I was reading comments to Ryan Stewart of Rich Internet Application Mountaineer, Is Being Too Open with Products a Bad Thing? and comments mentioned levels of information that companies give out about products and processes. Earlier this week I wrote about Blogging and the Correct Levels of Transparency and this is a continuation of that conversation.
In comments in Ryan’s blog, it was mentioned how Apple is much more secretive about their processes and products in development than Adobe and I would add Microsoft. In my opinion I think part of this has to do with the partner models used by the companies. Microsoft and Adobe have strong partner systems, while it seems that Apple has less focus on partners.
From what I see, Apple develops products on their own, and releases them. If third parties want to add value to the products Apple releases, they allow it, but I am not sure how much they really support these companies.
Adobe and Microsoft both have a strong partner system. Partners are informed of products in development and allowed access to this content during the development cycle to ensure that the partners have products available during the release of the products. I am not sure about Adobe, but Microsoft has labs available for partners to ensure that their products integrate well with the software released by Microsoft.
As an experiment I searched the following websites for the word partner:
www.apple.com – Error from main page / 77 responses in support area: I received the following information each time I searched “Sorry, but there was an error during your search. Try your search again.” I was finally able to receive results when I specifically targeted the support area.
www.adobe.com – about 4560 responses
www.microsoft.com – 232,558 responses
These search results are by no means scientific, but I think it does paint a picture of the value of partners by each of the companies. It appears that both Microsoft and Adobe are concerned with partners accessing information.
It would seem that part of the level of transparency that a company has is directly related to the partner model they employee.
- A company that has a strong partner system will be more open to ensure their partners have the information they need.
- A company that has less focus on a partner system will be more secretive with their information.
Part of blogging and having these conversations, is deciding what type of partner model used your company, as well as ensuring the correct level of transparency. Knowing the answers to these questions will help you decide how ‘transparent’ you can be about the products and processes at your company.