But Apple says… But Microsoft says… But Google says… I hear this all the time. And the very first thing I often ask is Who at Apple, Microsoft, Google, or whatever vendor says that? The reason I ask “who” is often because you can get conflicting responses from a vendor for a given question. Why’s that? When an organization gets bigger than 1, there are suddenly more perspectives than just one. When an organization gets bigger than 3, communication starts to get more challenging and it becomes harder and harder to have everyone on the same page. When an organization gets bigger and bigger (500, 10,000, 100,000), not everyone is actually privy to all the pertinent information. Or people don’t know what they can say externally. Who? Developers. Sales. Systems Engineers. Professional Services. Subject Matter Experts. Managers. Executives. Resellers. Marketing. Professional Services Providers. Office Managers. Channel Managers. Product Managers. Each of these might tell you something different when presented with the same question. A developer might only see a small portion of a larger overall project, as they’re buried in the code of a specific binary, feature, or option. Someone in sales might be representing a feature or function as it’s communicated to them, not being overly technical. Someone in Systems Engineering might communicate the feature as they use it, but not how you plan to use it. Someone in Professional Services would often have exposure in the environments they’ve implemented a feature, but a feature might mean more to them. And it goes on through the rest of the functions . Who can you trust? No one. Everyone. Yourself. I’ve always maintained that until I see a feature, I don’t trust it. And when it comes to how I plan to implement a feature, I love hearing from an organization how they’d like me to use it. Unless I get a consistent response about what something from a vendor means to me (and even if I do to some extent), I reserve the responsibility of planning what it means to me for the person responsible for the repercussions: me. I keep saying feature. But I also mean strategy. Strategy can be equally, if not more complicated. Different people at different levels of organizations will have their own perspectives on strategy. And strategy of how you work with a vendor is more important than the tactics of how you implement a given feature. The direction you should be going is yours. Unless you hear otherwise. And then confirm that. Anyway, what am I getting at with this article? Next time someone tells me “But Google says…” don’t be surprised when I say “who?” And you should say that as well, and judge the messaged based on the who.