Recently, I’ve been wondering whether Yammer is being developed like ‘medicine’ or ‘Coca Cola’? I’ve been typing, deleting, typing, deleting and in the process I’ve started to challenge my own thinking. I feel that I’m going a little crazy with the thought process so I felt I’d throw the concepts out there.
- Medicine – developed through thousands of hours of research and testing. Typically, highly consistent product that should only be consumed in the way it is intended.
- Coca Cola – developed to a level of product consistency such that each one tastes the same wherever it is consumed but it can be consumed in a multitude of ways. You don’t find ice cream floating in medicine, or use it as cooking liquor to make a ham but you can still taste the Coke in both.
My thinking is that Yammer is not medicine which you have to consume as per the instructions. Yammer makes helpful suggestions in how it should be consumed, just like a Coke bottle has best served cold on it. Items like the Discovery feed are just that, helpful suggestions to how it should be consumed. Intended to guide you to an outcome.
Yammer is part of an ecosystem that is founded upon choice and interconnectivity. The risk is that Yammer ignores the choice and interconnectivity and positions itself as medicine. For example, connectors or shared storage using OneDrive would help with the choice and interconnectivity and just like Coke they will enable Yammer to be consumed in a multitude of ways. Conversely if Yammer where medicine you’d be forced to consume it in the browser or app with a propriety file management solution.
Then again Coca-Cola did start out as medicine…