Followup British Telecom outage reason

Paul Vixie vixie at
Mon Nov 26 03:30:07 UTC 2001

> Possibly slow down a bit on rolling all those new features and widgets 
> into the software.... Make the software do what it should, reliably.. then
> put the new stuff in there.

Yeah but... these activities support existing customers with existing
products, and they enable no revenue (the support fees are already in
the bag).  To dedicate that much engineering energy -- probably more
than 50% of the corporate total if "doing it right" is the goal -- would
put new customer revenue and new product revenue at risk.

This icky tradeoff is why new (as in pre-IPO in some cases) vendors can
still get a fair test in existing networks.  Eng&Ops type people have
told me more than once that they thought $NEW_ROUTER_VENDOR could be a
good investment simply because nearly 100% of their engineering resources
would be dedicated to making their small number of customers happy, and
being a larger customer amongst a small set increased this advantage even

The big challenge at an established router company is in management of the
competing priorities more than in management of, or doing of, engineering.
Paul Vixie <vixie at>
President, PAIX.Net Inc. (NASD:MFNX)

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