Why ClickFrenzy Failed – A Consultants Perspective

The not so funny thing about ClickFrenzy was every one said it was going to fail. The funny thing no one has actually spelled out is how they could have avoided it.

Everyone is saying they failed to plan which is “planning to fail”, but what is it that they failed to plan for, and how could they have avoided it?

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Following the Leader

Whilst I hate to admit it, I was watching Celebrity Apprentice last night and Mark Bouris said something profound to Pattie Newton.

I have heard it said before, but only ever in a classroom environment in a theory based lesson on effective leadership, and never in a real world environment. Read more of this post

Measuring Non Functional Risk

There is a chance tomorrow when you set out in your car for work, you may get struck by a bus, or a truck, or another car, or a tree might jump out in front of you. The chance will increase if you forget to put in your contacts, or decide to talk on your phone whilst driving. Take a train and the risk is reduced significantly.

The same applies for computer system stability. Implement any sort of change to a computer system and the chance that the system will become unstable and possibly unavailable increases. Perform some thorough testing and planning and the chance decreases. Risk management at face value sounds relatively straight forward unfortunately, most often it is compromised as a result of the “Bermuda Triangle” of software development: Time, Cost and Quality. The triangle works on the principle that as more emphasis is placed on one element, less is placed on the others.

When a solution is designed, there are typically functional requirements that must be met however non-functional requirements are often over looked or left until far too late in the process. These non functional requirements relate to important issues such as security, performance, capacity & availability.

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The Online Privacy Dichotomy

I recently discovered a fantastic website/application called pinterest after reading a news articles about how one of it users has received acclaim simplyby using the application. This piqued my interest and when I went to sign up, I found that whilst free, membership was by invitation only. The application process was simple enough though – supply an email and someone will get back to you with an invitation. I supplied my Yahoo email account which I use deliberately to separate my personal & business identity from my online identity. Its not that they identify me differently – they are both me, its just that they both used for different purposes and have no formal association between each other.

Upon being invited to join, I found there were only 2 ways to login – via Facebook account or via Twitter account…of which I have neither. Read more of this post

The Real-Time Banking Paradigm Shift

Whilst you were asleep last night, all bundled up cosily under the sheets, thousands of computer servers were chugging away under the most strenuous conditions,with CPU and memory utilisation typically exceeding 4 to 5 times their normal day light operating levels. In, fact for most of these servers, this is the greatest load they will see in their lifetime since even during normal business hours, they may never reach more than 20% utilisation, but in the depths of night, this can jump to over 80% utilisation for sustained periods of hours or more.  In the world of banking, this is when all of your daily transactions really take place – from the hair dressing appointment you had at 9:30am through to the $100 you took out at the ATM for lunch and groceries and the on-line transfer to the real estate agent you made at 4:00pm to pay your rent; All of these transactions were finally executed and balanced sometime between 9pm and 6am – long after your credit card receipt, ATM receipt and on-line Transaction receipt indicated.

For many years now, this has been the worst kept secret about real-time banking. That balance you were given after each of your transactions  was just lip-service or a promise – A promise that tomorrow when you wake up, the money will be gone from your account and transferred into the account of the retailer or biller through which you made the transaction. Throughout the day the Bank has just kept a running total of your debits and credits against your opening balance and kept a tally of what should be left to ensure you don’t go over (unless you have a credit account). Overnight, it executes all of those transactions and validates that the final balance equals its running tally. You will probably have noticed that your pay always seems to go in overnight and magically appears the next day. Read more of this post