What happens when the Board Of Discourse begins to panic?


  • area_can

    Here's a feature-article-worthy WTF. I won't give a TL;DR because I can't summarize the level of :wtf:.

    If you want to skip to the real nasty stuff, look for the insane all-caps conversations between the author and the head of the board of directors. Those are interesting.



  • I got to this and :spittake:

    Hinton (our 22 year-old CEO)


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    Hinton (our 22 year-old CEO)

    They were fucked before they began.


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    Great minds and all that...


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    We would now use Natural Language Processing for everything. Instead of the user clicking a button to edit old Contacts, they would type, “I want to edit the info about my contact Jenny Hei,” and we would then find the info about Jenny Hei and offer it to the user so they could edit it. That was the new plan.

    This was a brilliant idea.

    No. No it fucking wasn't. You went from one button click to 50 keystrokes. That is a stupid idea. Whomever came up with the concept of that being the only method of interface should be taken to tend the rabbits.


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    If Celolot could become the default way that people interacted with the big CRMs, such as SAP, then Celolot could eventually tax much of the value in the CRM ecosystem. Therefore, Celolot could one day become a multi-billion dollar company.

    No. No it wouldn't. You would have just done all of the R&D for SAP and then they would decide whether it was cheaper and easier to buy your company or just build all the shit themselves and shut down the API that you are using and run you out of business.


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    But even though the basic idea was good, there were mistakes in the way the Big Pivot was handled, starting with the fact that the tech team was never consulted. starting with the fact that the person who proposed that being the sole interface was not smashed in the face with a crowbar and then had salt poured in the wounds


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    Yet in reality, giving up on a traditional UI — full of buttons and forms — and switching to 100% pure Natural Language Processing increased the complexity of the programming by an order of magnitudewas an idea that only a 22 year old CEO would ever think was a good idea, and he should have been laughed out of the industry as soon as he proposed it because salespeople may hate software, but they hate talking to software even more.



  • Wow, friend! I think you have started talking to yourself. Shall I call in fox so you can pretend you are having a dialogue?


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    @Mikael_Svahnberg said:

    Shall I call in fox so you can pretend you are having a dialogue?

    What did I ever do to offend you so much that you would threaten me in such a way?



  • The idea is brilliant: Natural Language Processing as an interface to interact with big Customer Relationship Management tools such as SAP

    WHAT THE F***?!? Seriously? The only way this would make sense is IF (BIG IF) the idea really was to move to a voice recognition system.

    "Hello S-A-P find the number of customer Irish Girl"

    the mission was to build an Android app that could interact with SAP

    Oh God! The guy didn't bail by then?

    we planned to send the text to the server, parse it with our Natural Language Processing algorithm, and send it back to the Android so we could display all the info

    Yeah, that would have been really fast IF you're Google or Apple or Microsoft and even they have problems with this.

    we could use the standard Android chat app to send text messages

    Hahahaha!!!

    regex errors

    Oh man, I can only imagine that code in my worst nightmares.



  • @Polygeekery said:

    > If Celolot could become the default way that people interacted with the big CRMs, such as SAP, then Celolot could eventually tax much of the value in the CRM ecosystem. Therefore, Celolot could one day become a multi-billion dollar company.

    No. No it wouldn't. You would have just done all of the R&D for SAP and then they would decide whether it was cheaper and easier to buy your company or just build all the shit themselves and shut down the API that you are using and run you out of business.

    Indeed. I actually worked at a company where SAP did just that: Bought the whole company and then spun off / closed down everything they didn't want.



  • Sounds like they took their ideas from watching [url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2543312/]Halt and Catch Fire[/url].


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    @Eldelshell said:

    regex errors

    @Eldelshell said:

    Oh man, I can only imagine that code in my worst nightmares.

    No need to imagine, just look here:

    It is probably very similar.


  • BINNED

    It defies my first (or second) law: Never work for CEO younger than 40. I was thinking of making it 36 for raisins, but allowing some margin of safety will not hurt. Now I am curious to know how old this Lawrence is to deduct further points if he is older than CEO.

    Hinton (our 22 year-old CEO)

    I think Lawrence is giving us some hint on the problem here. Glad my laws are reaffirmed blakey-style.

    Big Pivot.

    Ahha, 4th law defied! Do one thing and do it great, pivot means failure. And once again I am blakey-style correct until I read the rest of the article.

    there were mistakes in the way the Big Pivot was handled, starting with the fact that the tech team was never consulted.

    What was the name of the fucking company? Ah Ok it is not us


  • BINNED

    @Eldelshell said:

    Yeah, that would have been really fast IF you're Google or Apple or Microsoft and even they have problems with this.

    Exactly. These unicorns are custom made to appeal to those companies ;) If whoring does not work, well they are screwed.



