It’s one of the questions I get asked the most, what’s the best system. Don’t worry this piece is not about that, although during the Olympics, possibly, it should be.

There are a lot of rivalries, claim and counter claim, we see just in the world of mobile telephony.  Are you an Apple or Android user? Do you still perhaps have a BlackBerry or even one of the few people who read this site on a Windows Phone ( Here in case anyone is wondering what that is ).  I’m going to use Windows and ex CEO Steve Ballmer to demonstrate the odd behaviour demonstrated by people so blinded by their own product or choice of product.

Now we hear several different levels of these rivalries.  We hear the CEO or Senior Executives laugh off competition, price or feature sets ( The best ever one ), the law suits that seem to go back and forth, and then the users.

It’s odd, with phones, I have gone around the houses, currently use an Android device, love it, used an iPhone, loved it, ditto BlackBerry and even old Windows Mobile, Symbian and just the good old Nokia 3310, but never feel the need to whoop, holler and cheer about it every five minutes, or conference time. I cover conferences and I see innovation, like I did at ProVenue Exchange, by the bucket-load, in Phoenix this year, but I also see “meh” functionality, like I saw at {Blank}.  Because I see the range, I appreciate true quality.

Each phone, or OS, did or does a job, the same but different. Each has a killer feature edge or Achilles’ heel.

……and we’re still in the ******* box office!

It is human nature that we love to think or believe we have chosen, use or own the ‘best’ – phone, car, breed of dog – so we go to great lengths to find more and more ways to convince our colleagues that we have done just that.

This is particularly true in the world of ticketing systems, but can be found in choice of web CMS (WordPress, Drupal, custom build), Payment Gateway, Ticket Printer, Stock provider . . . . . and we’re still in the ******* box office!

During conference season this is particularly true. Take these fictitious, but commonly themed tweets about technology vendors.

  • Got to love {BLANK}, only they provide such great swag.
  • So amazing to be part of {BLANK}, the only innovators in the Arts

In NO particular order . . . . Toptix has superb hip flasks , Spektrix water bottles, Tessitura power blocks and AudienceView sunglasses. All of these make my fishing trips much more comfortable, but they ALL do it, they all have swag, just as they all have conferences.

Innovation and features become more difficult: there are some clear differences between systems and this is where there start to become subtle variations.

This leads in turn to drinking the Kool-aid.

Of course, not all vendors understand that, as a collective or as individuals. This can often lead to wild (but they think truthful) comments. If these are not checked or challenged people actually believe them. This leads in turn to drinking the Kool-aid. I regularly have to challenge vendors who claimed everything from their system was the “only one with a single database for customers and donors” to another one who claimed their system prevented ALL fraud in the box office.

The trouble with these misconceptions is that over time they build up and give you the impression that you have the best solution, that nothing else compares, that there can be no cost-saving, better online or other efficiency, by looking or going else-where.

Soon enough you become Steve Ballmer and actually believe you have the best, but unless you look around and continually compare, how do you know?