How to blackmail your boss into adopting platform engineering, DevOps, agile, etc.

This is a good talk listing some tactics for changing how organizations work. It’s targeted at executives. What’s bonkers is that, as the screenshot below, it has just 27 views.

In the talk, we have a former group CIO at American Airlines. She’s telling you her tips for how to introduce change in a large organization. As Gene “The Phoenix Project” Kim says in his intro, American Airlines is the biggest airline in the world. This is also from the most famous DevOps/IT conference for executives that exists now (probably).

What’s bonkers is that it has only 27 views. And that one like is from me!

Executives and management at enterprises are always asking how to make change easier, and here’s a whole bunch a tips from their peers. And most of them cost nothing, or in the scheme of an American Airlines budget, nothing (like buying some pizza, rubber duckies, stickers, etc.). Also, she tells jokes and has some gags!

Now, maybe those 27 views are from CIOs of Global 2,000 companies who watched the video 100% of the way through. But, come on…

Are these great tips that will instantly solve all your problems, that fit to any situation. Hardly! But, with that few views, no one was even curious enough to check it out. More to the point: probably no executive has come across this video.1

My point here is that getting enterprise IT improvement content like this out is so, so hard as to be nearly impossible. Of course, you have to match your mediums to the type of content and channels you have.2 But, in general: do videos work? How about 60 second videos? Do white papers work? Blog posts? How about a webinar? How about a webinar with an analyst from Gartner, Forrester, or IDC? LinkedIn posts? License a PDF from an analyst shop? Pay a small analyst firm to write a white paper? Maybe emails?! What if I email a short video?

Some of those work sometimes, but I have the feeling that the main thing that works to reach an “executive audience” is just meetings. Which is to say, being face-to-face in a conference room or just having a meal together. And, yes, as in this instance, in-person at a conference.

The enterprise software sales process is incredibly frustrating and inefficient. But, when the hundreds of videos like that are ignored each year, you can see that being in-person is perhaps the most “efficient” way to do the job of marketing and selling because it’s the only way.3

Also, you should watch all my most excellent videos with such tips, not only 100% of the way through, but three to five times each to make sure they really, like, sink into your brain.

Anyhow. It’s a good presentation, you should check it out.


  • The catsup paradox. Everyone loves catsup on fries, on burgers, hot dogs, etc., even meatloaf. But, on its own, most people find catsup disgusting, it stinks. For example: after a meal, no one ever wants to be the one who cleans the ketchup ramekin. (Mustard and mayonnaise don’t invoke that kind of reaction, let alone pickles.)

  • “I would love to be a, sort of, Mr. Rogers for adults.” Noah.

  • “I feel like the world is burning, and I’m wearing polyester.” Ibid., but Peter from Germany.

  • “I have no idea who that is!” said ever closet Gallagher fan ever. // He probably could never tour Europe because the watermelons were too small. “That just won’t be funny,” he said, taking off his hat and rubbing his head, “It’ll be like I’m smashing a baby’s head. Just cancel the shows, Garry. Just do it.” // Months later, Garry sits in front of Pauly Shore: “now, I like what you got, kid. Your mom says great things. Say hi to her, by the way. You don’t smash any large fruit in your act right? No? Great. Have you ever thought of the Europe circuit?”

  • ”My gf, upon finding out there is not only one but in fact TWO sequels to Taken: “Somebody needs to put an AirTag on her”” kwon.

  • “Premium Economy – access a lounge where they provide materials to make your own ham sandwiches.” Here.

  • “He was scanning the horizon.”

Relative to your interests

  • AI transforming banking, reports UBS executive - ”The Swiss bank has integrated AI into its services, launching a pilot last year for instant credit tailored to small and mid-size companies requiring liquidity. This service enables bypassing credit officers to expedite the process for this standardised product.”

  • Japan’s digital minister claims victory against floppy disks - ”Japan’s digital minister, Taro Kono, confirmed that the Japanese government has finally rid itself of floppy disks.”

  • The World Is Eating Software - The software bubble. Also commentary on power steering.

  • Why Supercloud Architectures Could Upend Cloud Computing – Or Not - ”IDC’s March 2024 Cloud Pulse Survey (n = 1,350) shows that 74% of cloud buyers have multicloud strategies. It’s no longer a big deal to use multiple clouds.”

  • Join the public beta for GenAI on Tanzu Platform today! - Get your own private AI in a box sandbox going on.

