my public apology to adam smith of google


So, I owe Adam Smith an apology. I was awfully snarky in my blog post last night, and somewhat unfair in my characterization. He was gracious enough to stop by to say hello this morning, after having read my post, and I apologized to him then. But if I'm going to ding him publicly on my site, I feel as though I should apologize publicly, as well.

First of all, as many people pointed out to me this morning, he's most definitely not over 40 (while I cannot authoritatively confirm his gender, I'm still fairly confident that he's male...).

Second, as someone representing his company, he's under significant constraints in terms of what he can say. When I went through employee orientation at Microsoft, I was warned many times about how quickly people would distort what I said or wrote simply because of my affiliation with the company. I was skeptical, but since then I've seen first-hand how that does indeed happen, and I can't fault Adam for being cautious in his responses, and sticking close to the party line.

Finally, I have to give him (and Google) huge props for being here, and engaging in the dialogue. He's weathered a lot of criticism gracefully, and that's not easy to do even when you don't have hundreds of people watching you.


I like people who can show that they are not right sometimes

Dear Elizabeth:

Do not be so hasty to apologize. I work for a company that sells eBook Readers in two lines and three sizes. We want to do the same deal as Sony, our competitor, got from Adam Smith with the 50,000 free eBook Google library. That was about five working days ago that I started trying to get through. Since then I have been redirected, hung up on, left unanswered messages, and tried staying on his phone for 30 minutes listening to soft music.

While I admit that Mr. Smith may well be a busy man... we ARE a public company and we should have as much a right to license with Google's Free 50,000 eBooks as Sony. I do not anticipate the same reception as Sony... but I do anticipate the same freedom of classic books that Adam espouses quite elegantly in speeches. I do anticipate that he will return calls and not have gate guards blocking his lines.

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This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on October 26, 2005 10:16 AM.

joel spolsky and kathy sierra on microsoft and mediocrity was the previous entry in this blog.

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