A Consulting Firm Borrows from Kubler-Ross

May 22, 2009

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s widely read study On Death and Dying, published in the 1960s, introduced those struggling with the loss of a loved one to the stages of grief. I read her book when my friend Alan Boise, who worked at the National Institutes of Health, faced a battle with a rare form of leukemia. I found the information helpful, and since that time I have been reluctant to appropriate a useful representation of human behavior for frivolous purposes. I am an addled goose, but I keep certain activities in a private corner of my swimming hole. If you want to reacquaint yourself with Kubler-Ross’s work, you can order your copy here.

If you want to see how an azure chip consulting firm handles the idea of “stages”, you will want to read Matt Asay’s “Forrester’s Five Phases of Open Source Success” here. Mr. Asay reported that this consultancy converts the stages of grief into the stages of open source success. i anticipate that most people will find the approach amusing, perhaps instructive. After all, open source must move from denial that community supported software is of much value to acceptance of products such as Lucene from Lucid Imagination.

Open source has an important contribution to certain information technology challenges. I am pleased with open source. I am not so comfortable with the appropriation and inversion of the Kubler-Ross metaphor. In fact, the metaphor makes me uncomfortable, not with open source software, but with the associations the “stages” evoke. The addled goose’s opinion is that the azure chip consulting firm’s reach has exceeded its grasp.

Stephen Arnold, May 22, 2009


Comments are closed.

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta