"Remember: The race goes not to the strong, nor swift, nor more intelligent but to the less stupid"

The Hall of Stupid Positioning and Writing

Bad Positioning Example from MercatorColumn
column(Text taken from Mercator web site)

In The Product Marketing Handbook for Software we tell software companies that the foundation of successful product positioning is developing a coherent and succinct definition of your product and its capabilities. Below is an excellent example of what happens when you don’t do that. After reading this wad of verbiage we have no idea of what this product does. And neither do you.

Mercator Integration Broker

Mercator delivers a complete, non-invasive integration technology foundation and applied vertical integration solutions that enable customers to streamline their business processes through the seamless interoperation of core strategic business assets.

Mercator improves customer ROI and provides competitive advantage through business integration that is flexible enough to leverage customers' IT investments and meet tomorrow's business process changes. Mercator Integration Broker is a unifying technology for integration that solves complex integration challenges.

For large enterprises with dynamic business models and complex IT infrastructures, Mercator is the only provider of integration technology that enables process integration without low-level custom coding. Unlike other integration solutions, Mercator employs interface abstractions that maintain independence between business process models and underlying IT implementations. This enables organizations to keep pace with changes at the business process level without major modifications to the supporting integration logic and IT systems.

Whew! We’re glad this software is “non-invasive.”
We thought we were going to have to undergo a colorectal exam
before we could use it!

Bad Direct Marketing from Good Leads
(Text taken from E-mail piece)

Good Leads: Professional Lead Generation for Technology Firms

Good Leads, an executive level service provider of qualified business leads, has been gaining notoriety for its guarantee and warranty of its lead generation programs. Good Leads' clients are technology companies looking for strategic partners in their sales initiatives. Good Leads utilizes database marketing and telemarketing disciplines to direct its lead generation programs targeting executive decision makers. Offer of 1 month free lead service valid through Q1 2003 w/minimum term. (new clients only). Contact: sales@Good-Lead.comcall 866-894-LEAD

“Notoriety,” eh? Notoriety means “infamous.” “Notorious.”
Sure hope these guys aren’t writing anything for their clients!

Incomprehensible Product Positioning from Microsoft
(Text taken from Microsoft web site)

Readers of In Search of Stupidity know that we believe that one of the reasons for Microsoft’s long-term market success has been the company’s ability to avoid making stupid marketing mistakes. But that doesn’t mean it’s too late for Microsoft to join in the fun!

Getting in the spirit of stupidity is the text below that attempts to persuade us to buy a MS product called “BizTalk Server.” By the time you’ve plowed through this massive heap of verbiage, we doubt you’ll have a clue about what BizTalk Server does and who should buy it.

“BizTalk Server 2004, a Windows Server System product, helps customers efficiently and effectively integrate systems, employees, and trading partners faster than ever before.

In today's global economy, companies need to integrate applications, systems, and technologies from a variety of sources. To make this easier, Microsoft delivers best-of-breed integration technology through BizTalk Server 2004 and expands the offering with industry accelerators and adapters directly and through partners.

Connecting trading partners and integrating systems is no longer the end goal of enterprise integration. Companies require highly automated business process management functionality, with the flexibility to incorporate a human touch at appropriate stages throughout the workflow, as provided by BizTalk Server 2004 orchestration services.

Technical Overview

The following figure shows the main components of BizTalk Server 2004. BizTalk Server consists of receive and send adapters, receive and send pipelines, orchestrations, the BizTalk Server message box, and the business rules engine. For a detailed description of each function please read the Understanding BizTalk Server 2004 white paper.”

What fun! After reading through this impenetrable treatise,
we’re invited to read a white paper to help make the incomprehension complete. Also, we believe that anyone who uses the phrase “best of breed” should be hit upside the head with a set of old WordStar 3.3 manuals; approximate weight, about 10lbs. (BTW, if anyone out there has a clue what this product does, do let us know.)

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