  • I'm not getting the high expectations. 15 years ago, I worked on a NLP search engine. It never got enough clients. Nobody was really interested. Ok, the sales team was a joke, that didn't help, but nobody really cared if the proper answer was directly given or a click or two away. NLP is a nice add-on, but only for occasional use, and if it doesn't cost a dime.

    From what I read in that article, their NLP engine is going to fail miserably, and the product with it. People are only willing to type long questions and statements if they are infrequent users. Otherwise they'll want a more efficient UI. And if it took the team months to get basic chat functionality working, they'll not be able to get dialog management working, because that is much more complex.

    The board seems standard US style: arrogant, aggressive, and blind to their own errors and ignorance, as if becoming a chairman automatically turns you into Oppenheimer.

    Is there a true WTF here or is it more a train wreck?



  • @Hanzo said:

    The board seems standard US style: arrogant, aggressive, and blind to their own errors and ignorance, as if becoming a chairman automatically turns you into Oppenheimer.
    http://www.amazon.com/Toy-Monster-The-World-Mattel/dp/0470548584


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    @Hanzo said:

    The board seems standard US style: arrogant, aggressive, and blind to their own errors and ignorance, as if becoming a chairman automatically turns you into Oppenheimer.

    Is it time to draw inaccurate stereotypes time again?

    All the CEOs in your country beat children with their truncheons and molest livestock.

    Am I doing this right?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    If for some reason I were insane enough to work for a startup so self evidently doomed just from the project description, I'd have fared much better in the Milburn chats.

    The solution is not to play along or keep silent. The answer is RETURN FIRE. The number of VPs I have slain in this manner closely tracks my upward career trajectory.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    meta-gripe: what is with that tiny font? Everyone who does that should have the soles of their feet beaten with a cane.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @FrostCat said:

    tiny font

    Meant for printing as a newspaper column, and translated direct-to-web.


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    @dse said:

    It defies my first (or second) law: Never work for CEO younger than 40. I was thinking of making it 36 for raisins, but allowing some margin of safety will not hurt.

    Hey! I resemble that remark.



  • Goddamn, that... wow. I can see how it is a trap to fall into when being young and stupid, I sure would have.

    Now with having run out of fucks to give and grown an intolerance for stupidity, I would probably have suggested that Milburn save us the time and just start wearing his ass for a hat. (In a less polite way)



  • They were sending in a high-level consultant. The consultant was an old friend of some of the Board members.
    ... It would be a chance for the consultant to pick up a lucrative contract. ...
    The consultant asked what he was needed for. What was the problem? ...
    I summarized...
    He said he wouldn’t be able to help. He would only slow us down. The team (us) seemed to know what it was doing and simply needed time to get the work done. A project this ambitious was inevitably going to hit some tough moments.

    Hindenburg-fucking Yoda-cock, man! This has literally got to be the biggest red flag I've ever seen, and you should have jumped ship the MOMENT you heard him say that.

    The highly-paid consultant-- who is a FRIEND OF A BOARD MEMBER-- is being parachuted in to a disaster of a project-- so he can throw down some useless advice, fudge the numbers to make it look like it's turning around and be paid for a DIRECT QUOTE HIGHLY LUCRATIVE CONTRACT END DIRECT QUOTE...

    And he turns down the free money? That is quite possibly the most surest of all sure signs that you're smack dab in a shit-tsunami caused from the shit-megastorm triggered by a shit-volcano eruption that's shifted the shit-tectonic plates enough to cause a massive shit-earthquake big enough to sink Australia.

    If you can't tell someone's compliment from a polite "smile, nod, and run the fuck away" response, then you're going to be doomed to end up in this situation time and time again.

    Wow.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Tsaukpaetra said:

    Meant for printing as a newspaper column, and translated direct-to-web.

    That's an excuse, not a reason, and it's a shitty one.



  • So I thought, hmm, maybe I'll try reading this.

    For reference:

    WHY!?

    Who is meant to read this?

    When you have more whitespace than Discord, you aren't doing ANYTHING right!


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    @Magus said:

    Who is meant to read this?



  • It's a site written by a guy who just spent the better part of a year working on an NLP app that only an insane person would think was a good idea.

    Though to be fair, maybe he just doesn't know that much about NLP and how fucking hard it is.


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    @Dragoon said:

    Though to be fair, maybe he just doesn't know that much about NLP and how fucking hard it is.

    Google does a pretty good job of it, our team of 3 should be able to knock it out of the park in 6 months. Max.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    Maybe this article was a joke?



  • Wow, that story is just insane.

    The company he worked for is doomed to fail, with "management" like that.



  • As much as the managers are a WTF, the bigger WTF is them thinking that they could do that project at all.


  • BINNED

    @Polygeekery said:

    Hey! I resemble that remark.

