Friday, November 6, 2009

Full disclosure:

With any reviews or other postings that you’ll see here on the blog, I am beholden to no one, and I will accept no compensation in any form for a good review.  I’ll put the information out here – “warts and all,” as the saying goes – regardless of who makes the program.  If there’s even the slightest hint of conflict of interest, I’ll either make that known at the outset of the posting, or I just won’t put it out there at all.

A good example is this: I’m working on one right now about a program I’ve been using for several months.  Here’s the 411 on that, just up front:

  • I’m talking with the author right now about the program, including some questions I have about it.  That information will be included in the posting.
  • I’ll also run the final draft of the review past him to make sure I have no inaccuracies, and to provide him a chance to comment, BUT that won’t change my opinion about the program, or any comments I might make about things I like or dislike about it.
  • If I like something, I’ll tell you.  If I don’t like something, I’ll tell you…  If the emperor has no clothes, well…! :)

Those who have worked with me before know that I can be pretty blatantly honest when it comes to giving someone my opinion about something.  It’s even cost me my job once:

At a former employer, I was asked at one point by a fairly senior person within the company what I thought about such-and-such a project.  I asked him if he really wanted my honest opinion, and he said yes.  I told him I didn’t think it stood a chance of a snowball in hell of catching on in the marketplace, it sucked and shouldn’t be pursued.  I was right, in the long run, but I had no way of knowing that this was his pet project and that he had a pretty serious (emotional?) attachment somehow to the whole thing.  Up to that day, I was pretty much the boy wonder with the organization, but from that day forward, I never saw a single raise or had a positive review, even though nothing else had changed with regard to the performance of my duties.

Obviously I won’t provide the name of this person, or that of the company involved.  Those who knew me at that company are still around and might even read this, so I ask only that if you are privy to that information, please don’t include it in a comment to this posting – I’d like to avoid legal entanglements, since I really can’t afford an attorney right now! :)

Bottom line: I’ve never had even a hint of a problem with conflict-of-interest issues, and I’m not about to start now.

If all that sits well with you, great: stay tuned and I hope you’ll like what you see.  Otherwise, please “change the channel” and have a nice day. :)


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