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The Most Overused Term In Security Product Management/Marketing…

September 3rd, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Next Generation <anything>

Sick of it.  Sucks monkey balls.  Is about as relevant and non-sensical to me as "kosher ham."

I’ve been really annoyed by this term since I ashamedly added it to my lexicon of "roll-off-the-tip-of-my-tongue" buzzwords years ago for reasons I can’t rightly remember.  Too much TV.

I suppose temporally, anything not shipping, regardless of how (r)evolutionary it may or may not be, is technically "next generation," but it’s today overly (ab)used to imply some quantum leap in capability, functionality, or saleability.  Oh, and one usually has to pay more for it.

The truth is — and as I pointed out in my disruptive innovation presentations — there just aren’t that many "big bangs" that deserve to have this moniker hung upon the mantle, but rather a series of dampened oscillations due to punctuated equilibrium until everything settles down and looks pretty much the same.

Then version 1.17 ships and BAM!  Next generation, baby!

To all you product managers and marketers, "next generation" is so over-played at this point that the populous at large simply regards it like the features lists plastered on the trunk lids of automobiles advertising the niftiest new (but abundantly standard) set of features purchased on the luxo-barge meandering about in the lane ahead.

Whilst I am happy to know that Bob got the GLX, limited edition, R-Series with ABS, sunroof, intercooled turbo with XM radio and AWD, the suggestion that his "seats 8 but still makes him look like a dork" mini-van is a "next generation" platform doesn’t really say much about Bob, now does it?

On the flip side, I’m just thrilled to learn via press release today that "Secure Computing [is] to acquire Securify to drive [its] next generation firewalls" which oddly enough includes a list of features that are aimed squarely at competing with folks like Palo Alto Networks’* "next generation" firewalls which were released sometime ago. 

Further, someone at PAN and Secure Computing will undoubtedly be shocked to learn that Crossbeam, Fortinet, and Cisco all have "next generation firewalls" too.  Crap!  What comes after "next generation?" 

I suppose whatever it is would have to be made of pure unobtanium…

I knew I should have trademarked that…


* Speaking of Palo Alto Networks, you may have missed that a couple of weeks ago, PAN secured a C-Round of $27M.  That ought to be good for a couple more ‘next generations’ of something…they also finally got a new CEO back in July (Lane Bess from Trend Micro.)

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  1. September 3rd, 2008 at 19:20 | #1

    but it's just so easy!
    "Our customers rely on Crossbeam to protect the world's largest and most complex networks with innovative, industry-leading security solutions," said Chris Hoff, chief security strategist, Crossbeam Systems. "Crossbeam's next-generation UTM technologies, to be previewed at this year's 3GSM, redefine what it means to be a high-end UTM provider and will be generally available later this year."

  2. September 3rd, 2008 at 20:36 | #2

    Hahaha…velly funny…
    However, you must have missed the subtlety when I said (above):
    "I've been really annoyed by this term since I ashamedly added it to my lexicon of "roll-off-the-tip-of-my-tongue" buzzwords years ago for reasons I can't rightly remember. Too much TV."
    …as I said, it crept into my vernacular and I *hate* *hate* *hate* it because after heading up product marketing/management and hearing the term abused, I came to despise it…because it means nothing.
    Thanks for keeping me honest, even though I already did 😉

  3. Joe Franscella
    September 5th, 2008 at 06:46 | #3

    How about "New Breed," or "Offspring."

  4. September 12th, 2008 at 00:10 | #4

    Microsoft came out with NT which apparently was "Next/New Technology" or some such… followed up a few years later with "XP"
    CheckPoint came out with NG (Next Generation) and followed it up with NGX.
    So, in answer to your question. After NG comes something with an "X" in it.

  5. September 13th, 2008 at 06:50 | #5

    I win

  6. March 12th, 2009 at 19:02 | #6

    Holy Moly! VMworld is so huge I want to cry. (And not in a good way.)

    I dont mean huge as in a big deal. I mean VMworld is literally a super gigantic conference. More than 200 vendors. More than 14,000 attendees. This is a problem for me, since Im flying to Vegas on Sunday to attempt to …

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