Tuesday, September 19, 2006

croquet: a software marketing allegory

Let's say you and your buddies want to play croquet. You dig out your croquet set, then think about where you're going to play.

One friend suggests building a croquet lawn and proposes the following:

"The construction and maintenance of a croquet lawn is no simple matter. Once we have identified a suitably large rectangular expanse of dirt measuring 35 yards by 28 yards, we'll need to see to it that the expanse of dirt is levelled, provided with sufficient drainage (perhaps with alluvial sand), raked clear of stones, seeded or turfed, and then watered. We will, of course, need to consider issues of soil porosity when crafting the drainage strategy. Having constructed our lawn, then depending on the season, we'll need to consider the following essential activities:

  • Autumn: Scarification & Thatch Collection; Surface Repair; Aeration; Worm Killing; Application of Fungicide & Moss Killer; Feeding, Top Dressing, Over-seeding and Mowing the Lawn.
  • Winter: Mowing the Lawn; Brushing & Applying the Dragmat; Application of Fungicide
  • Spring: Rolling (if flat and level to start with); Scarification & Thatch Collection; Feeding; Aeration; Worm Killing; Applicaiton of Fungicide & Moss Killer; Mowing the Lawn.
  • Summer: Mowing the Lawn; Scarification & Thatch Collection; Irrigation; Weed and Worm Killing; Aeration; Application of Insecticide

"We'd want to buy a good cylinder mower," he might add, "Because while your mower may have three or four helical blades on the cylinder, for croquet lawns it's good to have 10-12. You'll get better results and that nice striped cutting pattern. Then we can call Jacques America for better equipment, because you won't want to use that. . .that nasty shabby set of sticks on this beautiful court."

Then your other friend suggests the following:

"Let's grab our stuff and go down to my mom's back yard, jam some wickets into the ground, open up a six pack and start wailing away."

Q: Who is right?
A: It depends.

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