Apparently, I'm too much of a tease.
After my Lotusphere INV105 session, I tweeted
Hey #LS11, I forgot a small announcement in INV105 yesterday. Will make sure you don't go home without hearing it.It was meant to be only a foreshadow, but it turns out that the tweet created a bunch of angst -- people making comments on the blog, in session evals, and in the hallways as to what it was that I forgot! Well, I didn't really forget anything, I had decided I wanted to save a bit of good news for the Ask the Product Managers session. Theatre? Perhaps, but it worked :-)
That announcement was that I am planning to remove the restrictions on Domino Express in the next maintenance release (8.5.3), other than that on company size. What I didn't say is that the opportunity to do so is actually part of a welcome exercise -- an across-the-board license simplification effort. We are hacking away at every part of the Notes/Domino license text, removing the double speak, taking out obsolete references, and generally making sure the license is as clear as it can be. Similar efforts are underway or completed for our other collaboration solutions products, and in fact all IBM software, so by the end of this year you should see simplified, non-legalese that my dad -- who some call the father of legal writing in America -- would be proud of. (BTW, y'all can start a wikipedia page for me anytime you want :-)
At any rate, the decision to plan to remove the other Express restrictions in 8.5.3 comes directly from community feedback. When I announced the addition of clustering to Domino Collaboration Express in December, the first several responses were "that's nice, but....". Well, I knew right away that I had an opportunity in the 8.5.3 simplification effort and made a decision. You haven't seen a formal announcement on this yet because 8.5.3 hasn't been announced. So, take my word for it for now, and watch for the update later.
I would also like to point out that even though I knew this was the right decision to make, there isn't even a posting for it on ideajam.net. For some reason, several in the community held this up as the holy grail of how we should be making decisions, with two people directly challenging me or my team (or worse, the developers) that we should be spending more time implementing the top ideas there. You know who you are.
I love ideajam. It's incredibly useful. But it is just one source of ideas. If you run a business solely based on one type of input, you can quickly find that you're not seeing the forest for the trees. My job is to see the forest.
I need to remember that sometimes my words out of context can be amplified or take on unintended meanings. So, maybe the tease wasn't the right approach. But the outcome is. It takes time to make changes inside the IBM machine. I've established in 2+ years of running Notes/Domino product management that I will embark on those logical changes when I can. That means you should keep them coming -- in any venue. Don't worry, we will hear it, and the good ones rise to the top.