If you’re a Seinfeld fan like me, you get your serenity now from a weekly dose of episodes that run on TBS. Regardless of the day I’ve been having, good or bad, I take solace in knowing that I am eventually reunited with my favorite group of neurotic New Yorkers to end each night.
Just last year, TBS ran a marathon of the top 25 episodes to celebrate Seinfeld’s 25th anniversary.
Seinfeld remains just as relevant today as it did back when it first aired, if not more so, given some of the controversial topics it covered. Like The Jetsons, Seinfeld was ahead of its time.
Hidden behind the guise of a “show about nothing” is a show about everything.
Relationships, Superman, social etiquette, baseball, Pez dispensers, whales, and global political affairs have been points of colorful banter between Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer at the coffee shop.
And if you look closely enough, you’ll even see plenty of IT issues that have been discussed.
Okay, don’t strain your eyes too hard.
The closest thing we’ve seen to actual IT interaction on the show is Jerry messing around with what looks like an old Apple Macintosh in his apartment.
But there are certainly moments in the show that relate to what’s going on in the IT world, especially when it comes to deciding how to spend your IT funding in 2015 and beyond.Here is a list of four of our favorite IT best practices that Seinfeld indirectly taught us:
Lesson 1: Test the technology before you commit to it.
Kramer and Newman make a trade.
This lesson could also be titled “buyer beware”. At least that was Jerry’s lesson to Newman after he received a defective radar detector from Kramer. If Newman had asked to test out the detector before agreeing to trade his helmet to Kramer, the deal wouldn’t have gone through. Probably.
Testing is paramount for any major IT purchasing process, especially when it comes to enterprise-level software. As part of a proof of concept, IT providers will offer the opportunity to test out their software in a dedicated environment.
Lesson 2: Don’t fall in love with a name. Functionality matters.
George thinks he bought Jon Voight’s car.
Jerry asserts that George bought his car because the previous owner was Jon Voight, the actor. Of course, the actor Jon Voight doesn’t spell his name with an “H”, and as we later found out, it was John Voight the dentist all along.
Clearly, the performance and reliability of the Chrysler LeBaron wasn’t exactly a priority for Gorgeous George. IT purchasers need to be more diligent than he was when weighing their options. They need to pick a solution that meets their business requirements and cost threshold, regardless of the manufacturer.
Lesson 3: Don’t dismiss the importance of implementation and support services.
Kramer orders an AC out of the box without proper installation.
This is a perfect example of buying technology with all the bells and whistles but not thinking about how it will be deployed. Kramer botched this installation badly, and a poor dog was the victim.
Imagine if you fell victim to a bad implementation job? Or worse, the implementation had to be handled in-house without the proper resources. For any implementation, you need to lean on a proven, dedicated methodology.
Lesson 4: Pay for the IT capabilities you need without overcommitting.
Jerry spends $100 on gum.
For this one, I’m willing to give Jerry a pass since he was blind as a bat. And Lloyd Braun didn’t exactly help him out (no wonder George hates him). But still, “THAT’S A LOT OF GUM!”
A lot of IT decision makers have fallen prey to the same purchasing trap. They’ve overspent on technology that was way over the scale of what they needed in the first place.
Cloud services have been a game-changer in helping organizations pay for only the compute power that they need, like additional storage capacity. Now, there is a real alternative to buying in bulk.
What are some other Seinfeld moments that relate to every-day IT decision making?
Give us your thoughts, and get to know more about the IBM BP Network.