River flowing

That river’s flowing…

No matter what we do, or how focused or mindful we are, the time just keeps passing doesn’t it?

peter-gabrielAs the great Peter Gabriel once sung:

Whatever may come
and whatever may go
that river’s flowing
that river’s flowing

(Linking to the ’94 version with Paula Cole – my personal favourite version of an amazing song…)

Somehow, over 7 months have passed since I joined the team at Jive Software.  

It seems both like my switch happened yesterday, and yet also that I’ve been here forever.

Thos months have been a hugely enjoyable yet immensely challenging period of my life.  New colleagues, new customers, new culture, new technology – it has been a time of intense adjustment.  If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you’ll know I’ve been in the collaboration space for the best part of two decades, and have inhabited the world of social since the mid-2000s, yet shifting into the Jive organisation and its community has been massive in terms of change for me personally.  Sure, there’s some similarities with what has gone before and yet in some ways it feels like ‘chalk and cheese’ too.

But ‘it’s just a different technology?’ I hear you ask… However, that’s really just a small part of the picture.

I’ve worked with IBM, Microsoft, Atlassian and many other vendors’ products through my career, and all have their merits and their challenges, their unique features and their omissions.  Jive’s products are no different in that regard – there are always some features that are due ‘in the next version’ or perhaps could be enhanced. Our customers have their lists of suggestions for where we can improve – that’s just natural.

Jive Software logoSo what’s fundamentally different about the Jive product, the company and the community?

There’s a list of elements that I want to explore over my next few posts because i think it’s important to get to the essence of what I believe makes Jive unique.

These posts aren’t intended to sway you in some commercial way – any decision such as investing in a social or collaborative platform has to be based on facts, perceived and proven value, use cases and the like, rather than solely on any emotional or relationship pull, or indeed on purely technical grounds.  And that is part of the point, really. Being at Jive has helped to open my eyes to some differences in the way that vendors in this space approach customer requirements and challenges.

So look out for a series of posts on ‘Why Jive?‘ over the coming weeks.  As I say, I’m not intending to try to market our solutions or even the company as a whole – we have immensely talented folks that can do that just fine. I’ve just lived this shift for real for the past months and I think it’s an interesting one to explore.  As a company and a community, we believe in ‘working out loud’ so I see no better way to do that than on this blog through my own personal lens and perspective.

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!