Yegge quipped that Bezos was "a regular... well, Steve Jobs, I guess. Except without the fashion or design sense." Job's is another guy who broke a few eggs to make stuff happen. And the recent Jobs biography everyone is talking about revels in recounting the dark side of that style of leadership.
I've spent a good portion of my life wishing and hoping that people would recognize their enlightened self-interest. "If we all chip in on this initiative, the company will benefit tremendously in the long run and we'll all get a piece of that benefit." The response tends to be: "Are you kidding me? I gotta make my numbers this month." Unless someone is holding their feet to the fire.
Today, IT is under tremendous pressure, and the core principle of SOA -- shared services rather than siloed projects -- must now be applied to infrastructure. Or else, in many organizations a persistent inability of IT to deliver successful results on time may turn Nick Carr's "IT doesn't matter" prophesy of years ago into reality. But what will it take to get IT organizations to stop spinning long enough to invest the time and effort on transformational change?
I am not a fan of the strong-arm leadership style. But given the choice between that and IT slipping into irrelevancy, I am forced to choose the former. The fact is that SOA flat out failed in many organizations; at Amazon, it triumphed. Steve Yegge has done us all a service with yet another vivid example of what it often seems to take for IT to effect real, meaningful change in organizations.
This article, "What it takes to change IT," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Eric Knorr's Modernizing IT blog, and for the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld on Twitter.