There is a backlash happening against Creative, a company that:
told programmer Daniel_K to stop writing his own drivers for their X-Fi sound cards. The cards still won’t work on Vista over a year after the OS was released, because Creative hasn’t released drivers for them—but by Mr. O’Shaughnessy’s account, Daniel_K is “stealing” from Creative by making the cards work.
The interesting aspect of this is that the company didn’t do anything that wasn’t their right to do. Copyright, IP, products, support and yet, what they have done stinks to high heaven of arrogance, complacency and of doing something very stupid in the age of the demand side can supplying itself – trying to reclaim their position of old where they are the only ones able to supply what they sell…
As a commenter on the Creative forum thread about this puts it:
Daniel may very well have stepped on some copyright rules, and Creative had the lawful option of doing what they did. Score 100 on the law, score minus several millions for not doing the job themselves in the first place, and putting someone like Daniel in a position where he had to do what he did, just to get the customers of this company happy.
The distinction between supply and demand, especially in the technology/software industry, is fuzzy. You want a community of developers helping your product or market or industry? Watch the edges of your kingdom stretch and flex until there is a kingdom no more and your best chance is to become the first among equals. And understand that is Good Thing.
Obviously, with the likes of Microsoft and Apple we are certainly not there yet. So let me just point out that if your business behaviour gets so glaringly overwritten by common sense, you have a problem.
The communications aspect of this case is equally interesting if not new:
Rule of thumb for bad news in the mainstream media: release it Friday so it’s buried over the weekend. Rule of thumb for the web: don’t infuriate thousands of your customers right before you decide to tune out for 48 hours.
this is now on the back of my business card as a useful reminder..