    I resemble that remark myself (35). I do not know how successful your business is (cap size, and how old), but 1 standard deviation (35) is still acceptable as long as CEO is technical.



  • Agreed. Some NLP (like Google Now and Siri offer) is doable, and technology is rapidly advancing. What they want is not impossible, but very hard to get right.

    But seriously, typing everything? The only way this can ever work the way they want it to work is if they'd offer voice recognition. Who in their right minds would type a full sentence ("Show me all outstanding leads for Hilton that have not been attended to in the past 15 days") if you can achieve the same with a few buttons and just typing "Hilton" and "15"?



  • Also, re: Nagesh or whatever the name of the incompendev was.

    One or some or all of the following was true:

    1. He was there illegally. If they fired him, he probably would get deported to Nowhereistan and shot. Or he'd report the company for illegally hiring him. (That is, of course, the worst of the two options for The Board)
    2. He was working for cheap. Very cheap. Below minimum wage cheap. He was probably living in the incubator. His salary vs. his value on the books was providing an excellent tax shelter.
    3. As #2, except someone was paying him $20k a year, and charging the company $100k a year for a HIGHLY SKILLED DEVLEPER, and pocketing the difference.
    4. He was fucking one or more people on the board. No one was going to give up that sweet brown smoothie.


  • From what I actually bothered to care to read.

    Author: This will take X long.

    TRWTF Mill: It will take X/2 long.

    X/2 later.

    TRWTF: Where are we.

    Author: We made good progress.

    Mill: You won't take responsibility for being late.

    Author: I had no control over the situation. How can I take responsibility.

    Mill: (thinks to self, I can't fall for this one. Let me shout him down until he gets annoyed enough to admit failure). BALBBSLDJRELWJEWLRJASFPODRARLRALRGGGLLEEEE.

    Author: blink



  • @Polygeekery said:

    No. No it fucking wasn't. You went from one button click to 50 keystrokes. That is a stupid idea. Whomever came up with the concept of that being the only method of interface should be taken to tend the rabbits.

    Not to mention that the UI was no longer emergent. It may be intuitive, but now you've done worse than the hamburger. You've completely hidden the whole UI.

    SIRI makes sense when the user doesn't know what they really want.

    "How do I wash a dog?"

    3 videos, 2 links, a blog, a youtube channel, and a picture show up


  • area_can

    @Polygeekery said:

    tend the rabbits



  • @Lorne_Kates said:

    "smile, nod, and run the fuck away"

    Sure hope there's a gif with this but GIS is not helpful and instead shows me this disturbing image:

    [spoiler]

    [/spoiler]



  • @AlexMedia said:

    Agreed. Some NLP (like Google Now and Siri offer) is doable, and technology is rapidly advancing. What they want is not impossible, but very hard to get right.

    But seriously, typing everything? The only way this can ever work the way they want it to work is if they'd offer voice recognition. Who in their right minds would type a full sentence ("Show me all outstanding leads for Hilton that have not been attended to in the past 15 days") if you can achieve the same with a few buttons and just typing "Hilton" and "15"?

    Not to mention that I can quickly think of two showstoppers for this thing:

    a) Typos
    b) Duplicates


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  • BINNED

    That is too sad, damn, now I have to sympathize with whomever came up with the concept of that being the only method of interface.



  • @Weng said:

    The solution is not to play along or keep silent. The answer is RETURN FIRE. The number of VPs I have slain in this manner closely tracks my upward career trajectory.

    Using RETURN FIRE is like predicting a bear market in the stock market. You're looked upon as a Pariah, unless proven right - then you get grudging respect.(1) But if you're proven wrong, the damage to your reputation is long lasting. Be certain of what you're doing before pulling the trigger.

    That being said, doing that a few times in a row correctly not only earns you grudging respect, you can eventually become the "don't do it if he objects" person. Somewhere in between you know you're getting there when things like this happen: you express a concern on a project that has all green lights, and suddenly everyone backs off and reconsiders, even if only for a moment.

    EDIT:
    (1) In a good company. In a bloated or terrible company, they let people like you go, and later the group dies or rots away.


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    @Eldelshell said:

    this disturbing image:

    Well, there is almost zero chance of that girl growing up to be of good mental health.


  • area_can

    I feel like I should flag this...


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @bb36e said:

    I feel like I should flag this...

    These entire forums are becoming infected with some manner of Fox disease.



  • @Polygeekery said:

    Fox disease

    or ?


  • area_deu

    At some point a startup like Celolot is going to take over the CRM industry, and as it becomes the default interface for CRMs

    Yeah, right.



  • @ChrisH said:

    > At some point a startup like Celolot is going to take over the CRM industry, and as it becomes the default interface for CRMs

    Yeah, right.

    Just like Discourse will become the default interface for forums, right?

    Although I have to admit, I do encounter more Discourse based forums nowadays than I used to...


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