Technology companies that improve the world with grace and beauty, and others that make products that are just "F**king cool!" or "Kick Ass!"

Mark Morford has just written what can only be described as one of the most incredible customer testimonials I have ever read. Every company on the planet should aspire to create the kind of loyalty and lust and pure unadulterated joy that Apple seems to have successfully created in Mark’s eyes.

Another writer recently posted a fantastic article over here at the Creating Passionate Users blog discussing how Tim Bray was chastised (and celebrated) in his own company for saying that one of their products was “F**king cool!” Every company should read that article.

In a related story, I was discussing with a colleague last night why he loved Confluence, the wiki software we’re starting to use from Atlassian. He related the following story to me:

I was asked what the use case analysis of this product had been – what had we done to lead us to the conclusion that this was the product we should use for wikis. I said, “Well, I downloaded the product and ran the eval copy and thought to myself, ‘this kicks ass!’ Then I realized that they gave us the source code so we could modify it if we wanted to and I thought ‘this kicks ASS!’ Then I found a list of all the plug-ins that we could use and realized that I could even build our own plug-in and integrate our own product right into the wiki and thought, ‘Man, this KICKS ASS!’.

THAT was one of the best analyses I have seen on software deployment in a long while. Atlassian should be proud that their product can generate that kind of response from people.

(*And yes, as a side note, just in case anybody asks, I did a full feature analysis on the top 10 wikis and found Confluence ahead by far. Is it perfect? No. It has been popularized by early adopters so they have a lot of work to do to make it palatable enough for it to “jump the chasm” and appeal to the broader mass market, but it is pretty simple and functional and beats the others hands-down as an enterprise wiki.)
That same colleague also showed me the Customer Comments section of the Perforce website. This company makes change management tools. Overall, not a sexy business. But the customer comments are brilliant. Here are but a few examples:

“I reported a bad link in Perforce’s online docs — and received a response in 52 seconds (according to the mail headers). To properly measure the performance of perforce support you would need to account for clock skew!”

David Sanderson – Fringent Technologies

“Einstein said the speed of light is the highest in the universe. It looks like you are faster… “
Carmen Enachescu – Geac

“The quick response is very much appreciated! Of course, I should have known we’d get such exemplary service… we’re talking about Perforce here.”
Lori Lustig – Macromedia

“I am astounded by your response to my question. You did three things well:

  1. You answered the question that I asked, not some other one;
  2. You answered it thoroughly;
  3. You answered it swiftly;
  4. You answered it correctly.

“Wait — that’s four things that rarely happen! I feel like I’ve hit the tech support jackpot! AND It was not an accident that your product was the first item on our list of things to buy. Hmmm… You could make a sales campaign around that — “What’s the first thing to buy when starting a new company? Perforce, of course.””
Jeff Stearns – The Savage Beast

All I can say is WOW. There are some companies out there doing some amazing work and creating incredibly passionate, loyal fans. Sharing those stories gives us all something to aspire to!