  • Accountability Sinks - ’“accountability sink”: a situation in which a human system delegates decision-making to a rule book rather than an identifiable individual. If something goes wrong, no one is held to account.’ // That’s a good phrase to point out something people seem blind to. Humans set policies, humans can decide to un-set policies. // It’s a version of “it’s just business,” which people who have/use that sentiment forget is a catch-phrase for mafia movies when they kill people.

  • Frontline workers split on AI’s workplace impact - ”Nearly 3 in 5 workers using generative AI say the technology has saved them around 5 hours of work per week.”

  • How To Measure Platform Engineering - Suggested metrics: “Market share. Onboarding time. Net Promoter Score (NPS). Key customer metrics.”

  • The Blue-State Wealth Exodus Continues - State income tax flight: “The IRS last week published its annual data on the migration of taxpayers and adjusted gross income (AGI) between states. California ranked, again, as the biggest income loser ($23.8 billion) in 2022, followed by New York ($14.2 billion), Illinois ($9.8 billion), New Jersey ($5.3 billion) and Massachusetts ($3.9 billion). The top gainers were Florida ($36 billion), Texas ($10.1 billion), South Carolina ($4.8 billion), Tennessee ($4.7 billion) and North Carolina ($4.6 billion).” // It’d be buck-wild if far right cultures in southern states changes because progressive people migrated due to taxes.

  • DevOps Isn’t Dead, but It’s Not in Great Health Either - Round-up of surveys showing that the benefits of DevOps are flattening/slowing. Perhaps it’s not dead, it’s just had the final victory. That is: it’s much better than 15, even 10 years ago.

  • How Much Revenue Must a Company Generate to IPO? - “Before 2018, only one company IPOed with more than $200m in revenue. In fact, the median revenue at IPO at $90m. Today, the median revenue at IPO is $189m (corrected for inflation), more than double.”


A few items in my “topic ideas” queue:

  • I’ve had a lot4 of conversations recently about the fallacy of collapsing silos in large enterprises.

  • This is different than the “DevOps is Dead” meme that’s going on around, which I’m slowly building up some commentary around (I think my take is: what if it’s not “dead,” but just wildly successful? AKA: do you not remember how terrible things were in the 2000s? I don’t really like that take too much - way too counter-counter-take - hence still rolling around in it.) Recent DeathOps pieces: the Eulogy one, and some survey digging. Brandon and Matt discussed them on last week’s Software Defined Talk.

  • If we were to look at the original, NIST PaaS definition, is it different than the cloud native platform definition? Is it some kind of really nerdy trolling to start using the phrase PaaS again?


This also shows the value of in-person conferences, regardless of putting the videos up for free afterwards. People value an in-person experience so much more, and you’ll get so many more people seeing the talk in whole than an on-line video.


When I talk about “executive marketing,” I’m talking about something different than getting an executive to want to buy your product. What you’re doing is, one, or all of: (1) convincing them that it’s worth their time to make time to consider your product versus the gazillion other things they’re worrying about, (2) that they should spend the time and political capital to get budget sooner than the next annual planning cycle, (3) that your new idea is better than what they’re currently doing, or that your old idea is better than the new idea your competitors are selling, (4) that changing their organization to take advantage of your product is actually possible and “easy,” (5) that it will all actually work. And, that doesn’t even include just explaining what you do, or all the tactical stuff like rallying the 30 other people you need to get onboard, figuring out procurement, upselling/renewing/expanding, etc. Oh, right, and also that you (even more so, the company you’re selling for), the person selling them something, isn’t an idiot. And that’s just the mercantile stuff! Never mind being, like, an actual, nice human.


Another consequence of this is that when you do find something that works - like the DORA reports - you hang on to it for dear life and work it for all you can. Even if you can’t figure out how to do hard number metrics, remember that even low, single digit rates of opening and reading are astonishing.


When you learn to write - and, I don’t know, maybe this is some Strunk & White lore <rolls eyes> - you’re told to use italics very sparingly. You should instead write the sentence so that the italics are, like, implied. As I get older, I realize that this has all been subterfuge. It turns out, there are a limited number of italics to go around, and so the older, more greedy writers out there just tell the young people that italics are a terrible scribbler’s affectation. We just want to save them all for ourselves! So, if you are, let’s say, 40 or below, here is my wise, writerly advice to you: don’t use italics.,, @cote,,