Shark Tank January 2007

But it did kill that spam

Spam is heavy at this mortgage company, so a consultant is brought in and sets up an anti-spam app. “On the first day, there’s no spam, but the company’s business has evaporated,” says a pilot fish on the scene. “They didn’t receive a single mortgage loan-closing document. On the second day, minimal spam, no orders and very, very loud customer complaints.” Turns out that “mortgage” was one of the keywords used to filter out spam. Sighs fish, “The system was fixed, so they now get both their orders and mortgage spam.”

No, not that UPS

Insurance company’s data centre is moving to a new building, and this pilot fish is explaining to a meeting of senior execs that IT is about to relocate the UPS to the new location, so there will be no UPS protection until the move to the new data centre is complete. Fortunately, power has been very stable, so the chance of an outage is small. But one VP is still worried. “Wait a minute,” he says. “We ship almost everything by UPS. Won’t this affect our service?”

Why change what works?

Support pilot fish isn’t usually on call, but this time she gets beeped at 4:30 Saturday morning. “What’s wrong?” asks fish when she returns the call. “The overnight jobs didn’t finish,” data centre operator says. Suddenly, fish is fully awake. “Did something happen?” “Oh, it always runs over on Friday and Saturday nights,” user says. “But the instructions say to beep the on-call if it doesn’t finish by 4:30.” What time does it usually finish? “Around six.” All right, fish says, please make a note on the op instructions not to call me tomorrow unless it doesn’t finish by six. ”