence we have big expectations from the others. Usually we don’t accept a proposal if this isn’t something like a ‘Holly Grail’ for programmers. But today is still viable what Fred Brooks said many years ago “No silver bullet”. Any new feature is good in certain use cases and contraindicated in another ones. What we should strive is to find features which has a greater coverage and to allow to do the good things easy and to do bad things hard.
And ultimately this killed Borland:
But if there’s anything I’ve learned from my years in the tech world is that companies don’t get killed by competition, they usually find creative ways to commit suicide. Office 2010 will be the end of Zoho, if we stop innovating, stop being nimble and flexible in our business model. Then again, if we stop all that, Zoho will die anyway, no Office 2010 needed to do the job. There are numerous examples in the technology industry to illustrate this. Consider two companies of similar vintage, both of whom faced Microsoft: Borland and Intuit. Which company has done better? Does that have to do with their competition with Microsoft or their own ability to innovate and adapt?
(full post here)
And we should start to innovate together from today. Now. Right Foot. First step, left foot, 2nd step…
Or do we have suicidal tendencies?