I like the analogy of “increased attack surface”, particularly as it increases your chances of being infected by a vague, but attractive, idea-virus-meme. Reminds me of Robert Greene in 48 Laws of Power on charlatanism - “…on the one hand the promise of something great and transformative, and on the other a total vagueness. This combination will stimulate all kinds of hazy dreams in your listeners who will make their own connections and see what they want to see”
In my experience it is quite common for the stated goal of an organization to be “improve XYZ business metrics with ABC type system” but the ulterior motive to be “make a defensible and risk-free decision to look like we’re progressing”
Is there a solution to this problem for someone inside an organization evaluating vendors? How about as a vendor?
Very interesting reference! I will have to check it out.
For someone inside an organization, situations, where you can't evaluate a software vendor entirely from publicly available information, are pretty rare. Even the lack of information is telling (and not in a good way). The only thing missing is usually getting a quote from the vendor, but that doesn't require an RFP, merely a problem statement, and some ballpark figures.
As a vendor (like Lokad), you don't have a say. If the prospect says that the process is an RFP, then so be it. I have repeatedly tried to convince prospects to stop paying consultants twice what it would cost them to do the setup of the supply chain solution they were looking for, but I have never managed to convince any company to give up on their RFP process. Thus, nowadays, we just go with the flow.