I love being involved and supporting organizations that have a good cause.  A mission.  A purpose for existence that resolves around something other than scrounging around for the almighty dollar.

But I hate being common.

Everything about it.

So while Krengeltech gears up to attend another year of the COMMON User Group IT Executive Conference on May 6th, I’m wondering if someday COMMON can become UNCOMMON.  Because I’m willing to bet many of those affiliated with COMMON are just that.

This isn’t a rant on an organization that depends on support from volunteers.

This isn’t a rant from a technophobe ripping “marketing” at COMMON.

This is a marketer who’s under the impression that marketing was never intended to be common.

So basically it’s the word.  For some reason, attending the event of “COMMON” reminds me of working for an innovative company with cutting edge technology that goes to market under the name Computer Services, Inc.  Pretending for just a moment that I’m a new college graduate, chances are high that the flyer I received in the mail to join COMMON may get tossed aside in preference of the development conference with that Apple-something-or-other in the title.  Even though everything about the organization itself may resonate excellence, the word itself is a buzz-kill.

A dictionary.com definition for “common” tells me the word means “pertaining or belonging equally to an entire community”.  That I can live with.  But after reading further, “general” and “ordinary”, I cannot.

I’m not one of those people you’ll bump into at the conference who says, “Yeah, I started my IBM career back in the System/38 days…using punch cards, writing green bar reports, and all that other fun stuff”.  And because of that my opinion may hold a similar weight of my eight year old’s.  When IBM launched the System/38 in 1980 I was still dumbfounded by how many cookies Cookie Monster could eat every time I watched Sesame Street.  My closest “Back in the System/38 days” story would probably be, “Didn’t Pitfall on Commodore 64 rule“?  That was my first personal computing experience aside from Number Crunchers on Apple IIE.

IBM is a smart company.  A wildly large, successful company with 2nd-to-none technology.  Sure we love to rip on their marketing department for renaming products just when we’ve finally convinced our customers  to stop saying the last re-branded name.  But I don’t think they’re going anywhere.  And I’m very hopeful that IBM i specifically will continue to retain a strong and passionate customer base.

So as a community let’s shake it up a bit.  Let’s start celebrating what many individuals in the group really are, or should strive to be.  UNCOMMON.

The logo can largely even stay the same.


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