Question & Answer with Sandy Carter and Judith Hurwitz
I am thrilled to be here today with Judith Hurwitz, a dear colleague and friend, in the IT industry. She is an amazing woman with lots of knowledge to share . Today is the launch of her new book, Smart or Lucky? How Technology leaders turn chance into success!
Let’s hear what she has to say of this intriguing new book and title!!

Q: Judith, tell us about your day job.A: I am technology consultant and strategist and CEO of Hurwitz and Associates. I differentiate myself by being a thought leader in the space of Cloud, Social Business, Service Management, and Enterprise Computing. I have been doing this for way too long – greater than 20+ years of experience. I wrote this book based on my experiences in the industry.

Q: I know you’ve written other books. Tell us about them.I have written four “Dummies” books: SOA for Dummies (two editions), Service management for Dummies, and Cloud Computing for Dummies and I am now working on a Private Cloud for Dummies. I love to write and share knowledge so in addition to these books I have written lots of customized books on demand that allow managers to quickly understand the importance of emerging technologies to their business.

Q: Why this book? What was your inspiration?The inspiration came from decades of working in the industry. I have worked with so many companies who started out with a bang, and then ended up not making it. And then I have also worked with many companies who started more methodically, and ended up being big and successful. I noticed that the ones that failed didn’t pay attention to the signs of danger. They often didn’t plan well enough in very competitive markets.

In the technology market, entrepeneurs seem to be starting to repeat many of the mistakes of the past decades. It seems to me that the many emerging technology leaders have very short memories! So I wanted to make sure that I documented the best practices and worst practices so that others can learn from the experiences. I wanted to share what I had learned over many years and put in a form that entrepreneurs could use.

Q: Since I am a Social Business Maven, any Social Business stories that you could share?Actually yes! There is a company that I wrote about called Agillion that came to market with a product offering and strategy to create marketplaces based on collaboration. They had all the makings of a Google success but they were 10-12 years too early. There was no infrastructure in place to support the idea. One of the lessons that entrepreneurs need to learn is that there can be an idea that is before its “IT” time!

Q: What are the top 3 Ahas from the Book?Well that’s a tough one! (Pause) But I’ll try to choose from the many in the book!
1) There is nothing new under the sun. All of the new ideas can be traced back to a past innovative idea!
2) We all fall for the bubble or the silver bullet solution to solve a problem. Nothing is ever as easy or simple as it seems but it seems that history does repeat itself and that we continue to believe that it is easy!!
3) The companies who focused on solving the problem of the client were the winners. The loser’s secret? Focus on their technology – not the problems they were trying to solve.

Q: Coolest companies you wrote about?I do compare Google and Netscape. I titled that chapter “the Google Sneak Attack”. The major point is that Netscape did a frontal attack on Microsoft, the #1 leader, and of course, Microsoft attacked back. Google’s approach was “we are just a little ole search engine not really hurting anyone”! Things would be different if they have done a frontal attack by going for world domination!

Q: Anything I didn’t ask you about that you want to tell me about?Yes! I do have a chapter that covers two companies that were on the verge of collapse but have recovered today! I wrote about both IBM and Apple in the chapter called “You are not dead yet”. I discuss how both were able to recover and share the lessons that can apply to others today.

Judith, it sounds like a terrific book! Can’t wait for you to sign my copy!