I was reading this executive e-mail and I must say I liked it.
Some time ago we were (or should I say "we are") building systems that were more kind of "store information and use it". But the business is different – people are not talking about putting and retrieving the information, they want to be part of their business, solve the business problems by performing some business tasks.
In such cases I am thinking about simple example of the customer service specialist (CSS), who receives an e-mail from customer about wrong invoice for example. The next questions for the CSS are: What should I do? How I will make the decision, based on what information? What actions can I take and even more important – how? Currently, I’ve seen many cases where CSS gets an e-mail, then asks various people that are responsible for certain areas of information (like technichians, accountants, product managers, etc.) for some input, looks at various applications and tries to get the Idea "What is going on? Where do I want to go today? How I will solve the business issue".
In such cases I start thinking about those solutions, which should help people to do their work by being more intuitive, context based with business systems integrated into valuable services, familiar interface, built on flexible rules.
After reading this e-mail my thought was: the great ideas are shared for free. Why not to use them to create great software?